Cecil Guardian Says It Meets Requirements as a Newspaper of General Circulation, Sprinklers & Citizen Advisory Board Again & Discussion About Meeting Minutes at Feb. 15th Workshop

As the commissioners continue working on business carried over from last Tuesday there are new items on the agenda for next Tuesday, Feb. 15th. 

Here are some of the primary subjects listed for the workshop, starting at 9 a.m. at the county administration building:

  • A discussion about meeting minutes.  Usually the agenda simply says approval of minutes. but in this instance the county administrator advises the board will talk about the content of these important public records.  Participating in that discussion are the staff, the county attorney and the elected officials.  Hopefully as they sort out what does and doesn’t belong in the official record, they’ll get on with some form of broadcasting.  That way the public isn’t dependent on anyone, media or otherwise, filtering what took place and the time delay involved in getting minutes approved.  As of today, the latest workshop minutes on the county website are from Dec. 21, 2010, which isn’t helpful for anyone trying to stay informed about quickly emerging public policy developments in Cecil County Government.
  • One new item that’s going to have the commissioners mulling things over is whether the Cecil Guardian, having met the requirement for a newspaper of general circulation according to their attorney, is now able to publish legal notices.  That’s an important source of revenue for legacy media outlets these days.  Presently the advertisements appear in the Cecil Whig, the county’s paper of record.
  • County Code Officials are scheduled to return to meet with the board to continue the sprinkler discussion that started last Tuesday as they’ve had the building codes staff working to untangle code language related to sprinklers and duplexes.
  • As it been on the agenda since about the first of the year now, perhaps the board will get around to “naming names” and make the appointments for the Citizen Budget Advisory Committee.    It’s listed as a topic for discussion again.
  • Finally, they’re going to adjourn for a closed session as the agenda says they will discuss
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4 responses to “Cecil Guardian Says It Meets Requirements as a Newspaper of General Circulation, Sprinklers & Citizen Advisory Board Again & Discussion About Meeting Minutes at Feb. 15th Workshop

  1. One new item that’s going to have the commissioners mulling things over is whether the Cecil Guardian, having met the requirement for a newspaper of general circulation according to their attorney, is now able to publish legal notices. That’s an important source of revenue for legacy media outlets these days. Presently the advertisements appear in the Cecil Whig, the county’s paper of record.

    Why they may mull it over I’ve visited the site and just havent been too impressed with it and really have little doubt that the letter to the editor page will ever be fair like the Whig to allow both views, as its views at the Guardian were apparent.

    Now, the Cecil Whig to me is dying too its quality is of worse quality than I remember in the mid-90s when my mother worked there. When it seemed the paper was a lot bigger, covered a lot more in the county, and had more local sports coverage. Its now been packaged off to somewhere in Easton, which is in Dallas? Run by someone in Australia isnt it? Its died when it did the paywall. It isnt Rupert Murdoch’s Sunday Times or Wall Street Journal, Im not going to pay for the Whig.

    It isnt going to be long before the The News Journal owned by Gannett, which knows how to run a newspaper will be our newspaper at least for half our county. They already target stories here. Quite frankly I rather read its better than the Whig. Now there is some good people working at the Whig as I know some of the sports people at the Whig, and their some hard working smart people, but its a sinking ship there.

  2. What qualifies a publication as a “newspaper of general circulation”? Is there a definition in the Maryland Code? Did someone challenge the Guardian’s status? Is the Cecil Whig the sole “newspaper of record”? What about the Herald and the Guardian?

    • There are legal requirements in COMAR. We asked the county for additional information late Friday, particularly the earlier correspondence on this matter. As it was late in the day, it wasn’t received, but we’ll share the info once it becomes available. Professional staff at the county always responded in a prompt fashion to informational requests for media outlets.

      At Someone Noticed we have a cost saving idea for that new website the county put up. There is virtually no cost to create a page on the county website and just post the public notices there rather than incur the significant costs that are involving when publishing in legacy media outlets. And particularly with declining readership for newspapers that method could be replaced by a more efficient and far less costly one. The public would be served just as well and we’d save a lot of money. Take a look at the advertising costs for the county sometime. Solved that problem and saved the taxpayers a lot of money too. I’ll submit that ont he new cost savings website.

      • Halligan, I looked into your request for info on what qualifies as a paper of general circulation. Basically the requirements are rather modest, but the county attorney has provided an opinion.

        To qualify as a “newspaper of general circulation” the code requires, the following according to the county attorney:
        A. Must be at least four pages
        B. Must habitually contain news items, reports of current events, editorial comments, advertising matter and other miscellaneous information tha tis of public interest and is found in an ordinary newspapers
        C. Be published at least once a week for six months or more before publication of the notice or advertisement; and has been published and distrubted, by sale, from an established place of business
        D. Has general circulation through the community where publication is published
        E. Is entitlted to be entered as second class matter in the U.S. Mail
        The county attorney has researched the requirement for sales and found that a paper must be sold at a fixed price through subscriptions or per copy. He had some concerns about that when he wrote the opinion in July as he says they’d just started charing 10-cents a copy for retail outlet sales.
        I usually pick up my copy at the Arts Council or in the foyers/entrance ways of the stores around the county.
        He also said that he didn’t believe the Herald qualified because its circulation wasn’t as wide in other parts of the county. I know we get our subscription in the southern part of the county and I see it for sale inside stores all around the area near and south of the canal. I would think it wouldn’t have any trouble qualifiying as a paid newspaper circulating around the county.
        Anyway that’s the gist of what qualifies as a newspaper of general circulation.

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