By Brian Roebke
Due to legislation introduced by Senator Rob Cowles (R-Green Bay), the Wrightstown Area Spirit is now the official newspaper of the Village of Wrightstown because of Senate Bill 51, which passed and was signed by Gov. Tony Evers on May 24.
Senate Bill 51 was designed to adapt to changes in the print media market, expanding the number of newspapers that may publish legal notices and brings notices online to create more accessibility and accountability.
The Spirit is a requester paper (free if requested), with 1,057 homes in the village of Wrightstown receiving the paper. The previous newspaper of record, The Brillion News, is received by 39 households in the village.
This means Wrightstown residents have much more transparency in following their local government.
Previously, only newspapers with paid subscribers were able to serve as official newspapers for meeting posting requirements of governmental units, regardless of their location.
“Brillion was our only paid subscription and they do a great job of covering our community too, but if we’re really trying to be more transparent out there it just makes sense to go with hitting more than a thousand people,” Village Administrator Travis Coenen said. “We’ll still continue to try advertising or support both.”
Cost was not a factor in the decision, since publication rates are set by the State of Wisconsin’s Department of Administration.
“We felt more citizens would see the notices within the Spirit versus The Brillion News,” Coenen told the village board before its vote at last week’s meeting.
Village President Dean Erickson noted the notices will now be more accessible to village residents.
Editor’s note: The Wrightstown Area Spirit had no knowledge of this legislation until after it was signed by the governor.
By Brian Roebke