Town Board looks at publishing ordinances online instead of in newspaper
July 29, 2014
The Windsor Town Board will consider a resolution Monday that would allow the town to publish new ordinances on the town's website, rather than in the newspaper.
Town Clerk Patti Garcia told the board July 21 that after the Windsor Beacon became a free paper at the beginning of the year, the paper no longer met the requirements to be a "paper of record." Until then, the town had used the newspaper to publish the full text of all new ordinances that the board passed.
Garcia said the town explored publishing ordinances in the two nearest papers that would meet the "paper of record" requirement — The Greeley Tribune and The Coloradoan — and found a lower rate with The Tribune. However, the new rate per line was more than double the rate paid when the town published ordinances with The Beacon.
After reviewing the town's charter, Town Attorney Ian McCargar found that the town could instead publish full ordinances on the town's website, Garcia said. Doing so would save the town "quite a bit of money," she said.
"We know there are some areas where we are required to by state statute to publish," Garcia said. "Public hearings and things of that nature, if this moves forward, will continue to be published in The Tribune or the Coloradoan because there are state laws requiring us to do so."
Mayor John Vazquez asked if there was anything in the town's charter that prevented the town from publishing ordinances in either The Coloradoan or The Tribune, depending on which county the ordinance affected most. He also asked if the town could publish in both newspapers if the ordinance would affect the whole community.
Garcia said she didn't think the charter prohibited that and said it has been town policy to publish ordinances affecting the whole community in both newspapers.
Vazquez said one benefit of having the publications in the newspaper is that more people are able to see them, because people are more likely to read the paper than to go to the town's website on a regular basis. He said if the town were to only publish ordinances online, some people in town might say they weren't given sufficient notification.
Board member Myles Baker asked if it would be possible to publish part of the ordinance in the paper and direct people to the website. Garcia said the town could also publish ordinances by title only in the newspaper and then direct people to the town's website for the ordinance's full text.
The board will decide whether to go through with the change Monday night.