Editor’s note: Jack is taking over the column this week.

The state attorney general’s office writes pamphlets for the benefit of public officials “and those who monitor the performance of local legislative bodies.” That’s us, the press. The only medium that regularly monitors the performance of Hill legislative bodies is the TC.

By our count, there are at least 10 local legislative bodies whose decisions affect all of us who live or work on the Hill. Most of our readers can’t attend their meetings, which is exactly why we do.

Those of us on the Hill who own businesses have a particular interest in monitoring what our local agencies are doing because our local agencies affect our businesses and the livelihoods of each of us and our employees.

To keep receiving this coverage, we need a real newspaper alive and healthy on the Hill — “a watchdog that reports the bad with the good: warns of danger, advises of opportunity, challenges authority, praises accomplishment, investigates irregularity, marvels at art, exposes abuse, celebrates lives, and publishes its readership’s letters. Indeed, if a publication does not do all those things it may be something else, but it’s not a newspaper.” (Town Crier, Dec. 3, 2009)

We wish we could monitor every move our local agencies make, but we don’t have the resources to do that. We do our best to cover the actions of those bodies that affect us most, particularly in matters of controversy.

It’s no secret that when Becky and I bought the TC a year ago, it hadn’t made money in years. (This does not reflect on Grace at all. Because of the recession, the paper already was not making money before Grace took it over.) Our goal since we bought the paper has been to turn that around because, for us, the Hill without the TC is unthinkable. Although things are looking better, we haven’t yet achieved that goal. But with the currently improving economy and the positive direction of the housing market, we hope to soon see the increased advertising we need to keep the TC alive and healthy.

As we have pointed out in the past, newspaper subscriptions barely pay the cost of postage. They don’t begin to cover the cost of covering and publishing the local news we all need to know. That cost must be covered by our regular, weekly advertisers. So we all have them to thank for the local coverage you get in the Town Crier.

A few of our advertisers truly understand this. They advertise in the TC because they know the importance to themselves and their employees of maintaining a real newspaper on the Hill for the good of this community — and they profit from the extra business they gain by so doing.

So, who needs local news? We all do.

This is why we ask you, our readers, to reward our regular, weekly advertisers by actively patronizing their businesses. As business people, they understand their advertising is key to keeping a real, healthy newspaper on the Hill, so please go out of your way to support them. And when you do, please give them a big thank you for their weekly TC advertising. It keeps your only local newspaper coming.

Jack Clark