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The right to know

In order that you, the public, have access to information that could affect your life or property, laws are in place that require public notices to be published in a newspaper of general circulation.
The requirements for a newspaper are that you have a paid circulation and publish 51 weeks in a year time . Items that require publication include notices of foreclosure, adoption, final estate matters, property rezoning and redistricting plans. They are required to be published for a varying period of time depending on the matters involved. Some are one time only while others require multiple publications.
The Hartselle Enquirer fulfills all requirements to publish legal notices.  Each week in the B section of our newspaper, we publish numerous legal notices so that our readers will be informed about changes or laws that could affect them.  We will inform you of changes to laws in our state, city, and county as well as properties available for purchase.  We take this mission very seriously and will continue to be your source for legal information.
However, several in the Alabama legislature want to take away your right to have access to public notices in your local newspaper.
The legislators who are trying to pass this legislation are giving the alternative of only publishing the notices on a state wide website.  Presently the Enquirer also uploads all published public notices to Alabamalegals.com.
There are numerous reasons we believe that is not a viable option.  One which stands out is the fact that many of the citizens of our state and town do not have access to the Internet.  Not only do they not have computer access but Internet service may not even be available to them.
Another reason is this option does not protect your right to be assured that the notices are printed.  Each time a public notice completes its required run we furnish the legal advertiser an affidavit with proof of publication attached.
We also keep a copy of the affidavit for the time required by law.  Also searching for notices that effect you would be more difficult by having to work your way through a state- wide website.
We as your local newspaper will continue to fight for your right to be informed.  We suggest that you contact your local state senator and representative and voice your opinion on this matter and ask them to support the current law requiring public notices to be printed in newspapers.
Randy Garrison is the general manager of the Hartselle Enquirer.