Treasurer Josh Mandel Announces Partnership with Brunswick City Schools as First Entity in Medina County to Post Checkbook on OhioCheckbook.com
BRUNSWICK – Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel stood today with Brunswick City School officials and announced a partnership between the Ohio Treasurer’s office and the first local government in Medina County to place their spending online at OhioCheckbook.com. Last year, Treasurer Mandel launched OhioCheckbook.com, which sets a new national standard for government transparency and for the first time in Ohio history puts all state spending information on the internet. OhioCheckbook.com recently earned Ohio the number one ranking in the country for government transparency.
Treasurer Mandel was joined at today’s announcement by State Senator Larry Obhof (District – 22), Brunswick City Schools Treasurer Patrick East and Board of Education Members Richard Nowak, Tammy Schebek and Grant Relic. Brunswick City Schools is the first entity in Medina County to partner with OhioCheckbook.com. Brunswick City Schools is also the eighth school district in Ohio and second district in Northeast Ohio to announce a partnership with the Treasurer’s office to place their spending online.
On April 7th, Treasurer Mandel sent a letter to 18,062 local government and school officials representing 3,962 local governments throughout the state calling on them to place their checkbook level data on OhioCheckbook.com and extending an invitation to partner with his office at no cost to local governments. These local governments include cities, counties, townships, schools, library districts and other special districts.
“I believe the people of Medina County have a right to know how their tax money is being spent and I applaud local leaders here for partnering with the Treasurer’s office to post their finances on OhioCheckbook.com,” said Treasurer Mandel. “My vision is to create an army of citizen watchdogs who are empowered to hold public officials accountable.”
“I am glad to see Brunswick stepping up to be one of the leaders in providing information to the voters, and assuring them that their tax dollars are being managed wisely,” said Senator Larry Obhof (District – 22).
“We are pleased to partner with the State Treasurer in his new initiative, OhioCheckbook.com,” said Brunswick City School Treasurer Patrick East. “It is important for all governmental entities to have transparency in financial transactions. This will enable our taxpayers and residents to more easily access pertinent data and expenditure information. This will augment the current financial reports we provide on the district's website.”
“The Brunswick Board of Education is proud to support State Treasurer Mandel's OhioCheckbook.com initiative,” said Brunswick Board of Education President Richard Nowak. “It is important that all public entities be accountable to its constituents. We encourage our Treasurer, Mr. East to implement this program in an effort to be totally transparent.”
A large coalition of statewide and local government organizations have expressed support for OhioCheckbook.com and local government transparency, including:
- Ohio Municipal League
- Ohio Township Association
- Ohio Association of School Business Officials
- Buckeye Association of School Administrators
- County Commissioner Association of Ohio
- County Auditor Association of Ohio
- Ohio Newspaper Association
- Ohio Society of CPAs
- Buckeye Institute
- Common Cause Ohio
OhioCheckbook.com was launched on December 2, 2014, marking the first time in Ohio history when citizens could actually see every expenditure in state government. Since its launch, OhioCheckbook.com has received overwhelming support from newspapers and groups across the state and, as of July 1, 2015, there have been more than 249,000 total searches on the site.
OhioCheckbook.com displays more than $408 billion in spending over the past seven years, including more than 112 million transactions. The website includes cutting-edge features such as:
- “Google-style” contextual search capabilities, to allow users to sort by keyword, department, category or vendor;
- Fully dynamic interactive charts to drill down on state spending;
- Functionality to compare state spending year-over-year or among agencies; and,
- Capability to share charts or checks with social media networks, and direct contact for agency fiscal offices.
In March, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) released their annual “Following the Money 2015” report and Treasurer Mandel earned Ohio the number one transparency ranking in the country for providing online access to government spending data. Ohio was prominently featured in the report after climbing from 46th to 1st in spending transparency as a result of Treasurer Mandel’s release of OhioCheckbook.com. Due to the launch of OhioCheckbook.com, Ohio received a perfect score of 100 points this year – the highest score in the history of the U.S. PIRG transparency rankings.
The Treasurer’s office is partnering with OpenGov, a leading Silicon Valley government technology company, to provide residents of Ohio the ability to view and search local government expenditures in a user-friendly, digital format. “Ohio is setting the standard for financial transparency on an unprecedented scale. We are excited to partner with the Treasurer’s office to bring world-class technology to communities large and small across the state,” said Zachary Bookman, CEO of OpenGov.
For more information visit OhioCheckbook.com.