A newspaper's mistake is causing Mesa officials to postpone nine items slated for Monday's City Council meeting.
The Phoenix-based Arizona Republic on Saturday failed to publish legal notices of six ordinances and three annexations the council was set to vote on Monday. Instead, the newspaper published legal ads from the previous Saturday, according to Mesa officials.
The City Charter requires that legal notices be published at least six days before the council votes to adopt an ordinance. For annexations, state law requires legal notices to be published within 15 days after land owners file annexation petitions.
Steve Wilson, a Republic deputy managing editor, referred questions to the newspaper's advertising department. The advertising department didn't return calls Thursday.
Mayor Keno Hawker expressed disappointment Thursday, saying the mistake may cost developers and land owners thousands of dollars because the items will have to be rescheduled for the Sept. 22 meeting.
Four ordinances were to rezone land for construction of a hotel, a bank, an office and industrial buildings. Two ordinances were to create a rehabilitation code for old buildings, and to set higher fees for false burglar alarms. The annexations involved 228 acres in county islands in east Mesa.
Hawker said he wants to change the City Charter to allow more than one publication date for ordinances. The mayor also floated the idea of publishing in two newspapers.
"I don't want it to happen again," Hawker said later Thursday. "It's just not fair to applicants and people who have zoning cases who work their schedules around to be at those meetings."
Various city offices uses either the Tribune or the Republic to publish notices required by law, but the Mesa City Clerk's Office has used the Republic for its notices in recent years. This the first time multiple agenda items had to be postponed in Mesa because of a newspaper error, said City Clerk Barbara Jones.
The city clerk's office switched from the Tribune to the Republic for legal advertising on Aug. 1, 1999, after several publishing errors. Jones said she may consider switching back because of the recent mix-up.
Since changing newspapers, the city clerk's office has spent $28,894.42 on legal notices in the Republic, records indicate.
In February 1998, the Chandler City Council postponed the introduction of seven ordinances for two weeks because the Tribune failed to publish the required legal notices.