Wilmington News Journal: Marion Township joins online checkbook
Wilmington News Journal
By Nathan Kraatz
May 26, 2016
BLANCHESTER — Marion Township has joined more than a hundred other local governments in posting its financial data online through www.OhioCheckbook.com, state and local officials announced Wednesday.
To see how Marion Township’s money has been spent, visit www.mariontownshipclinton.ohiocheckbook.com/transparency. The data includes more than 2,900 transactions and more than $1.4 million of total spending since 2013.
“I believe the people of Clinton 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 Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel in a prepared statement. “By posting local government spending online, we are empowering taxpayers across Ohio to hold public officials accountable.”
“I am happy to participate in this program with the thought that the residents can better understand how their money is being spent and how hard we work as officials of the Township to provide the services they rely on,” said Marion Township Fiscal Officer Jean Richards in the same prepared statement.
Richards told the News Journal she also anticipates that the website will help township trustees by making it easier to see how money was spent on projects in different years.
Mandel launched the online checkbook initiative in December 2014. Since then, his office has offered to include local government entities’ data at no cost to those entities.
To date, the website displays more than $517 billion in spending over the past eight years, including more than 142 million transactions. Features include being able to categorize spending or revenue, see which vendors were paid how much and a search engine similar in use to Google.
Since the site launched, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group adjusted Ohio’s ranking in transparency from 46th to 1st in 2015 and in 2016, scoring perfect scores in both years.