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Councilor questions newspaper coverage

Kelly Swearingen is a new Grand Marais city councilor
Kelly Swearingen is a new Grand Marais city councilor

At the first meeting of each year, the Grand Marais City Council handles its usual annual organizational matters, such as appointment of Councilor Anton Moody to act as mayor if Mayor Jay Arrowsmith DeCoux was absent. The council set its mileage reimbursement rate at the IRS suggested level; and councilors selected all three local financial institutions to handle various city accounts.

All of those matters were handled with little discussion. That was not the case with selecting an official newspaper in which to post legal notices.

At the Cook County Commissioners’ meeting just the day before there had some discussion before selecting an official newspaper.

County Administrator Jeff Cadwell informed the commissioners that the rate of the one bidding newspaper—the Cook County News-Herald—was $9 per column inch of newsprint. Cadwell told the board that neighboring Lake County was being charged less than half that rate--$4.40 per column inch.

County Commissioners moved unanimously to adopt the Cook County News-Herald as its official newspaper, with one commissioner noting that the county has no other choice, as the News-Herald is the only publication registered with the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office as an official newspaper.

Likewise the city council had discussion, but the concern was not regarding rates, but some of the News-Herald’s content.
Mayor Jay Arrowsmith DeCoux said the city is not required to designate an official newspaper. Administrator Mike Roth said the city already uses its own website, as well as other sources to distribute information to the public. He said whether or not the News-Herald was selected as the official newspaper, the city would continue to do so.

The council ultimately passed a unanimous motion to approve the Cook County News-Herald as its official newspaper, but Councilor Kelly Swearingen added that she was frustrated with some of the publication’s content.

The Grand Marais City Council meets the second and last Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at Grand Marais City Hall.