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Plus: No News

At a recent council committee meeting, some members were under the impression that the Morning News was designated the official newspaper by the city charter. Assistant City Attorney Jesus Toscano told the Dallas Observer what he had explained to the council committee--that the charter requires the city to name somenewspaper its official newspaper but does not name the News.

But there is no state law requiring cities to name any official newspaper, Toscano said. He said state law sets out certain requirements that a newspaper must meet in order to publish official notices, but any newspaper that meets those criteria could be used.

So the city could publish its notices in several newspapers. Even in, say, sort of a muckraking alternative weekly.

In order to do that, however, Toscano told the council it would have to present a charter amendment to the voters removing the existing requirement.

Council member Dr. Elba Garcia said it's all about saving money. She thinks the advertising rates at the News may be too high. "For me, like anything else, I have to look for the benefit of the city of Dallas. If the state doesn't require me to pay, and I want to save close to $800,000 a year, why shouldn't I?"

Excellent, excellent question!

--Jim Schutze

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