Delphos Herald: Ottoville goes live with financials on web
By Kay Louth
April 28, 2016
OTTOVILLE — In Putnam County, it was Ottoville, followed closely by Ottawa that first enrolled in and used the state’s latest transparency effort, ohiocheckbook.com. Ottoville, it turns out, is a trendsetter.
Ohiocheckbook.com offers any Ohio government entity the opportunity to put all of its financial records on line at its own page on ohiocheckbook.com. This transparency project was led by the state’s Treasurer Josh Mandel. The website was first launched in Dec. 2014.
Ottoville Mayor Ron Miller was on hand today along with representatives from the state treasurer’s office, Deputy Chief of Staff Eric Ochmanek and Public Affairs and Project Management Officer Andrew Coutts, to officially launch the village’s web page ottoville.ohiocheckbook.com.
“I think its right for the people to know what’s going on,” Mayor Miller said. “They can go online without having to come in.”
The mayor was quick to praise Fiscal Officer Jeanne Wannamacher, explaining it was Wannamacher that did all the work of getting the village’s financials online.
At ohiocheckbook.com, visitors can check and see what the state is doing with the taxpayer’s dollars and at ottoville.ohiocheckbook.com, visitors can see the village’s expenditures, not just in dollars and cents, but also in various charts such as pie charts, stacked bar charts and other styles as well. And visitors can also check out a check, a representative check used to pay an invoice. If a visitor wanted to see how much the village pays for street maintenance or street light maintenance or anything else village related, they would find that information online.
“The Village of Ottoville is one of the first in transparency within Putnam County to give our residents the opportunity to understand how their money is spent,” Wannamacher said.
Until ohiocheckbook.com was launched Ohio ranked 46th in financial transparency by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and now, for two years in a row, U.S. PIRG ranks Ohio first.
Mandel applauded local leaders for partnering with the Treasurer’s office to post the finances on a public forum like the Internet.
” By posting local government spending online, we are empowering taxpayers across Ohio to hold public officials accountable,” Mandel said.
At the village level, ottoville.ohiocheckbook.com, around a million dollars worth of transactions are broken down by dollar amount, by chart and check. At the state level, visitors will find more than $512 billion accounting for eight years of expenditures. The state website has more than 520,000 searches on the site.