Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 11-21-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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4 WOONSOCKET NOVEMBER 21-27, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE | NORTH SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET EDITION WOONSOCKET – Following a debate where the city's bidding process was questioned, the City Council on Monday chose The Valley Breeze for all legal advertising going forward. The measure, which passed by a 3-2 vote of councilors, will mean legal ads are placed in the weekly newspaper. By state law, munici- palities are required to place ads in a newspaper of general circulation to inform the public about various occurrences, including public hear- ings and other city business. Both The Call, which has traditionally held the legal advertising contract for the city, and The Breeze frequently report on city government and are read by residents of Woonsocket. On Aug. 5, city councilors voted 7-0 to solicit bids for a new advertis- ing contract. On Monday, councilors voted to award the contract to The Breeze after the weekly newspaper was the only publication to respond to the request. John Layton, an employee of The Call, told councilors the newspaper was unaware the city had issued a request for proposals for the contract. Though the newspaper was aware the city might be going forward with such a request, he said, they expected the city to place an ad in The Call informing the public that the bid was open. It was not until a week after the bid process closed on Oct. 21, he said, that newspaper staff became aware the bid period had passed. "We believe that the bidding proce- dures for the newspaper advertising bids violate the charter and the appli- cable law governing city purchasing," he said. After newspaper representatives informed the city they were unaware of the bid process, a second request for proposals was issued and adver- tised in The Call. That request was later withdrawn after the city deter- mined the first request was legal, according to City Solicitor John DeSimone. On Monday, The Call filed a legal complaint regarding the matter. In response to questions from Councilor David Soucy, DeSimone said the first request had been posted on city and state websites in accor- dance with state law. The law, he said, does not require the city to advertise the request in The Call, and in the past, the city has not made a practice of advertising requests for construction and other services. "We'll handle it in course. The bid was posted in both the city website and the state website, which is all that's required by law. So if they want to have a bid challenge, we'll fight it," he said. Councilors Daniel Gendron, Jon Brien and Denise Sierra voted 3-2 to award the bid to The Breeze, with Councilors Soucy and Alex Kithes voting against. Councilor John Ward, brother of former Breeze Publisher Tom Ward, recused himself from the vote, and Councilor James Cournoyer was absent. Jody Boucher, regional publisher and advertising director for The Call, told The Breeze in response to a request for comment on Tuesday the newspaper feels it has ample basis for challenging the bid procedure based on the city charter. "We strongly feel that in the inter- est of fairness, the city of Woonsocket owed The Call a courtesy of some type of outreach," she said. "Instead, the city, for reasons that are not entirely clear, did the bare minimum, perhaps hoping that the public solici- tation would escape our attention. Putting this on the city's website and the state's website isn't enough when you've been doing business with a hometown newspaper for decades – a common courtesy is owed by way of letter or some other explicit invita- tion to be involved in the process." City awards legal advertising to The Breeze By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer lauren@valleybreeze.com ABOUT US The Valley Breeze is a locally owned newspaper Office location: 6 Blackstone Valley Place, Suite #204, Lincoln, RI 02865 Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Closed weekends and holidays. Call us: 401-334-9555 Fax: 401-334-9994 Online: www.valleybreeze.com READER SERVICES DO YOU HAVE A STORY IDEA? Contact Reporter Lauren Clem at lauren@ valleybreeze.com or call 401-334-9555, ext. 138. 24-hour, 7-day voice mail. ADVERTISING – Call your sales representative, or Director of Sales Jack Birolini at 401-334- 9555, ext. 141 or email: jack@valleybreeze.com CLASSIFIEDS – Place ads at valleybreeze.com, or call 401-334-9555 during office hours. NEWS BRIEFS AND CALENDAR EVENTS Let others know about events sponsored by your non-profit organization, church or school. • Deadline: Entertainment news is Friday at noon. All other news is Monday 3 p.m. • Submit: We prefer receiving news via e-mail. Send yours to news@valleybreeze.com. You may also fax or mail your item. Receipt does not guarantee publication. Event marketing by for- profit businesses requires paid advertising. DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE? Share the good news of your births, engagements, weddings and anniversaries. This is a free service. Pictures will be returned upon request. • Get forms: Visit www.valleybreeze.com, click on "Celebrations" at left, and select a form; or call 401-334-9555; or stop by the office during business hours. OBITUARIES – Obituaries cost $90–$125. They are posted online immediately, and placed in the first available paper. Check with your funeral director for details. ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED STORY? All current stories remain free online for one week after print publication. Older stories are now archived online back to July 2001. We're sorry, but we have few back issues of papers in our offices and cannot provide free library services. • Online: Visit www.valleybreeze.com, and click on "Search The Breeze Archive." Use keywords to find old stories. Single stories cost $2.95 through our Newsbank partners. Multi-story packages, which provide lower costs per story, are also available. SUBSCRIPTIONS – The Valley Breeze may be delivered anywhere in the United States, in an envelope, by First Class mail only. The cost is $189 per year, or $4 per week. Phone 401-334-9555 for details. COPYRIGHTS – valleybreeze.com or its content may not be linked to any other Web site without the written permission of the publisher. News aggregators that solicit advertising may not link valleybreeze.com.

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