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Monroe Times named county newspaper
MONROE - After more than two decades, the Monroe Times once again will be Green County's official newspaper.

County supervisors voted 22-4 Tuesday to name the Times its official paper starting April 17, changing it from the Brodhead Independent-Register, which has held the title since 1997. That means public notices and county board meeting minutes will be published in the Times.

Supervisors Harvey Kubly, Oscar Olson, Erica Roth and Karl Blumer voted against the motion. Steven Stettler, Kate Maresch, Beth Luchsinger and John Glynn were absent from the meeting.

Tuesday was the second time the Green County Board of Supervisors considered the issue. Last month, the board sent the potential change back to the finance committee after a long discussion and a statement from the Brodhead publisher given through an editor who was present to cover the meeting.

Green County Clerk Mike Doyle told the board Tuesday the decision hinges on two factors: the papers' paid circulation and location. When asked by Kubly about a cost comparison, Doyle said pricing shouldn't be considered. Art Carter, board chair, noted maximum costs to publish notices from municipalities are set at the state level, though newspapers can choose to charge less.

"After I looked at it, I wasn't getting anywhere because the pricing is all over," Doyle said. "Some prices from Brodhead were less, some from Monroe were less."

The paid circulation for the weekly Independent-Register is 849 and for the daily Monroe Times it's 3,172, he said, adding, "Where is the public going to look for the notices?"

Board member Ted Fahey noted the Brodhead paper isn't as readily available for non-subscribers in the northern half of the county as the Monroe paper.

A letter sent to Doyle from Pete Cruger, publisher of the Independent-Register, was shared with the board. Cruger suggested the county should put out a request for bids each year to get the most competitive rates for publishing notices, "rather than choosing a vendor based on where they are located within the County."

"Maybe if the legislature has their way a few years down the road, we won't have anything in the paper, period," Carter said, referring to repeated pushes by state legislators to allow public notices to be posted solely on government websites instead of requiring their publication in print newspapers.