People's Defender: Wayne Township and Manchester join OhioCheckbook.com
By Patricia Beech
August 11, 2016
The village of Manchester and Wayne Township have joined hundreds of Ohio villages, townships and counties in providing its citizens easy access to local government finances by launching their online checkbooks with OhioCheckbook.com.
The website, created by Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, has set a new national standard for government transparency by putting all state and local spending information on the internet. According to the Treasurer’s office, the program has earned Ohio the number one government transparency ranking in the country for the second year in a row.
“I believe the people of Adams 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,” Mandel said. “By posting local government spending online, we are empowering taxpayers across Ohio to hold public officials accountable.”
Dan Risko of the Treasurer’s office met on Tuesday, Aug. 2 with government officials from Manchester and Wayne Township for a question and answer session. Wayne Township Fiscal Officer Penny Tolle, Manchester Water Clerk Hiedi Huron, Manchester Fiscal Officer Rae Ann Wilson-Insko, and President of Manchester Village Council Michael Phipps were given a demonstration showing how the system works for users.
Manchester’s online checkbook includes over 11,000 individual transactions representing more than $4.8 million in spending over the past four years.
“I think this program is going to work well for our village,” said Huron. “People will be able to get the information they want without having to go through our offices, it really simplifies the process.”
Wayne Township’s online checkbook includes over 2,600 individual transactions representing more than $1 million in spending over the past three years.
“This is a great opportunity for Ohio’s elected officials to showcase transparency and engage their constituents,” said Fiscal Officer Tolle. “Wayne Township Trustees are pleased to partner with Treasurer Mandel and begin posting on OhioCheckbook.com at no cost to our citizens.”
In April 2015 Treasurer Mandel sent a letter to 18,062 local government and school officials representing 3,962 local governments throughout the state calling on them to place their checkbook level data on OhioCheckbook, and extending an invitation to partner with his office at no cost.
Momentum has grown for the statewide government transparency website. Since its launch in 2014 over 755 local governments and school districts have opted to use the online program allowing citizens to see every expenditure in state government.
OhioCheckbook displays more than $529 billion in spending over eight years, including more than 146 million in transactions. As of July 29, 2016 there have been more than 578,000 searches on the site which features cutting-edge features such as Google-style contextual search allowing visitors to sort by keyword, department, category, or vendor.
For more information or to view your local government website, visit the local government option on OhioCheckbook.com or click on: Manchester.OhioCheckbook.com or WayneTownshipAdams.OhioCheckbook.com.