Defiance Crescent News: Defiance city financial transactions now online
Defiance Crescent News
February 15, 2017
Defiance has joined a state website promoting government transparency.
Andrew Coutts of Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel's office met with city officials Tuesday morning to kick off Defiance's participation in the website Ohiocheckbook.com.
The city becomes the fourth entity in Defiance County to participate. Expenditures of three other entities in Defiance County (the villages of Ney and Hicksville as well as the Ayersville Water and Sewer District) already were on the website.
Defiance's fiscal transactions will be placed on the website on a monthly basis, according to city finance director John Lehner. These will be sent to the state treasurer's office which will add the data to the website.
Defiance's transactions go back two years, according to Coutts.
While providing citizens with access to city expenditures, Coutts called the website a "tremendous tool internally" for city officials as they can easily make year-over-year comparisons, he indicated, and compare transactions to other similar-sized communities.
The cities of Findlay, Fostoria and Wapakoneta are among those already online while others are soon to follow.
Lehner said among his colleagues there had been a "tremendous amount of skepticism" about participating in the website early on. However, "my sense is that's almost completely gone," he added.
Coutts explained that more than 1,000 public Ohio entities are participating in, or committed to, the website.
As of Tuesday morning, this includes 78 cities and villages, 27 counties and 113 school districts.
Outside of Defiance County this includes Henry County as well as the villages of Liberty Center, Malinta, Miller City, Ottoville, Scott, Stryker and the townships of Auglaize (Paulding County) and Chesterfield (Fulton County).
Participating local school districts include Holgate, Kalida, the Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center and Wayne Trace.
Henry County Common Pleas Court and Napoleon Municipal Court also have their transactions on the website.
The list of participating entities can be viewed on the Ohiocheckbook.com website.