Fremont News Messenger: Gibsonburg puts financial records online
Fremont News Messenger
By Daniel Carson
April 21, 2016
GIBSONBURG - Village residents can now see how their tax dollars are being spent online, after Gibsonburg announced Thursday that its expenditures will be posted on OhioCheckbook.com.
The website is the brainchild of Treasurer Josh Mandel and the state's treasurer's office, and was launched in December 2014 to spotlight state government spending.
The treasurer's office started reaching out to local governments and school districts in April 2015 to partner with OhioCheckbook.com.
Jeff Holcomb, Gibsonburg's financial officer, said the treasurer's office contacted him in January about the village partnering with the site.
Seth Unger, a senior policy adviser in the state treasurer's office, demonstrated how OhioCheckbook.com works at Gibsonburg's village administration building Thursday. The website can break down expenditures on a month-to-month basis, he said, with individual checks for everything from office supplies to multimillion dollar projects.
Unger said the state wants to empower citizen watchdogs and let them see where their money is going locally.
"We think it's going to empower taxpayers, but it's also going to lead to more efficient government," Unger said.
Gibsonburg joins the Clyde-Green Springs school board and Woodville Township as the only Sandusky County government agencies to partner with OhioCheckbook.com.
Ottawa County is also a partner with the website, as well as the City of Port Clinton, Genoa Area Local Schools, the Village of Marblehead, Catawba Island Township and Danbury Township.
Unger said there are 663 government agencies in the state that post expenditures on the site.
According to the treasurer's office, Gibsonburg's online checkbook includes more than 12,000 individual transactions that represent more than $8.6 million of total spending since 2013.
Overall, OhioCheckbook.com displays more than $512 billion in spending from the past eight years from more than 139 million transactions statewide.