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Assistant Publisher under fire from Clarkston City Manager

June 18, 2014 - During a Clarkston City Council meeting, June 10, Don Rush was blamed for intentionally holding a legal notice from being published.

City Manager Carol Eberhardt claimed the long-time Sherman Publications Assistant Publisher intentionally held a notice which was mandated to be published at least 15 days before a city council meeting May 27.

"Don Rush intentionally held the public notice, and we just can't be having that," said Eberhardt. "There is clearly an issue with The Clarkston News. Don did not call for a week. Don had it in his hands for 10 days and he should have picked up the phone."

In response to the accusation, Rush said he did the city a favor when he saw the notice had the wrong date on it and pulled it from the newspaper before it was published with the wrong information.

Rush added he informed city officials they would need to use a daily newspaper to publish the notice to meet time constraints.

"I told them that because I know how important public notices are," he said. "I would never intentionally cause any problems with legal notices."

Rush on numerous occasions he has reached out to city officials so they would avoid violating the law when it comes to publishing notices.

In March, he reminded city staff numerous times a notice for a Board of Review hearing needed to be published at least 10 days prior to the meeting, which is only held twice a year for residents to protest taxes.

The Clarkston News also wrote a story about the Board of Review issue in the March 5 edition to inform residents the notice was printed in a Feb. 26 edition of The Oakland Press among the classifieds, merchandise and personal want ads.

In February, Rush and Sherman Publications Publisher Jim Sherman, Jr. also attended a city council meeting to forewarn how and when the notice legally needed to be published.

Earlier this year, and again at the June 9 city council meeting, Councilwoman Peg Roth asked why the city spent about $346 with 21st Century Newspapers, the parent company of the The Oakland Press rather than with The Clarkston News.

Roth said she believes the city council made it clear The Clarkston News was to be the first choice when publishing notices because it is a local business.

Rush added legal notices have historically been published in The Clarkston News and said when notices are published elsewhere, residents researching issues may have to travel out of Clarkston to review previously published notices.

In March, Councilwoman Sharon Catallo acknowledged The Clarkston News should be the first choice when it comes to publishing notices and The Oakland Press be used as just a backup.

Eberhardt and City of Clarkston Clerk Sandy Miller have both claimed they have only used the daily newspaper as a back-up.

Roth noted that while $345 was spent in The Oakland Press recently, she did not notice anything printed in The Clarkston News.

Eberhardt said she had to do it. "We had to meet a deadline by law," she said.

Staff writer covering Independence Township and Clarkston area.
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