Change in publishing legal notices may save money for taxpayers

Members of the City Council have raised legitimate concerns about shifting the site of legal notices to the city’s website.

Although it appears to be a cost-saving measure there could be glitches, council members Matt Carlucci and Randy DeFoor said as the bill was being debated.

Local newspapers have run legal notices for more than a century. It is a considerable source of information for them. But Mayor Lenny Curry said the city could save money it spends on notices by self-publication, after recent changes in state law made than an option.

Two council committees have approved the proposal and the final vote may be April 25.

In its current version the bill requires a cost comparison analysis before any switch.

An administration official said any changes probably will happen in the next administration and will be done piecemeal rather than all at once.

The change brings the process up to date, as most people rely on digital access. Those who read legal notices are savvy enough to know where to look for them and will no longer have the cost of subscribing to newspapers.

DeFoor also said the city may have a problem with legal liability for not publishing in timely fashion as required. However, that was only speculation and the phased-in method of implementing the change should reveal any problems related to cost or liability.

Lloyd Brown

Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.

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