Medina Gazette: Medina Township joins Ohio Treasurer Mandel's accountability effort
By Bob Finnan
September 9, 2016
As soon as Angela Ventura took over last April as Medina Township fiscal officer, she contacted Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel’s office.
“She called and said, ‘We want to do this,’ ” said Dan Risko, Mandel’s deputy director of public affairs.
Ventura got her wish Thursday as Medina Township joined OhioCheckbook.com, a state program that allows citizens to track government spending.
Mandel’s program took off in December 2014. It now boasts almost 810 local government agencies. Risko, a 2006 Cloverleaf High School graduate, said they have enlisted about 20 percent of the state’s 4,000 various bodies and agencies.
Medina Township’s online checkbook includes more than 9,800 individual transactions that represent more than $13.5 million in spending over the last four years.
The township was pleased to join OhioCheckbook.com.
“By providing this information in an online format, our citizens can easily access public spending information,” Ventura said. “This is a great step toward increasing government transparency.”
Medina Township becomes the fourth township in the county to join the initiative. The others are Lafayette, Hinckley and Chatham townships. Westfield Center and Spencer are the villages in the county that have joined, along with school districts in Medina, Buckeye and Black River.
“There are a number of agencies in the county ready to sign on,” Risko said.
“At the end of the day, it’s public information. With the way things are going, five years from now, many governments nationally (will join).”
Mandel is proud that the U.S. Public Interest Research Group ranked Ohio No. 1 in the nation in government spending transparency in 2015.
“I believe the people of Medina 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,” he said in a statement. “By posting local government spending online, we are empowering taxpayers across Ohio to hold public officials accountable.”
Medina Township’s financial records are updated through July. Ventura said they will be updated quarterly.
“You can get a lot of information in a few clicks,” Risko said. “It’s become the national standard for financial transparency.”