Pike County News Watchman: Village of Beaver launches online checkbook
Pike County News Watchman
By Stephanie Stanley
March 25, 2016
Officials from the Village of Beaver met with representatives from Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel's office on Tuesday, March 22, for "a major announcement regarding government transparency." Recently, the Village of Beaver joined Piketon to become the second Pike County government entity to partner with the Treasurer's office in giving citizens access to information regarding spending by posting information at OhioCheckbook.com.
Across the state, over 600 local governments and school districts have joined in the effort to promote government transparency through OhioCheckbook.com, said Mandel.
“By posting local government spending online, we are empowering taxpayers across Ohio to hold public officials accountable," Mandel said.
In attendance at Tuesday's meeting, held at the Beaver Village Office, were Beaver Mayor Jason Traylor, Fiscal Officer Cheryl Overly, and Council President Nashanda Bobst, council members Brian Cooper, and William Roberts, as well as Ohio Treasurer's Office Deputy Chief of Staff Eric Ochmanek and Lauren Bowen, public affairs liason.
"Beaver Village is proud to announce our participation with OhioCheckbook.com," said Beaver Mayor Jason Traylor. "This is a great tool that will allow all villagers, as well as Ohioans, to see exactly how their tax dollars are being spent."
OhioCheckbook.com was launched in December 2014 by Treasurer Mandel and "for the first time in Ohio history, put all state spending information on the internet", earning Ohio the number one ranking in the country for government transparency.
The Village of Piketon placed its spending information online via OhioCheckbook.com in early January 2016.
"I believe the people of Pike 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 their finances on OhioCheckbook.com," said Treasurer Mandel.
18,062 local government and school officials throughout the state were contacted by Treasurer Mandel via letter on April 7, 2015, and were invited to partner with his office and place their information on the online checkbook at no cost to local governments, including cities, counties, townships, schools, library districts, and other special districts.
"We launched OhioCheckbook.com to empower citizens to see how their tax dollars are being spent and to provide public officials with a tool to improve efficiency," stated Mandel in the letter. "Since its launch a couple months ago, the public's reception to this new search tool has been overwhelmingly positive."
According to Mandel's office, since March 21, 2016, over 486,000 searches have taken place on the "user-friendly" site, which displays over $512 billion in spending over the past eight years.
Piketon's online checkbook currently includes over 11,000 individual transactions totalling over $6 million in spending over a four-year period. Beaver's online checkbook now includes over 3,000 transactions totalling over $1 million in spending over the past three years.
For more information or to view local government websites, visit "Local Government" on OhioCheckbook.com, or go to Beaver.OhioCheckbook.com or Piketon.OhioCheckbook.com.