The Record should be the newspaper of record | Editorial

Come have coffee with the editor 10 a.m.-11 a.m. on Friday, May 17, at The Black Dog Cafe.

At the Valley Record, we remain committed to community outreach and communication.

Our business is communication. We aim to be the conduit between our readers and their communities and local governments.

Last month, our editorial director for King County (Andy Hobbs) and I attended the Snoqualmie City Council meeting.

Recently, the council decided to contract with the Seattle Times as its newspaper of record. What does that mean? It means legally required advertisements (requests for bids, notices of public hearings, for example) are now printed in the Times instead of the Valley Record. That’s a misstep.

At $39 per year for a subscription to the Valley Record, we offer a more economical product. For $39 per year (compared to hundreds of dollars for the other publication, with all the bells and whistles), residents can learn what their city is planning. And as a weekly publication, residents don’t need to check the paper daily to keep track of the city’s plans — it’s all there once per week.

We’re happy to accept feedback, and learning that the Snoqualmie staff felt our deadlines were difficult to work with, we’ve offered to adjust those deadlines.

But legal notices aren’t just some legal hoop the city is expected to jump through. Legal notices are necessary for the transparency and accountability of the city government. The Valley Record offers better access for citizens, both in cost and frequency of publication. Deciding to change the newspaper of record to make it easier on staff is not the right decision, especially when it’s more expensive (both for the city to place the ads, and for citizens to read the ads) and more cumbersome for the public. Citizens expect city leaders to be good stewards of taxpayer funds and they expect the city to be transparent. The Valley Record as the newspaper of record meets those expectations.

Look at the front of this newspaper. This is volume 106 of the Valley Record. That means we’ve been serving the Valley for 106 years. We have an office in Snoqualmie. Our advertising representative for the Valley Record lives in the Valley. We’re truly a local paper, and we’ve been invested in the Valley for more than century. We’re asking the city to invest in us as well.

We certainly hope the city will choose our local paper as its newspaper of record in a timely manner.

And that’s why we attended the city council meeting on April 22 — to personally encourage the city to make the appropriate, responsible and reasonable decision of coming back to the Valley Record.

In continuing our commitment to community outreach and communication, I will again hold my coffee with the editor event from 10-11 a.m. Friday at the Black Dog Cafe in Snoqualmie. Please feel free to come discuss any and all issues with me. I look forward to seeing you there.