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December 16, 1970
Honorable Al Henry
State Senator, 17th District
White Salmon, Washington 98672
Cite as: AGLO 1970 No. 159
This is written in response to your recent letter requesting our opinion on a question which we paraphrase as follows:
Where, in the case of a third class city, no newspaper is published within such city (although newspapers published in adjacent or neighboring cities are of general circulation therein), how are the proposed ordinances of such city to be published?
The governing statute with respect to your question is RCW 35.24.220, which provides as follows:
"Every ordinance of a city of the third class shall be published at least once in a newspaper published in the city, such publication to be made in the city's official newspaper if there is one. If there is no official newspaper or other newspaper published in the city then publication shall be made by printing and posting the ordinance in at least three public places in the city in such manner as the city council may direct."
This statute has recently been construed by the Washington supreme court, in the case of City of Medina v. Rose, 69 Wn.2d 448, 418 P.2d 462 (1966), to mean
". . . that where no newspaper is printed in the city, posting is the only, and therefore the necessary, means of publication. . . ."
In your letter you have indicated that the city attorney of the city in question has tentatively advised [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] the city council that, in his opinion, all proposed city ordinances must be published in a newspaper of general circulation within the city ‑ and that posting is not the correct method of publication. While we would not, by means of an advisory opinion of this office, purport to supplant the role of a city attorney in providing legal counsel for a city council or other municipal officers, we would suggest that the city attorney's attention be called to the Medina case, supra, for his consideration in advising on the question which has been presented to him.
It is hoped that the foregoing will be of some assistance to you.
Very truly yours,
FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
Philip H. Austin
Assistant Attorney General