City Council Meeting: June 14, 2011

Agenda Item: 3-BB

To:               Mayor and City Council

From:           Marsha Jones Moutrie, City Attorney

Subject:        Awarding Bid to Publish City’s Legal Notices

 

 

Recommended Action

Staff recommends that the City Council award a bid in the amount of $60,000 to the Santa Monica Daily Press to publish the City’s legal notices for FY2011-12, pursuant to the requirements of Section 609 of the City Charter.

 

Executive Summary

State and local law require that legal notices, primarily relating to public bidding and land use matters, be published in a newspaper of general circulation.  Santa Monica City Charter Section 609 sets forth the procedures for annual selection of an official newspaper for publication of legal notices.  In accordance with Charter Section 609, the City published a notice inviting bids to publish the City’s legal notices during FY2011-12.  After reviewing the bid proposal received from the Santa Monica Daily Press, staff recommends that this publication be selected at an approximate annual cost of $60,000, based on expected total expenditures in FY2010-11.

 

Background

The Santa Monica Municipal Code and State law require that legal notices, primarily items relating to public bidding and land use matters, be published in a newspaper of general circulation published in the City (SMMC Sec. 9.04.20.22.050) or, if there is none, in a paper of general circulation published nearest to the City (Government Code Sec. 6042).  Under State law, a paper qualifies for adjudication by either 1) being printed in the City for one year or 2) being published in the City for three years and having a principal office of publication in the City. 

 

 

Staff published a notice inviting bids and selected an official newspaper based on the following criteria:

 

 

 

The notice seeking bids was sent to a list of local publications on April 13, 2011 and published in the Santa Monica Daily Press, the City’s current newspaper of record,  six times between April 18 and April 29, 2011, with bids due May 2, 2011.  The City received one bid for legal advertising services from the Santa Monica Daily Press.

 

Discussion

The Santa Monica Daily Press is being recommended for selection based on the criteria outlined in the notice inviting bids.  A summary of the selected vendor’s proposal appears below:

 

 

Publication

Rate

Circulation

Delivery Methods

Publication Schedule

% of Local News

Daily Press

$12.75/col. inch (no min.)

17,000 daily  print audited

750 box, rack and drop locations; online & paid subscriptions

6 issues weekly, Mon – Fri and weekend edition

75%

 

 

Other local papers, including the Santa Monica Mirror, the Observer Newspaper and the Argonaut, chose not to submit bids this year.  The Santa Monica Daily Press is the only adjudicated paper that publishes daily Monday through Saturday (weekend edition), offering the highest weekly circulation number, density and readership.

Staff is recommending the Santa Monica Daily Press for selection because it meets or exceeds all of the criteria outlined in the request for bids.  The Daily Press’ costs per column inch are less, while its circulation is greater.

 

The Daily Press, an adjudicated newspaper of general circulation since 2005, has a daily audited circulation of 17,000 (102,000 weekly).  The Daily Press publishes six papers each week, offering citywide exposure and flexibility in its legal advertising.  On average, the Daily Press publishes over 50 original local news stories per week and devotes a minimum of 75% of the newspaper to local news, opinion and other commentary.  In addition, the Daily Press has a good reputation as a paper of record in Santa Monica and has enjoyed an excellent working relationship with City staff, offering a dedicated employee to service the City’s account.  The $12.75 per column inch rate offered by the Daily Press is approximately 39% lower than its regular open rate and represents the best value of the bids received.  The City typically publishes 4,500-5,000 column inches’ worth of legal advertising in a fiscal year and can expect costs up to $60,000 in FY2011-12.

 

While the City Charter requires the selection of a single adjudicated newspaper for the purpose of publishing legal notices, it should be noted that display advertising to inform residents of City programs and services can and will continue to be placed in other local newspapers, both print and on-line, within approved budget allocations.  Also, certain legal noticing, particularly Purchasing Officer bid notices that require dissemination beyond Santa Monica’s borders, will continue to be published in the Los Angeles Times or other regional papers in addition to the Santa Monica Daily Press.


 

Financial Impacts and Budget Obligations

As of April 2011 (FY2010-11), the City has spent $53,724.56 to publish legal notices in the Santa Monica Daily Press (4,213.70 column inches).   Based on the probable purchase of a similar number of column inches in FY2011-12, the purchase order to be awarded to the Santa Monica Daily Press is $60,000.  Funds are included in the proposed FY2011-13 budget in account number 01211.522520.

 

Prepared by: Joseph Lawrence, Assistant City Attorney

 

 

Approved:

 

Forwarded to Council:

 

 

 

 

 

Marsha Jones Moutrie

City Attorney

 

Rod Gould

City Manager