At Monday's meeting, the Sunnyside City Council unanimously approved the Daily Sun News to serve as the official newspaper for the City of Sunnyside for 2004. This means the Daily Sun News will publish all legal notices for the city.
In March Council voted to reject the then lone bid of the Daily Sun News to serve as the city's official newspaper. Council voted to reopen the bid process because some of its members felt that the city had sent out the wrong message a few years ago with the legal publication process.
The hometown Sunnyside newspaper has served as the legal newspaper of the city since its inception.
This time around, the city received just two bids to serve as the legal newspaper for the city. One of the bids was from the Daily Sun News and the other was from the Yakima Herald-Republic.
The Daily Sun News submitted the same bid it did during the initial process in March of $6.70 per column inch. The Yakima Herald-Republic submitted two separate bid amounts. The first amount was for $6.48 per column inch for the weekly Thursday publication Voices. The Herald-Republic also submitted a bid amount of $11.66 per column inch, if published in the regular daily section.
Assistant City Manager/City Attorney Mark Kunkler said he did an analysis for Council based on past legal publications.
In his report, Kunkler cited the lead time of each publication as a factor to consider. The Daily Sun News offered a lead-time of 24 hours, but has been able to publish notices on a shorter time frame. The Herald-Republic requires legal notices to be in its office by noon on Monday for Voices and three business days prior to publication in the regular section of the newspaper.
In his report, Kunkler noted city staff wouldn't be able to meet the Herald-Republic's deadline for publishing notices of cancelled meetings in the Voices section and would have to pay more money to have them inserted into the daily section.
Kunkler's final analysis showed the city would have paid $36 less with the Daily Sun News had it published its legal notices in the Voices publication last year.
"The research Mark has given has allowed us to compare apples to apples," said newly sworn in City Manager Robert Stockwell.
Stockwell touched on how there are benefits for the city to do business with the local paper. He said the Daily Sun News submitted the lowest bid and has always assisted the city on short notice, so he recommended Council accept the bid.
Councilman Jim Restucci also praised city staff for its work. Restucci said while he doesn't always see eye-to-eye with what is written in the Daily Sun News, he wanted to keep the legal publication notices in the community with the local newspaper.
"I for one am glad we have a comparison," said Councilman Don Vlieger. "I said I would vote for the lowest bid and I am voting for the lowest bid."
Vlieger reminded Council the city will be going through the bid process again in January, as required by state law.
Councilwoman Bengie Aguilar said she is glad the Council decided to keep the legal publications with the Daily Sun News. She said the local newspaper has always done a good job of promoting events in the community.
Mayor Pro-tem Mike Farmer wasn't as cordial about accepting the recommendation of city staff. Farmer said Council has set a precedent for doing business with the local newspaper. Farmer said his biggest area of concern with the Daily Sun News is from the editorial area. Farmer said he doesn't agree with many of the editorial comments placed in the newspaper.
"I think we have the low bid and we just have to take it," said Farmer.