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Vail opens door to public notices on Web

VAIL ” The more options for publishing new laws, the better, Vail Town Council members said Tuesday.

But several council member said they don’t want to stop printing the laws in the local newspaper ” as the town has done for decades ” because they want to communicate well with local residents.

“I would be hard-pressed … to abandon the newspaper,” said Mayor Dick Cleveland.

Still, the council gave preliminary approval to a new law that would define “publication” of new ordinances as two of the following three options:

– Posting on the town’s Web site.

– Posting at Town Hall.

– Publication in a newspaper circulated in the town.

In bringing forward the proposal, town staff cited a potential cost savings. Vail spent more than $19,000 last year to publish its ordinances in the Vail Daily. The town also cited the widespread use of the Internet as well as the high percentage of homeowners who live elsewhere.

The proposal passed, 5-2, with Councilmen Kevin Foley and Mark Gordon voting against.

Gordon said he saw the proposed law as limiting the exposure of the town’s new laws.

“To me, the more places we publish our business, the people’s business, the better off we are,” he said.

Steve Pope, general manager of Colorado Mountain News Media, which includes the Vail Daily, said publishing the laws in the newspaper provides broad exposure.

“Open government is the significant issue here,” Pope said, adding that the paper publishes the notices primarily as a public service, not for revenue.

While approval of the law leaves open the door to end publication in the newspaper, some council members were disinclined to do that.

“I’m in favor of this, but I’m not in favor of getting rid of the newspaper,” said Councilman Farrow Hitt.

Council members said they would discuss exactly how they will publish the town’s laws after final approval of the new proposal, which could come later this month.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or estoner@vaildaily.com.


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