The Wapakoneta Daily News: City, village put checkbooks online
The Wapakoneta Daily News
By Tom Wehrhahn
January 21, 2016
The City of Wapakoneta and the Village of Waynesfield joined approximately 473 local governments and school districts in participating in the state’s online open checkbook program.
OhioCheckbook.com was established in 2014 by State Treasurer Josh Mandel as a way to improve transparency in state government. In April, 2015, Mandel invited local government and school entities to participate. These local governments included cities, counties, townships, schools, library districts and other special districts.
According to a news release, OhioCheckbook.com 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.
Present at Wednesday’s announcement were Wapakoneta Mayor Tom Stinebaugh, City Council’s Finance Committee Members Bonnie Wurst and James Neumeier and Council members Chad Doll and Daniel Lee.
Stinebaugh commented on the benefits of participating in the program.
“The City of Wapakoneta is excited to lead the transparency effort in Auglaize County,” Stinebaugh said. “Our ability to share financial information easily to the public will help us build trust with our community over time.”
Doll spoke on behalf of council and the city’s effort to share information with constituents. “I believe Wapakoneta’s participation in the online checkbook program is a great step in promoting increased transparency in government,” Doll said. “The availability of this financial information will not only promote accountability in government, but can be a tool for a better informed electorate. That can only strengthen our elected, representative system of government.”
Wapakoneta’s online checkbook includes over 11,000 individual transactions that represent more than $33.8 million of total spending over Fiscal Year 2014.
A representative from the Village of Waynesfield was unable to attend. However, Council President Richard Hardin commented prior to the announcement ceremony that, “The Village of Waynesfield understands that being transparent with our community is important. With OhioCheckbook.com, our taxpayers can see where their hard earned dollars are going.”
Some of the features of the system include:
- “Google-style” contextual search capabilities, to allow users to sort by keyword, department, categoryor vendor;
- Interactive charts to drill down on spending;
- Functionality to compare 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.
For more information or to view the local site, visit the Local Government option on OhioCheckbook.com or click on: Wapakoneta.OhioCheckbook.com or Waynesfield.OhioCheckbook.com.
At present, the Wapakoneta system is scheduled to be updated monthly. Not all line items in the budget are available at this time.