Sandusky Register: Local governments and a school soon to release financial transactions
City of Sandusky and others join with Josh Mandel in OhioCheckbook.com
By Melissa Topey
August 27, 2015
The city of Sandusky, Sandusky City Schools, the city of Huron and Erie County will soon have there spending and budgets available for review on OhioCheckbook.com
Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel made the announcement Thursday at the Regional Firelands Economic Development Forum at Bowling Green State University Firelands campus. These are the first entities in Erie County to be in a partnership with the Ohio Treasurer's office.
“This partnership with the treasurer's office allows us to make our financial information easily available to the public. This transparency will help us build credibility and trust with our constituents over time. That trust is critical to gaining public support for the critical public investments we will have to make to secure a bright future for Sandusky,” Wobser said.
Mandel launched OhioCheckbook.com with the goal of government transparency by putting all state spending information online for anyone to review. OhioCheckbook.com allows anyone to conduct searches by state agency, vendors and expense type.
Mandel on April 7 sent a letter to 18,062 local government and school officials throughout Ohio to place their checkbook data on the site.
“We want to empower taxpayers to hold officials accountable,” Mandel said calling for other municipalities and agencies large and small to release their financial information as well.
Currently for these local municipalities only interactions with the state are available for review.
The city of Sandusky has already entered all its financial data for at least the last five years and are moving on to trial runs, said Hank Solowiej, finance director. They hope to have all information public by the end of the year.
Sandusky city schools were excited as well to join.
They anticipate downloading financial data for fiscal years 2014 and 2015. They will then move forward, starting with 2016, from there with future releases of information.
“We look forward to offering this service for our shareholders,” said Gina Deppert, treasurer Sandusky city schools in a prepared statement. “We are proud to be the first school district in Erie County to join this collaborative effort.”
City manager Andy White surprised Mandel when he said Huron would enter into the partnership as well.
White hopes to have some of Huron's financial information on line by the end of the year as well.