Brown County Press: Fayetteville, Russellville join Ohio Checkbook
The Brown County Press
By Wayne Gates
August 25, 2016
Brown County residents can now look over the bills of three more governments in the county.
The villages of Fayetteville and Russellville and Scott Township are now submitting their financial records to OhioCheckbook.com.
The site is operated by the office of Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel and allows people to search, in detail, the financial transactions of participating entities.
Site users can search individual departments and even specific individual checks issued at the state and local level.
The village of Mt. Orab, Pleasant, Byrd and Eagle townships and Georgetown and RULH schools also participate in the system.
The village of Ripley, along with Lewis and Union township have also committed to using the system, according to Public Affairs Liaison Jamie Barker of Mandel’s office.
“Our state site has 147 million transactions covering 534 billion dollars in state spending over eight and a half fiscal years,” said Barker.
Fayetteville Mayor Randy Carson said he hoped that Fayetteville residents will take a look at the site.
“Council and I both felt that it was very important that we become transparent. It’s the taxpayer’s money and they need to be able to see where their money is being spent,” Carson said.
Dan Risko, Deputy Director of Public Affairs for Mandel, said that about 770 local entities around the state were on the website.
“The taxpayers love it. They are thanking us for starting this initiative. Treasurer Mandel has been a leader in transparency in the state,” Risko said.
He added that other local entities have been invited to join as well.
“We’ve done outreach to local entities throughout the state. They have all received letters from Treasurer Mandel inviting them to join,” Risko said.
State Representative Doug Green also attended. He said that public access to financial information like this is important.
“The ability to see what’s taken place (financially) takes away any question about improprieties or fiscal responsibility,” said Green.
“If you as a taxpayer have a lack of confidence in your government agency, and you have the opportunity to look at the transactions that have take place, you have the ability to weigh in your own mind whether the confidence level is merited or not.”