Circleville Herald: Williamsport, Muhleberg Township post checkbooks online
By Steven Collins
April 21, 2017
WILLIAMSPORT— Residents of Williamsport and Muhlenberg Township can now view their local governments’ interactive checkbooks online.
Both the Village of Williamsport and Muhlenberg Township have an interactive, searchable and detailed account of their purchases and income that are available to anyone for viewing.
In December 2014, Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel launched OhioCheckbook.com, which put all state spending information on the internet. OhioCheckbook.com recently earned Ohio the number one government transparency ranking in the country for the second year in a row.
Williamsport is the fifth village in Pickaway County to post its spending on OhioCheckbook.com, and Muhlenberg Township is the second township in Pickaway County to post their spending on OhioCheckbook.com. Others include New Holland, Ashville, and Circleville. Pickaway County also has it’s budget online.
“I believe the people of Pickaway 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.”
Willaimsport online checkbook includes 9,700 individual transactions that represent more than $3.3 million in total spending over the last five years.
“The Village of Williamsport is proud to join other entities in Pickaway County as leaders in transparency,” said Williamsport Mayor Ed Cox. “Joining this initiative is a reflection of our continued commitment to fiscal responsibility.”
Muhlenberg Township includes over 3,100 transactions and represents more than $1.1 million in total spending over the last four years.
Just over two years ago in April 2015, Mandel sent a letter to local government and school officials asking them to put their financial information on the website. There are no costs for the partnership to the local entities. These local governments include cities, counties, townships, schools, library districts and other special districts.
Among the coalition of statewide and local government organizations have expressed support for OhioCheckbook.com and local government transparency, include the Ohio Muncipal League, the Ohio Township Association, County Auditor Association of Ohio, the Ohio Newspaper association and the Ohio Society of CPAs, to name a few.
To visit the site and look over any records go to ohiocheckbook.com
OhioCheckbook.com displays more than $585 billion in spending over the past nine years, including more than 159 million transactions. The website includes features such as contextual search capabilities’ allowing for sorting by keyword, department, category or vendor, interactive charts, comparative abilities to see spending year over year or among agency and the ability to share on social media as well as directly being able to contact agency fiscal offices.
In Dec. 2016, Mandel announced that he is running for U.S. Senate. He hopes to challenge Democrat Sherrod Brown in 2018.