GALVESTON — County Commissioner Ryan Dennard said the commissioners court’s need to re-bid several construction projects showed that published legal notices in the Daily News were ineffective.

Six projects worth several millions of dollars in work on the elevators, painting, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire suppression at the county’s records storage facility had two or fewer bids, he said.

Commissioners recently awarded the contract for publishing the county’s weekly legal notices to The Post of Galveston County.

Previously, The Daily News published the notices.

The Daily News has appealed the decision.

At the time, Daily News Publisher Patrick Graham said citizens were being shortchanged by the decision, which awarded the notices to a newspaper with about 100 paid subscribers.

But Dennard said the lack of bids for the records storage facility projects shows that The Daily News wasn’t effective at reaching the public.

“When I receive no bids for jobs of this size that dozens, probably hundreds, of contractors in the region are qualified to do, I can only conclude that no one is actually reading the notice,” he said. “And if no one is reading the notices with respects to jobs of this size, how can I conclude that they are reading the other notices?”

Dennard said the lack of bids forced commissioners and county staff to use more resources and funds to re-bid and made it harder to complete projects in a timely fashion.

“Ultimately we have to have an expectation that the advertising that we’re doing gets results, and the practical results speak for themselves many times in the 10 months since I have been on commissioners court and have seen how few bids we get in response to the some of the notices we have published,” he said.

On Tuesday, Graham said Dennard’s comments didn’t mesh with the court’s action on legal notices.

“I consider Commissioner Dennard a thoughtful member of the court who works hard on behalf of his constituents,” Graham said. “However, on this issue I find it to some degree ironic that he would express concern about the effectiveness of the legal advertising placed in a newspaper that is invited into nearly 25,000 homes daily — homes filled with readers who by law have a right to know the information contained in the public notices whether they choose to do business with the county or not — after voting to move those notices into a newspaper that is invited to 110 homes instead.”

Contact reporter Wes Swift at 409-683-5319 or

(16) comments

Walter Manuel

I would have to agree with Mr. Graham on this issue for!

As an avid daily reader of our local news online, I only recently learned about the existance of The Galveston County Post and would never have thought to have looked any where else except the GDN in order to find a legally published public notice from Galveston county.

It would seem that the GDN has always been effective for many years in the past for the county and others to publish their legal notices in the paper and now all of a sudden it isn't effective? Who's scratching who's back?

It makes one think that perhaps someone on commissioners court is trying to help a friend out with this one because it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that you'll go a lot farther getting your message out with 25,000 subscribers versus 110?

The only other reason that it could possibly be is that this a new method limiting the number of bidders even more so for county projects in the future, so I'm sorry it just ain't passing the smell test...

Walter Manuel

Ooops! That should read, "I would have to agree with Mr. Graham on this issue for "sure"! [wink]

GW Cornelius


Mick Phalen

Apparently, the commissioners' campaign contributors do not subscribe to the GDN ...

Richard Worth


Kevin Lang

They probably don't subscribe to the Post, either. They probably figure their competitors don't subscribe to the Post, either. Those contributors already subscribe to their commissioner, so they already know when somethings coming to bid.

Ron Shelby

Even if the commissioner's comment were true, it makes no sense to anyone that you'd then move your business to a paper with only 100 subscribers.....

More pointedly: If that's the rational this commissioner used to move the ads to this little paper, then voters would be better served by a new commissioner with a bit more "smarts" then this one is displaying.

Loretta Davis

Does someone on the Commissioner's Court have a special interest in the Post? I have never seen the Post out here in Sunny San Leon. Which beer joint/seafood restaurant/gambling joint out here has one......I just know that I get the GDN everyday and even within days of Hurricane Ike, I began receiving my paper. Never seen the Post.....

Ron Shelby

From the info I saw on line, I know that the publisher used to be the head of the North County Chamber of Commerce, even though he's in Texas City.

Mike Leahy

I believe some of our ace team of County Judge and Commissioners are themselves businessmen? Can we get a list of how many of them (or their business-owner supporters) advertise their business exclusively in the Post?

Or do they prefer to advertise their own business where someone might have chance of seeing it?

Kevin Lang

Miceal, my belief is that they don't want anyone seeing the notices. The people they want to award the contracts to already get notified. This way, the commissioners don't have to worry about getting confused by trying to rate competing bids.

Gary Miller


More right than you think.
Contractors wanting to do business with any government agency know where to learn of contracts to be let.
Checking a courthouse bullitin board once a week could be their main source.
After learning a contract is to be let for bid businesses interested will still need to get bid info handouts from the offering agency.

Miss Priss

Follow the money and the reasoning comes behind that..... The true reason behind outsourcing and awarding contracts comes Dow to who the contributors of their campaigns come from. Steven Holmes is probably the only commissioner who does not accept campaign contributions from potential contractors with the county.

Dennard should have come clean and told the paper that they could come down on the prices they charge the county. However, that would have been too logical for this regime to ask of the daily news and a better excuse to give the paper. Once again , they use whipping boy Dennard as the lip service piece.

Centerpointe Moderator

Erroneous attribution?? The most common reasons for no-bid are (1) insufficiency of profit potential and (2) known or suspected corruption in the award process. In our present situation, we might also add (3) a lot of folks are off getting rich in the Eagle Ford and presently not interested in government work. I don't understand enough about these politics to know what might be the case in this situation, but to simply declare that there's no bid because nobody read the solicitation is pretty naïve.

Dru Walters

It seems if they had a lack of response, they would have advertised in a bigger newspaper, like the Chronicle, not a smaller one. His reasoning just makes him sound stupid. When can we vote him out?

Mick Phalen


Let's not be too hard on Commissioner Dennard - he's only doing what's he's being told and is only using a tactic that's been used successfully by politicians for years.

It's clear to us all what's going on, and it's going to be up to us (the voters) to change it - the question is, do we have the will?

(And it's not about Dems, or Repubs, or Tea Party, it's about good government, responsive to citizens, not friends and campaign contributors.)

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