By Ben Rodgers
Last week, the City of De Pere awarded The Press Times the bid to print legal notices, making our weekly newspaper the official newspaper of the city.
We are grateful for the trust placed in our publication by the De Pere Common Council.
Legal notices are required to be published under Wisconsin State Statute Chapter 985.
However, local governments still have a choice with who they want to publish those notices, more so now than ever before, thanks to Wisconsin Act 32, signed into law earlier this year, which in part allows more publications to compete for legal notices.
The City of De Pere now joins the villages of Ashwaubenon, Howard, Suamico and Hobart, as well as the school districts in Green Bay, Ashwaubenon, Howard-Suamico, De Pere and West De Pere as municipalities who have placed their trust in The Press Times.
There was a time when a weekly local newspaper like The Press Times would not have been the top choice of local municipalities for publication of their legal notices.
The immediacy of a daily newspaper was seen as essential to get important notice to the community.
Though the advent of the internet has presented challenges for local newspapers, it has also negated the argument a weekly newspaper can’t be immediate.
Act 32 also requires official newspapers to post legal notices on their websites, free of charge, so the public has immediate access to the happenings of their governments.
For those area government bodies that have yet to realize the reach, cost savings and now immediacy offered by our local media channels, we invite them to take a look at Act 32 and consider naming The Press Times their official newspaper next year.
This is a win-win, whereby taxpayers and local governments will enjoy not only the immediacy of the internet but also the security of knowing there has been an unalterable, permanent record distributed in print by an independent third party.
This is not a responsibility we take lightly, but rather an honor we are proud to carry.
It’s only fitting legal notices from the City of De Pere grace the pages of the same newspaper that has judiciously covered city meetings since we expanded into De Pere in August 2018.
Every year, more municipalities take the same step De Pere just wisely took, and that points to a few things.
First, the local news coverage you find in The Press Times is more comprehensive than any other news source in Brown County.
Covering local meetings is in our DNA. It’s the way I was brought up in newspapers, it’s the way our reporters work, and we will never shy away from the extra work.
There is inherent value in this type of news coverage if you care about how and why things happen where you live.
Secondly, the brand, reach and impact of The Press Times is growing.
Our paper is a proud participant in the NEW News Lab, a collaboration between different media outlets in Northeast Wisconsin made possible by a generous donation from Microsoft.
Because of this we are able to dive into important issues that impact everybody with more depth and clarity than ever before.
We also just made the move to downtown Green Bay, where our roots can expand and flourish as we are more centrally located in the heart of a bustling city.
We are not done growing, and De Pere recognizing this is proof The Press Times is here to stay.