Arizona Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, wants to eliminate public notices from newspapers through SB1006.
I do not want to go down the rabbit hole of lousy ideas Sen. Kavanagh has had over the years, but this recurring debate over public notices in newspapers is insidious. We have issues to resolve in this state, and on the list of importance, this one does make the cut of ‘important.’ Hating the press is not a good enough reason for us engaged citizens.
Whenever the government takes over a task that is being done efficiently by the private sector, several things always happen. It becomes more expensive than originally planned, it takes more manpower than originally planned, and the result is less than desirable than planned. The current method of delivering important information to the taxpayers through the local newspapers’ print and online platforms is not broken, and it serves the best interests of the citizens.
Public notices published in local newspapers is the definition of transparency.
Newspapers are the last bastion of locally written, trusted, credible, verifiable information dissemination with a keen knowledge of the community. Sen. Kavanagh, I’m sure you cannot say the same about government-controlled information sites.
Let’s all make sure that public notices remain in the local newspapers across this great state. Send a message to Sen. Kavanagh at email@example.com, and your local state legislator to tell them to fix things that are broken, not create remedies for issues that do not exist.
John Courtis Dewey
Editor’s note: Mr. Courtis is the retired executive director of the Yuma County Chamber of Commerce.