WHIZ: Zanesville and Dresden go transparent
WHIZ NBC Zanesville
By Karysa Kent
January 23, 2017
ZANESVILLE, Ohio – The City of Zanesville and Village of Dresden are now transparent.
Today the City of Zanesville and Village of Dresden launched their online checkbooks on OhioCheckbook.com. According to the State of Ohio’s Treasurers Office Zanesville has transactions that represent more than $297 million worth of spending and Dresden has transactions representing $5 million.
“Joey Osborn, a council member, actually took it to lead the charge on getting the [City of Zanesville] to do this formally,” said Deputy Director for the State of Ohio Treasurers Office, Dan Risko. “Pass a resolution and from there we started working together. The [Village of Dresden] Fiscal Officer was the one who we worked with and you know they are very excited, and that’s why they decided to come out tonight and join Zanesville in the announcement.”
This website can be accessed by anyone wanting to see where each dollar is spent. Risko said each local government chooses on how often their website will be updated and that Zanesville is planning on monthly updates and Dresden is planning on yearly updates.
“There’s no passwords needed, there’s no safe guards, what’s put out there is information sent by the local government to our office for us to build a website and no cost to local government,” Risko said. “We put it online. It’s utilizing technology to help local governments be more transparent for their tax payers and it’s been widely successful. Which is why we’re now over a thousand local governments that are working with us.”
Ohio Checkbook was launched in December 2014 and following that Ohio went from the 46th ranking of government transparency to the first and highest ranking. For the last two years Ohio has been ranked in the number one spot for best transparency.
“After we were named #1 people saw what we did and we’ve had numerous other states that contacted us that want to know how we did it and how we can help them do it,” Risko said. “So as the Treasurer [Josh Mandel] likes to say ‘We’ve set off a national race for transparency.”
The State Treasurer of Ohio plans on keeping their high ranking in Transparency, but they’re happy to have a close two or three if that’s what it takes to get other states to follow Ohio’s lead in Government Transparency.