Lynne Hermansen
Special To The Gardner News
City council members discussed having The Gardner News reinstated as the City’s Paper of Record at the end of their March 1 council meeting.
Randy Gregoryck, council member, said he would like to reverse the December 2019 vote.
“We preach shopping locally, but we are not doing that with the newspaper of record,” he said.
Todd Winters, president, said it was a tough decision.
“The cost difference was so large we couldn’t justify the expense,” he said. “It was a dramatic difference.”
At the time of the change, Amy Nasta then senior management analyst and now deputy public administrator, said public notice cost represents under one percent of the city’s total budget. Nasta said the spending comes from the City Clerk Fund. In 2018 Gardner spent about $18,000 with The Gardner News.
Tory Roberts, council member, said the city should have a paper that represents the people.
“More people contact me to keep it,” she said. “They are still for it.”
Kacy Deaton, member, said she wasn’t on the council at the time of the vote but it was a huge difference financially.
She said she supports buy local, and the cost would have to be evaluated.
Steve Shute, mayor, said there didn’t appear to be a consensus with council members and they should look into seeing if the newspaper would work with pricing.
Gregoryck said he suggested an alternative mechanism to support the newspaper.
“It’s time to take a new look,” he said.
Roberts said she had one of the main local funeral homes reach out to her because they had had an increase in obituaries and they use The Gardner News to post the obituaries.
“If newspaper goes away there is no resource,” she said. “It effects other long-term local businesses and the citizens of Gardner.”