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 email@example.com.