Home Government Brick Spent $87,000 On Legal Ads Over Two Years

Brick Spent $87,000 On Legal Ads Over Two Years

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Legal notices in a local newspaper. (Photo: Daniel Nee)
Legal notices in a local newspaper. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

A bill that would allow New Jersey municipalities to publish legal notices on their websites instead of print newspapers is on hold in the state legislature after a strong editorial push from the print industry, however Brick officials say they would support the measure if it is considered in the future.

The bipartisan bill would save tens of millions of taxpayer dollars per year, according to Gov. Chris Christie. As it currently stands, municipalities in New Jersey must publish legal notices – generally announcements on ordinances, bonding measures, sheriff’s sales and construction projects – in print newspapers at a set rate. Publishing the notices on websites, including digital-only news sites, does not fill the legal requirement.

“To me, if there’s a way to save taxpayers’ money, I’m for it,” said Brick Mayor John Ducey. “The less the town has to spend on anything, the better it is for the taxpayer.”

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Joanne Bergin, Business Administrator, said Brick spent $32,000 in 2016 on legal advertising in the Asbury Park Press, and $55,000 the previous year.

The print industry strongly opposed the bill, running vicious editorials and lobbying lawmakers heavily through the New Jersey Press Association, an industry group. The industry said requiring notices in print allows for governmental transparency, and claimed Christie sought the bill’s passage as “revenge” for unfavorable press. Print newspapers, many struggling financially, would have shed about 200 to 300 jobs if the revenue stream from the ads dried up.

The 2016 legislative session in New Jersey is over, but leaders in the Democrat-led chambers have said the bill will be a priority once the 2017 session begins.


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  • Scott

    Reading some of the information it seems to make sense on 2 sides. I didn’t research the statistics but they seem about right to me. Only 20% of the people in the New Jersey get a paper every day. Over 80% have access to the Internet. You save money and get more people informed that seems to make perfect sense to me

  • Beach N8iv

    Fatso will get his way, he ALWAYS does. If he has to bully each and every member of the legislature, he will. In his “mind” this vicious act of revenge will also cost a few hundred middle class jobs, a real plus for the Trenton Tyrant.

  • Mac

    Lost in this Christie revenge effort is the true need to keep public notices as public as possible. While most public notices are fairly standard, there are still many notices politicians go to great lengths to keep hidden from the public. Such notices are usually buried in the lowest circulation newspapers of the area, including junk mail type mailers. If any money can be saved, have a newspaper notice listing the posted event and what website the public can go to for more information regarding the notice and/or notices.

  • craigoftruth

    Brick Mayor John Ducey would love to cut out print ads, it is just another way to keep the public in the dark. If you really want to save the taxpayers look at our Governor spending over 11 Million Dollars for lawyers defending himself for something he has not been charged with. He spent $11,000,000.00 so far on attorneys for his bridgegate fiasco. If you take the $11,000,000.00 divided by the 565 municipalities in NJ it equals $19,469.03 for each town. Wow, that is half of your news paper budget.