KINDLING – News may be where you find it

Beware the “Ides of March” comes from ancient Roman history and timelier, “April showers bring May flowers.”  The spring rains have given new life to our lawns, shrubs, trees and Eastern slope’s wheat and corn crops.  Starting this week, we have snow and freezing temperatures.  While Colorado weather is unique, so is the news.

It has been a dynamic week in the world of local newspapers. The Littleton Independent was sold to The Colorado Sun group along with all 24 of The Colorado Media publications. The Colorado Sun is a digital on-line newspaper comprised primarily of the former employees of the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News. As a result The Villager is one of the few remaining local, family-owned and printed newspapers left in Colorado whose primary focus is promoting community news, non-profits, schools, local businesses, readers viewpoints and local government.  It’s been The Villager leadership’s focus to acknowledge, address and apologize, in person, for the insensitivity of our April Fool’s parody. We hope for new growth this spring and summer as we nurture a greater understanding, appreciation and communication with our community. We have reached out to the Asian/Pacific Islanders community. We’re back on track with the Cherry Creek school administration, moving forward with our long-lasting support of public education.

We also met with and listened to members of the Yip Foundation board and their executive director with favorable results.

We honor diversity at all levels and have learned much about intent and impact.

I witnessed the Greenwood Village council pass a resolution Monday night, in a 6-2 vote, to name The Littleton Independent as their legal newspaper without giving any reason.  Councilmembers Dave Bullock and Dave Kerber voted in The Villager’s favor against Council member Jerry Presley’s resolution which was supported without comment by council members’ Libby Barnacle, Tom Dougherty, Judith Hilton, Donna Johnson, and Anne

This is a legal slippery slope for the city.  Colorado statute 31-12-105 makes it mandatory that ordinances be published in a legal newspaper within the city limits, if one exists.

However, since Greenwood Village is a “Home Rule City” they gave themselves an exception to this law in their city code.  I have been in the local newspaper business for 58 years, nearly 40 with The Villager, and to my knowledge,  circumventing this state law has never been tested in court.  What is there to hide from local citizens by publishing legal notices in another city with a newspaper that  has never been tested in court action by someone who might challenge ordinances run in another city?  

However, despite the withholding of the public notices, The Villager will keep residents aware of  governmental proceedings and our astute governmental reporter Freda Miklin will continue her exceptional coverage of the city.

It was gratifying Monday night to hear Kerber and Bullock support The Villager.  They have both been active in Villager news coverage and supported the newspaper with their votes Monday night which was greatly appreciated.