Treasurer Josh Mandel Announces Launch of the Canton Local Schools and Perry Township Checkbooks on OhioCheckbook.com
Momentum Grows for Statewide Government Transparency with Over 690 Local Government and School Districts Partnering with OhioCheckbook.com
Press Release - Ohio Treasurer's Office
CANTON – Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel announced today the launch of the Canton Local School District and the Perry Township 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 government transparency ranking in the country for a second year in a row.
The Ohio Treasurer’s office was joined at today’s announcement by Canton Local Schools Treasurer Jason Schatzel, Superintendent Steve Milano, and Board of Education Members Scott Hamilton, Chris Cole and Dave Brothers. Canton Local Schools is the fourth school district in Stark County to post their spending on OhioCheckbook.com, and Perry Township is the eighth township in Stark County to post their spending on OhioCheckbook.com.
The following is a breakdown of today’s local government sites:
- Canton Local Schools’ online checkbook includes over 20,000 individual transactions that represent more than $30 million of total spending over the past Fiscal Year.
- Perry Township’s online checkbook includes over 7,700 individual transactions that represent more than $9.5 million of total spending over the past Fiscal Year.
“I believe the people of Stark 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.”
“The District is in the preliminary stages of developing a strategic plan with transparency being one of the key components of the plan,” said Canton Local Schools Treasurer Jason Schatzel. “OhioCheckbook.com will certainly improve the District’s fiscal transparency. In addition, our District has received tremendous support from our taxpayers with the November 2013 passage of a bond issue to build a new high school and with the March renewal of a 5 year, 10.8 mill levy for operating expenditures and permanent improvements. We owe it to our community to be fiscally responsible with the resources we receive and to be transparent in how we are spending those resources.”
“Canton Local is excited to start using the Treasurer of State’s OhioCheckbook.com,” said Canton Local Schools Board President Scott Hamilton. “This will further improve our transparency as we continuously strive to be fiscally responsible for our taxpayers. I would like to commend both the Treasurer of State’s office as well as Canton Local’s Treasurer, Jason Schatzel, for making this happen.”
“Perry Township is excited to join OhioCheckbook.com,” said the Board of Trustees in a joint statement. “The website’s use of interactive charts and graphs impressed us, and we are happy to provide our citizens with public information in an interactive format.”
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 May 17, 2016 there have been more than 539,000 total searches on the site.
OhioCheckbook.com displays more than $517 billion in spending over the past eight years, including more than 142 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.
In April 2016, U.S. PIRG announced that Treasurer Mandel earned Ohio the number one government transparency ranking in the country for the second consecutive year in a row. Due to the launch of OhioCheckbook.com, Ohio again received the highest perfect score of 100 points this year – marking the second time in two years Ohio received the highest possible 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: