A minor debate broke out on the Toledo Talk message board this week. There was a question bout Toledo Free Press’ qualification to receive and publish legal ads from government bodies. In October 2011, Gov. John Kasich signed into law Ohio House Bill 153, which broke the monopoly daily publications held on legal notices purchased with public money.
I have covered this ground before, but it bears repeating. The bill eliminated the limitation that links charging for newspapers with being permitted to publish legal notices. It opened the legal publication business to any newspaper of general circulation that publishes at least once a week and meets other criteria, all of which Toledo Free Press satisfies. The bill also requires a participating newspaper to offer its best classified rate for such publications. Allowing newspapers such as Toledo Free Press to publish these notices is intended to ensure that the best rate offered by any participant in this market will be competitive. The result should be substantial savings for all who are required to publish legal notices.
A number of agencies have begun taking advantage of our lower rates to reach Lucas County taxpayers. Late last year, Toledo Free Press began the process with Lucas County Auditor Anita Lopez to compete for delinquent property ads. Eventually, Lopez sought an opinion from the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office, which, on Oct. 16, ruled, “[Toledo] Free Press would now qualify as a paper of general circulation.”
Shortly after, Lopez opened bids for the delinquent property ads.
The Village of Ottawa Hills, City of Toledo, City of Sylvania, Lucas County Auditor, Monclova, Lucas County Metropolitan Housing Authority, Toledo Public Schools, Washtenaw County and the Metroparks of Toledo Area have all published legal notices in Toledo Free Press, saving taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars without sacrificing exposure.
Too many Lucas County officials are stuck in old models and counterproductive ways of thinking. There is a new reality, and while many fear and resent the changes, those changes are happening in many counties and will continue to chip away at reckless spending of taxpayer money.
Gov. Kasich amended this law because of the tough economic situation that municipalities face today. He recognized that it was not in the townships’ or residents’ best interest to limit public notices to paid publications.
Your primary reason to choose us for your legal notices is that we more than fulfill the legal requirements and can save your citizens thousands of dollars in the process.
Thomas F. Pounds is president and publisher of Toledo Free Press and Toledo Free Press Star. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tags: Anita Lopez, City of Sylvania, City of Toledo, John Kasich, Lucas County Auditor, Lucas County Metropolitan Housing Authority, Metroparks of Toledo Area, Monclova, Publisher's Statement, The Village of Ottawa Hills, Toledo Public Schools, Tom Pounds, Washtenaw County