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Woodinville Weekly owner Eric LaFontaine makes a public comment during a city council meeting Tuesday night, Nov. 16, at Woodinville City Hall.

After some debate, the Woodinville City Council voted 6-1 to designate The Seattle Times as the official newspaper of the city for 2022 during a regular meeting Tuesday, Nov. 6.

“I just would like to reiterate that because we’re using The Seattle Times does not mean that we don’t value local journalism,” Councilmember Rachel Best-Campbell said.

Both newspapers satisfied the requirement to be considered as the newspaper of record for legal notices. However, staff members determined The Seattle Times to be slightly more cost-effective, the report said.

The Seattle Times was chosen last year as well, the report stated. The measure states the contract should be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, which was the Times as determined by city staff.

“The Woodinville Weekly legally has been publishing here in the community for 45 plus years,” Woodinville Weekly owner Eric LaFontaine said during public comment. “We have made enormous changes and strides in the last several years. We are self-publishing and we've become a much better newspaper.”

The Woodinville Weekly circulation within Woodinville city limits is 3,184, while the Times circulation is unknown. Within the estimated Woodinville urban growth areas, the Weekly circulates 3,487 papers and the Times circulates 2,544 papers, according to the report.

In the bid, the Times requested $31.22 per single column inch for legal notice space, which equals around $2.23 per line for 14 lines of text. According to the report, the Weekly offered a bid price of $16 per single column inch or $2.28 per line for seven lines of text.

Regardless of the official designation, Best-Campbell said, the city uses both newspapers to publish legal notices and other advertisements.

“When we ordered to The Seattle Times, it was for ease of staff to get notices out and particularly a wider market for us to get bids for different contracts,” she said. “To my knowledge, we also still utilize the Weekly for ads.”

Councilmember Susan Boundy-Sanders voted no against the resolution because she expressed concerns about whether the Times offered a lower rate when comparing the newspapers side-by-side in previous years.

“It makes sense to definitely use a combination of both papers,” Boundy-Sanders chimed in.

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