Haddonfield Sun Beats Out What's On for Borough Newsletter Printing
Haddonfield commissioners commit to $7,800 contract to print Municipal Matters for the next year.
The Haddonfield Board of Commissioners approved a plan this week to pay $7,800 over the next year to print the borough newsletter, Municipal Matters, in the Haddonfield Sun.
The contract was a coup for the Sun, which beat out David Hunter, publisher of What's On Haddonfield, even though it was Hunter who designed the new layout for the newsletter and pitched it, unsolicited, to the commissioners earlier this summer. Hunter's price was $9,100 to publish the newsletter twice a month for 26 weeks, $1,300 more than the Sun.
"If you want to save $1,300, then go with the Sun," said Commissioner Tish Colombi, the mayor.
The commissioners unanimously approved the contract with the Sun, after splitting in July when Colombi and Commissioner Ed Borden favored Hunter and Commissioner Jeff Kasko preferred the borough produce and distribute the newsletter itself on its website. Kasko then convinced the commissioners to seek a competing bid from the Sun.
The division split party lines. Kasko and Colombi are Republicans. Borden is a Democrat. All run without party affiliation in nonpartisan elections.
The total cost for producing Municipal Matters will be $11,700. That includes $3,900 for the Suasion Communications Group to write it. Suasion also has a contract with the borough's tax-funded business improvement district, the Partnership for Haddonfield, which pays it $2,400 a month for media services. Earlier published reports said Suaison's cost per newsletter was $210. The $3,900 cost is $150 per newsletter. Officials did not explain the difference.
The cost for producing the newsletter will nearly double from $7,000 budgeted last year.
The scrum over the borough newsletter spans nearly two decades. Hunter had produced it every year until the Sun under bid him last year. Hunter had been paid up to $20,000 some years to write it and produce other public relations material for Haddonfield. He also printed it in What's On Haddonfield for free.
When the Sun won the contract last year, Hunter stopped publishing the newsletter. The Sun also then stopped publishing the newsletter for free. Colombi said her interest in having it published again was that borough residents were used to getting municipal information in the publications, which are delivered for free to most households and businesses.
Borden called the Sun's previous media contract "a colossal failure."
Borough Administrator Sharon McCullough said the Sun reported a circulation of 6,691 homes and 527 businesses in Haddonfield. What's On reported 4,342 residences and 595 businesses in the borough. Borden said Haddonfield has about 4,000 residences. The Sun also publishes more weeks out of the year than What's On, borough officials said.