Tuesday, March 24, 2009  
   Volume 79 - Issue 12 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week

“Our goal is to be the benchmark municipal ski area in North Amerca, and that’s what I spend every day trying to achieve.”

- Dave Morrison  
- on the Pass Powderkeg   


n a decision that will cause great harm to at least one locally published newspaper, council on Tuesday, March 17, voted 4-3 in favour of tendering out municipal advertising to only one paper.
Councillor Dean Ward made a motion to place local municipal advertising in only one newspaper providing service in the community. The first tender is to last until December 31, 2009, upon which date the tendering will be done on a yearly basis.
Council passed the motion by 4-3 vote, Councillors Ward, John Salus, David Cole, and Ian MacLeod in favour.
Mayor John Irwin spoke in opposition to the motion, noting that many people in the Pass only read one of the two newspapers, not both. If municipal advertising, including ads for public hearings and notices, were only in one paper, he said, not everyone would see it and in the long term it would cause one paper to gain a higher readership than the other.
“I personally have difficulty with this,” he said.
Councillor MacLeod said he didn’t disagree with the mayor, but that the duplication of advertising was costing the municipality $40,000 per year.
However, according to the Pass Herald’s own numbers, regardless of any other arguments for or against, the duplication is actually costing closer to $20,000 to $25,000. A large portion of all public hearing ads is paid for by the person making the application that led to the hearing.
Councillor Gary Taje noted that many newspapers in North America are struggling, and that even larger ones such as in San Francisco are closing their doors. In such a climate, he said, the Pass is lucky to have two papers that are surviving and doing a good job.
He said that councils everywhere are often perceived as a fast track for developers, in situations where people are not properly informed about what the municipality is doing. The Pass, he said, does not have that perception problem as often because of the two newspapers.
It is important to spend the money to ensure as many people as possible are told what the municipality is doing, he said. “I don’t think we should dilute that.”
He added that he feels there are hidden agendas behind the ideals stated by some. He said that he would not help support the motion to tender.
Councillor Cole said that the municipality tenders out most of its services. “This is a business decision,” he said. “We’re looking at saving a few thousand dollars. It doesn’t matter which paper gets this tender.”
Given the current economic climate and the difficulty of running a successful small town newspaper, it is likely that the paper that loses the upcoming bid will have a hard time continuing into the future.
Neither paper has yet received a tender package.
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   Volume 79 - Issue 12 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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