By Dennis Hetzel, Executive Director

Dennis Hetzel

Hetzel

As most ONA members should know by now, uploading to the ONA public notices website will become mandatory in March 2015 as part of notice qualification.  However, you may need to upload certain types of notices to the site as soon as Sept. 15 this year.

At that time, newspapers that publish local notices may hear from governmental bodies to utilize the “abbreviated notice procedure” that was put into the law in 2011. The change in state law will make it easier for governmental bodies to do so since your act of uploading to the ONA site will satisfy part of the requirement.

The governmental body still will have to create a shortened, second notice for print. Nothing changes with the first, primary notice. Before, government officials had to do the work of uploading to a state government-run website, which will cease to exist in March as a result of the switch to the ONA site as the “official” one.

This option is available for those government notices that meet two conditions:

  1. There is more than one publication requirement.
  2. The statute requiring the notice specifically ties back to Section 7.16 of the Ohio Revised Code, which describes the “shortened procedure.”  This is optional to local government. If they utilize it, the second newspaper notice is a shortened, summary notice and no additional notices are needed.

This makes it all the more important that the minority of newspapers that have not signed up to begin uploading to the ONA site do so. To register, please fill out this form. Contact Jason Sanford, jsanford@ohionews.org, with any other issues and questions. It is easy, and automated feeds can be set up in almost all cases.

For more information, go to the “members only” area of the ONA website. The “shortened notice” procedure is outlined in detail in the latest version of the ONA’s “frequently asked questions” on public notices in Ohio.  We also have a one-page summary of upcoming changes in the law on the public notice website. Jason Sanford can help you if you need password access.

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