Wednesday, May 5, 1999

City & County of Honolulu

Midweek gets
public notices

By Gordon Y.K. Pang


The city must use Midweek magazine to advertise nearly all of its public notices under a bill passed by the state Senate yesterday.

The city signed a contract in March to place all of its notices with the Hawaii Newspaper Agency, which runs the advertising operations for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and the Honolulu Advertiser.

But a decision by state Comptroller Raymond Sato bound the state and all four counties to publish with RFD Publications, which puts out Midweek, arguing the counties are sub-entities of the state.

The city, however, was forced to place ads with both HNA and RFD, essentially doubling the cost of publishing notices, because Midweek would not satisfy city Charter requirements that say notices must be in periodicals of daily circulation.

The city asked the state for an exemption from the Midweek contract, a request backed by Sato.

The Senate, however, yesterday inserted language into a bill essentially claiming the state contract pre-empts the city one.

City Council members are unhappy with the decision, noting that a contract the city signed with the Hawaii Newspaper Agency recently was up to 22 percent less than the Midweek plan.

Council Chairman Mufi Hannemann called the decision a "hare-brained legislative ruling."

Council Policy Chairman Jon Yoshimura called the Senate's decision to usurp a city contract "somewhat troubling."

The city typically spends $400,000 a year for public notices.

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