Treasurer Josh Mandel Announces Launch of Clark County Local Government and School Checkbooks on OhioCheckbook.com
Momentum Grows for Statewide Government Transparency with Over 500 Local Government and School Districts Partnering with OhioCheckbook.com
Press Release - Ohio Treasurer's Office
SPRINGFIELD – Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel announced today the launch of the Springfield Township, Madison Township, Village of Catawba and the Tecumseh Local Schools online checkbooks on OhioCheckbook.com. In December 2014, 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.
The Ohio Treasurer’s office was joined at today’s announcement by Springfield Township Fiscal Officer Mike Hively, Village of Catawba Former Mayor Mark Skiba, Madison Township Fiscal Officer Bonnie Stout and Tecumseh Local Schools Treasurer Debra Schock.
Springfield Township, the Village of Catawba and Madison Township are the first local governments in Clark County to post their spending on OhioCheckbook.com and Tecumseh Local Schools is the sixth school district in Clark County to partner with the Treasurer’s office to post their spending on OhioCheckbook.com.
The following is a breakdown of today’s local government sites:
- Springfield Township’s online checkbook includes over 4,000 individual transactions that represent more than $9 million of total spending over the past three years.
- Madison Township’s online checkbook includes over 5,000 individual transactions that represent more than $1 million of total spending over the past three years.
- The Village of Catawba’s online checkbook includes over 2,000 individual transactions that represent more than $374,000 of total spending over the past three years.
- Tecumseh Local Schools’ online checkbook includes over 41,000 individual transactions that represent more than $43 million of total spending over the past two Fiscal Years.
“I believe the people of Clark 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,” said Treasurer Mandel. “By posting local government spending online, we are empowering taxpayers across Ohio to hold public officials accountable.”
“Springfield Township is looking forward to participating in OhioCheckbook.com,” said Springfield Township Fiscal Officer Mike Hively. “OhioCheckbook.com is the perfect source to share Public Records with the residents of Springfield Township showing where the Trustees authorize their tax dollars to be spent. Not only will the taxpayers see the names of vendors and the amounts they are paid, but they will able to click on graphs depicting total expenses for the Road , Fire, Medic Departments, and the General Fund.”
“This is public information and we agreed as a trustee board to make is available online,” said Madison Township Fiscal Officer Bonnie Stout.
“I felt that we should leverage technology to make information about public money easily accessible,” said Village of Catawba Mayor Mark Skiba. “Now this information is available to the people of the village whenever they want it.”
“The Board and Administration of Tecumseh Local Schools are committed to fiscal responsibility and transparency with our community,” said Tecumseh Local Schools Treasurer Debra Schock. “Signing on to OhioCheckbook.com allows us to reaffirm our dedication to those important principles at no cost to the district. We want to thank the Treasurer for offering this opportunity to further demonstrate our commitment to wisely managing the taxpayers’ investment in education and communicating important financial information to our community.”
On April 7, 2015 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.
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 February 9, 2016 there have been more than 458,000 total searches on the site.
OhioCheckbook.com displays more than $506 billion in spending over the past eight years, including more than 137 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 2015, 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 or to view your local government website, visit the Local Government option on OhioCheckbook.com or click on: