East Liverpool Review: East Liverpool, Wellsville launch online checkbooks
East Liverpool Review
By Steve Rappach
August 19, 2016
WELLSVILLE - Residents of East Liverpool and Wellsville now have an opportunity to see how their money is being spent.
The two municipalities became the latest to launch their checkbooks on ohiocheckbook.com, an online initiative launched in 2014 by state Treasurer Josh Mandel which provides government transparency and allows the general public to view what money is spent through the municipality and their departments. The announcement of the partnerships with the website was made during a special presentation at the Wellsville municipal building on Thursday.
East Liverpool Mayor Ryan Stovall, city Auditor Marilyn Bosco, Wellsville Mayor Nancy Murray, village Fiscal Officer Hoi Wah Black and state Rep. Tim Ginter were among those in attendance, while Dan Risko, deputy director of public affairs for the treasurer's office, provided a demonstration of the website.
The user-friendly website allows visitors to search spending information on a state level and a local level and which departments are spending dollars and for what purposes. Users can also view check details on the checkbook ledger by clicking on individual checks which contains information from that vendor.
East Liverpool's checkbook currently includes over 10,000 individual transactions that represent more than $15.3 million of spending for fiscal year 2015. Wellsville's checkbook includes over 12,000 transactions representing over $6 million of spending over the past three years.
Risko added that since the site first went live, more than 770 local government and school districts in over 20 counties have presented their spending information, and the website turned the state of Ohio from the fourth-least transparent state to now the most transparent state in the country, and have had over 600,000 searches on the site so far.
Ginter offered his commendation to Mandel and his office for developing the website for the state, and also commended Murray and Stovall for joining the site for the benefit of the taxpayers.
"The intuitive nature of the site is just tremendous, so our appreciation to our state treasurer and to his staff for the work that you've done and for making it easier for our county, our communities and local government," Ginter said.
"I think this is a big day, a big win for the taxpayers of these communities, and you know, in a day that, let's be honest, when a lot of folks, a lot of citizens look at government out of the corner of their eye and figure out what's going on, I think this transparency is not only wise, but I think we owe this to our citizens."
East Liverpool's checkbook can be accessed at eastliverpool.ohiocheckbook.com, Wellsville's at wellsville.ohiocheckbook.com.