Warren Tribune Chronicle: Warren, Liberty join Ohio spending site
Warren Tribune Chronicle
By Raymond Smith
February 3, 2017
Residents in Warren and Liberty and those who live in the Lordstown School District can view how their tax dollars are being spent because officials have placed their financials on OhioCheckbook.com.
There are 1,025 government entities and school districts on the website, which was launched in 2014 by Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel. Ohio has placed all its spending information on the internet.
Warren is the third city in Trumbull County to post its revenues and spending on OhioCheckbook.com. Warren City Council voted to join the statewide program in September.
“I want as many people as possible to see what we see when talking about the city’s budget,” said Councilman Eddie Colbert, D-at large, the finance committee chairman. “I have no doubt there always will be opinions on more ways to cut spending, but I don’t believe there is a large amount of waste in the budget. This will give residents the ability to see for themselves.”
Warren’s online checkbook includes more than 13,800 individual transactions that represent more than $26.8 million of total spending in 2016.
Lordstown is the sixth school district and Liberty is the third township in Trumbull County to join OhioCheckbook.com.
Liberty Township Trustee Jodi Stoyak said trustees started exploring the idea of joining the statewide site in October.
“We believe residents should know what we are spending their tax dollars on,” Stoyak said. “The more residents know about what we are spending and the amount of money we have, they will have a better understanding of why we are in fiscal caution.”
Liberty’s online checkbook includes more than 21,700 individual transactions representing more than $17.9 million of total spending over the past four years.
“The free and easy to use program is a great tool for our community and we hope they visit it,” Lordstown Schools Treasurer Mark Ferrara said.
The district’s checkbook includes more than 25,700 individual transactions that represent more than $22.9 million of total spending over the past three fiscal years.
“I believe the people of Trumbull County have a right to know how their tax money is being spent, and I applaud local leaders here for partnering with my office to post the finances on OhioCheckbook.com,” Mandel said. “By posting local government spending online, we are empowering taxpayers across Ohio to hold public officials accountable.”
OhioCheckbook.com displays more than $564 billion in spending over the past eight years, including more than 153 million transactions.
Anyone interested in viewing the finances in these communities should visit the local government option on OhioCheckbook.com.