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Dexter Village Adopts 'The Sun Times' as Newspaper of Record

The Stockbridge-based publication will now include the village's legal notices and meeting minutes.

Dexter Village has a new "newspaper of record" following a vote by the village council at its meeting on Monday.

The council voted 4-3 to transfer the publication of its meeting minutes and other public hearing notices for the Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Commission, annual budget, and ordinance adoptions from The Dexter Leader to The Sun Times News.

Speaking to Patch.com after the meeting, President Shawn Keough said his rationale for casting the tie-breaking vote was based primarily on circulation numbers.

"Our goal as a council should be to get as much information as we can in front of as many residents as we can," he said.

The Sun Times is delivered free to every household in the village, while the current circulation of The Dexter Leader is 2,187, of which 223 copies are sold in newsstands, according to information provided to the council from Courtney Nicholls, assistant village manager.

Council Trustees Jim Carson, Donna Fisher and Julie Knight voted against the change.

"I have a hard time associating The Sun Times as our newspaper of record," Carson said. "If I were a Dexter Village resident looking for government notices, I would look in the Dexter Leader first."

As part of the change, The Sun Times, based out of Stockbridge, offered the village a 10 percent discount for legal notices, as well as two quarter-page display ads free for 2013.

"The decision to go with The Sun Times was not based on money," Keough said.

In 2012, the village spent $1,500 to publish its minutes and $1,400 for public hearing notices and ordinances in The Dexter Leader, according to Nicholls.

Upon hearing of the news, some Dexter residents posted regret on Dexter Patch's Facebook page.

"This is a sad commentary on our times. I know the staff of the Leader, and it has been a cornerstone towncrier of Dexter and and its surrounding communities," Mark Olexa wrote.

While unforunate, Margaret Govaere Steptoe, said she believes the decision was made out of necessity.

"It used to be easy to get your club news in the Leader, but that has drastically changed. The village is just doing what it has to do," she said.

What do you think of the decision to use The Sun Times as Dexter's newspaper of record? Tell us in the comments.

Elaine Owsley February 27, 2013 at 08:11 PM
I've worked for weekly papers off and on for more than 60 years and the publishing of "legals" and "local" governmental notes has always been the horse that pulls the cart. Take the larger distribution of the Sun-Times, the fact that it's free, and add even more local news - which they can afford to do with the added revenue - and you have the perfect combination. Heritage has little real interest in any of the papers they bought and it shows. Dexter wants to know about Dexter - it's a very simple formula. As odd a duck as old Walt Leonard was - and I worked for him 43 years ago when we first moved here - he understood local news for local readers.
Francyn Chomic February 27, 2013 at 09:46 PM
I've never heard of the Sun Times. Is there a link to the paper?
Raymond Steele February 28, 2013 at 01:09 AM
The Sun Times is already a mosaic of irritating advertisements and useless content. Why not add more? I should request that my paper be delivered on Friday mornings to the green mailbox on the curb labeled Waste Management.
Mary Mooney February 28, 2013 at 02:25 PM
Most people are aware of the fact that print media has declined over the past several years. I think that it is extremely commendable that Heritage Papers / Dexter Leader has found a way to remain in existence throughout these changing times. Maybe it is not perfect but never-the-less they have somehow been able to provide the Dexter Community with a hometown paper...... The Dexter Leader. I for one realize that the Villaged stopped publishing notices in the Dexter Leader sometime ago and Yes that is okay with me. But to start publishing again using print media and turning your nose up to the Dexter Leader in my opinion is unexcusable. I guess it is okay for the Dexter Village Council to kick the Dexter Leader in the teeth when they are down as long as you are transparent about it. There are many ways that you can be transparent. Shame on YOU!
Albion February 28, 2013 at 07:12 PM
Another problem with a local paper is that the owner of the paper is bias. They live in the area and they have their own agendas. They can sway votes on almost any issue.

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