Estes-Park Trail Gazette: Public notices are essential safeguards for open government and a key mechanism of informing the public. Citizens of Estes Park are being asked to approve a measure that would allow the town to only publish complete legal notices on the town-run website. Such a measure would erode transparency and set a worrisome precedent.
While public notices, with their precise legal language, do not make for the most entertaining reading, they are nonetheless essential. Journalists, lawyers, citizen advocates and businesses of many stripes depend on the wide variety of information published in these notices. This long list includes notices of elections, city and school financial reports, property sales, foreclosures, court activity, water and land use, zoning changes and much more.
Such crucial information cannot be left to dozens of individual departments, cities and towns, counties and state departments to publish solely on their own websites. There is a reason all 50 states require such notices to be published by independent and widely accessible local newspapers.
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