Lorain Morning Journal: Lorain County first to join OhioCheckbook.com
Lorain Morning Journal
By Adriana Adkins
May 4, 2015
Lorain County officials are taking the advice of Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel and putting the county’s checkbook online, falling in line with the state.
On May 4, Lorain County commissioners Lori Kokoski, Matt Lundy and Ted Kalo appeared with Mandel to announce they were supportive of a push for transparency and will use OhioCheckbook.com, which is aimed at shedding light on state and local government spending and making it more transparent.
State Sen. Gayle Manning (District 13) and state Rep. Nathan Manning (District 55), both North Ridgeville Republicans, also were present.
“I believe the people of Lorain County have a right to know how their tax money is being spent and I applaud local leaders here for partnering with the treasurer’s office to post their finances on OhioCheckbook.com,” Mandel said. “My vision is to create an army of citizen watchdogs who are empowered to hold public officials accountable.
As a former state representative, Lundy said he thinks the website is a great idea and looks forward to the county’s partnership with the state to support transparency in government.
“Having served with Treasurer Mandel in Columbus, I am pleased to have our county partner with his office to promote government transparency,” Lundy said. “Transparency is critical to government accountability.”
Kokoski said the website is a great tool for county residents curious about how their tax dollars are spent.
“The Treasurer’s OhioCheckbook initiative provides a great opportunity for us to improve transparency in county government,” she said. “By simply going online, county taxpayers will be able to see how their tax dollars are being spent.”
Since making this information available to constituents Dec. 2, Mandel said the state has improved its transparency ranking to first from 46th place in the country.
Aside from Lorain County, OhioCheckbook.com has received support from the Ohio Municipal League Ohio Township Association, Ohio Association of School Business Officials, Buckeye Association of School Administrators, Buckeye Institute, Common Cause Ohio, County Commissioner Association of Ohio, County Auditor Association of Ohio, Ohio Newspaper Association and the Ohio Society of CPAs.
The website marks the first time in Ohio’s history that constituents can easily access and view each and every expense in state government.
The goal of the website, Mandel said, is to give Ohioans the ability to research and share over $408 billion in checkbook-level state spending from within the past seven years.