American Heart Assoc.

Public notice access expanded by Texas newspapers

by | Jan 11, 2023 | Latest, Public Notices

In your community and throughout the U.S., every citizen has a right to know what its city, school district or water district is doing and how it affects their livelihood.

Because of this right, public entities are required to provide advance notice to the public about items that cost citizens money, affect their quality of life, determine elections and so on.

Public notice is a way to alert citizens about government and government-related activities that may cause them to want to take action.

And when more citizens have access to public notice, a broader representation of public opinion is available to governments.

For centuries, newspapers like this one, have been the place to find these public notices, in both print and more recently, digital formats. 

Newspapers have been entrusted with public notice for good reason.

Long ago, information that concerned citizens was posted in the town square. Everyone could find the information and read it or have someone read it to them.

In 1665, the first English language newspaper, The Oxford Gazette, printed public notices. This newspaper, later was named The London Gazette, carried notices from the Kings Court, London officials and neighboring communities.

In America, our system of public notice closely resembles the British system. State governments printed public notices in colonial newspapers, and in 1789 the U.S. government established the Acts of the First Session of the Congress. 

This act required all bills, orders, resolutions and congressional votes to be published in at least three, publicly available newspapers.

The purpose was to put the information in a place the public would likely notice and allow them to access information about government activities.

At issue in past and potential upcoming legislative sessions is the fact that politicians want to pull public notices from newspapers. If passed, this would destroy the transparency that has been in place for centuries. 

Printed newspapers are a place for public notice because they provide four defining characteristics that set them apart from all other methods. 

First, they are independent, third-party forums. Second, they have the ability to archive, and third, those archives are accessible in a number of formats. 

Last, and equally important, newspapers are verifiable. Once a public notice is published, a copy of the notice and an affidavit by the newspaper’s publisher confirms the original wording of the notice.

This may not seem like an important fact, but it can be if it involves something like land, zoning or elections.

Progress has changed the way newspapers are published and how they are consumed, but the four defining characteristics are still very relevant.

The worst case for the public is to give governments sole ownership of public notice.

Historically, governments don’t do a good job of publishing information on websites. 

Governments don’t operate in free markets that create competition to provide the best service for a reasonable price. And it would be very difficult, at best, to verify information provided by a governmental entity on a governmental website.

In early 2022, newspapers across Texas began participating in a state-wide database for their public notices.

The database is hosted by the Texas Press Association and represents hundreds of newspapers across the state.

You can access the site at texaspress.org and click on the Public Notice icon or go to https://texaspublicnotices.com.

Public notices can be searched by taxing entity such as city, school district, and by type of notice, such as ordinance, zoning and or election, to name a few.

The database provides one place to find public notice and it’s free, so it saves the public time and money.

To make it easy to find the database when you visit wylienews.com, you’ll find links on its pages. 

It’s commitment newspapers provide to help you exercise your right to public notice.

Subscribe to support your local newspaper at farmersvilletimes.com

American Heart Assoc.

0 Comments

Related News

New city leadership installed at council meeting

New city leadership installed at council meeting

Councilmembers, from left, Ted Wagner, Lance Hudson and Mike Henry, Mayor Craig Overstreet, Terry Williams, Coleman Strickland and City Manager Ben White at the Tuesday, May 14 Farmersville City Council meeting. The oath of office was given to a new mayor and a...

read more
New mayor sets priorities

New mayor sets priorities

Mayor Craig Overstreet with his wife, Allison, left, daughters Lindsey Moore and Leslie Dollar (holding baby daughter Ally), and son-in-law Daniel Dollar. Craig Overstreet has been Farmersville mayor for about week and said he feels as if he has been pummeled by the...

read more
Trustees OK election results; thank staff

Trustees OK election results; thank staff

Farmersville ISD proudly debuted its latest facility constructed at the high school using funds from the $65 million bond approved by voters in May 2021. The passage of the $98M bond will provide funds for future improvements. Photo courtesy Farmersville ISD. The...

read more
Top two will lead FHS Class of 2024

Top two will lead FHS Class of 2024

Farmersville High School’s top two academic finishers are heading in different directions in pursuit of the same goal. They are seeking successful careers in divergent occupations. The FHS Class of 2024 valedictorian is Mariana Arteaga, the daughter of Javier and...

read more
Igniting a new beginning

Igniting a new beginning

One year ago, Collin County Sheriff Jim Skinner announced plans to reduce recidivism rates among inmates by offering a program where they can learn better life skills, improve their education and learn a trade. “Too often, we see generations of a family stuck in that...

read more
Bois d’ Arc Lake beckons water enthusiasts

Bois d’ Arc Lake beckons water enthusiasts

After 20 years of planning and four years of construction, Texas’ first major reservoir to be built in more than three decades glistens in the sun as a recreational beacon. The North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD), based in Wylie, owns and operates Bois d’Arc...

read more
Farmersville property values up 2.63% in city

Farmersville property values up 2.63% in city

Once again, Collin County property values are generally higher, according to 2024 certified estimated taxable values released by Collin Central Appraisal District (CCAD). However, the average market value of homes decreased slightly in the city of Farmersville and...

read more
Fire department says no need for alarm

Fire department says no need for alarm

The Farmersville Fire Department has been without its two major pieces of firefighting equipment. Residents, though, shouldn’t worry about whether the city’s emergency response capability has been compromised, according to Fire Chief Gregg Massey. The fire...

read more
Subscribe 300x250 - Love