During this week of Sunshine — a week dedicated to the importance of public records and information to you and your daily life — it’s critical to consider public notices, as well.

It’s understandable that for many people, reading the public notices in the classified section of the newspaper is about as dry as dust as reading material can come. But if you haven’t considered how important public notices are to your daily life, you should.

Public notices contain information about activities and events that impact residents’ lives because of governmental actions or requirements. They include such important actions as government hearings and meetings; zoning, annexation and land use changes; election notices; municipal budgets, taxes and special assessment information; requests for bids on government construction and service contracts; permit and licensing applications, land and water use regulations; judicial and executive sales and disposal of foreclosed and abandoned property.

Equally as important, public notices include information about creditors; notices of public sale; information seeking relief in a divorce; or even the service of process for termination of parental right when a parent is unknown.

Important information indeed — and important because all of these notices are things that happen in Cullman County.

Because of information such as public notices, the Alabama legislature has recognized the need and right of the public to be informed about these activities and events. As a result, public notices and legal ads are published in print newspapers to effectively disseminate this important information throughout their communities while also providing historical preservation and easy public access.

To underscore this importance, consider this from the Alabama Press Association: “Public notices serve as a conduit of information from the government to the public. They enable citizens to monitor the actions of their local governments, as well as to keep track of events occurring in the local court system. Public notices allow citizens to serve as watchdogs for fraud and incompetence by both government officials and private interests. Each year, examples of fraud are discovered by citizens who read their public notices.”

All of this is why public and legal notices are required to be printed in the newspaper of record in the communities they serve — a form of information that can’t be manipulated, altered or lost to time. Each week, public and legal notices are printed — and preserved — in The Cullman Times.

But what about access? Of course, many readers find the print version of public notices not only as a means of preservation, but also as a preferable reading format.

Others may prefer the ability of accessing public and legal notices online.

At The Cullman Times, we recognize that both types of readers deserve the format they desire. Remember, this information is important. This is why that, in addition to our print newspaper, we offer every member of our community the access to search public notices on our website for free via a link at the top of the home page at https://www.cullmantimes.com/.

Additionally, though, we’ve taken the extra step to partner with the Alabama Press Association to provide all of our public and legal notices on its statewide database. By visiting AlabamaPublicNotices.com, readers can easily and at no charge access The Cullman Times or Cullman County public notices with a minimal number of keystrokes.

Preservation, access and information — three watchwords that guide our commitment to you, our readers, at The Cullman Times.

And most importantly, three words that also guide the decisions you make — every single day.

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