The legislature and saying good by…

The republican controlled legislature is at it again. They have introduced multiple bills to remove legal advertisement from newspapers where taxpayers can easily find them and are accustom to looking.

I’m sure much of the objective is to hurt newspapers financially since they have not found much of the coverage from any media favorable. However, that’s nothing new. The same was true when the democrats were in power. In fact, I believe it’s part of the process of producing good legislation. The leadership should concentrate on developing thicker skin opposed to trying to get even with newspapers.

The fact of the matter is… even if you don’t like the news media, they play an important role in providing a safeguard for the public against corrupt politicians and aid in the discussion process which creates good legislation.

HB 4560 is one of these proposed bills. They shroud their intent saying they leave the publications in newspapers, but for one week only when many important legals currently are required to be published two or three times to make sure the taxpayers sees them. In that manner, the public gets an adequate chance to see the public notice.

Supporters say it will save the counties and cities money when in fact the taxpayer is already paying a “publication fee” far greater than what newspapers charge. Where will that extra money go? The surplus under the current legal advertising requirements go to the general fund which allows elected officials to spend those monies as they like.

Will disposing of multiple weeks add to the transparency of how the government operates and spends our money? Quite the opposite. It will make it harder for taxpayers to monitor the spending of their money. In addition, it will make it easier for elected officials to hide activities from the public. That will breed more corruption in government.

The legislature needs to deal with the real problems that face our state and quite trying to get even with those that don’t agree with them.

A true public servant…

I watch the obituaries more than I used to. It’s probably a product of getting older. This week we say goodbye to a true public servant. Roy Huffman’s passing leave a tremendous void in our community. Roy epitomized what a good citizen truly is. He worked diligently for the better of our community. He volunteered… He worked on numerous committees… He contributed to his community financially… Roy was always there when a project was going to benefit the county. In fact, he was in the forefront of most of the big ones. Roy Huffman was a leader. He led by example and what a shinning star he was. He will be greatly missed!