Monday, February 9, 2009

Lohr, Landes, and Saxman Agree - The DNR Sucks

I agree boys!

A legislative panel last week killed a second bill that would have given local governments alternatives to publishing public notices in general-circulation newspapers. A subcommittee of the House Counties, Cities and Towns Committee voted 3-8 against the proposal.

HB 2355 (sponsored by Steve Landes) would have allowed Virginia localities with more than 100,000 population to forgo placing public notices in newspapers. Instead, large governmental bodies could their Web sites or public-access radio or television to disseminate public notices.

Of course that doesn't apply to either Harrisonburg or Rockingham County. But it would have gone a long way towards getting public notices to the public via 21st century technology. So why did Delegates Matt Lohr, Steve Landes and Chris Saxman vote for this bill? They know most people in the Valley don't read the "Newspaper of Record" - the Daily News Record.

Under the legislation localities could post notices on government Web sites, communicate them through automated-voice or text-alert systems and air them on public-access television channels.

VPA Executive Director Ginger Stanley (a lobbyist for the Virginia Press Association) said government notices should be published in an independent entity - such as a newspaper - and not in an entity controlled by the government itself. An independent entity can verify and archive the notices, she said.

Sounds good Ginger, except your colleagues at the DNR don't archive. Put Public Notices on the Web.

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