Treasurer Josh Mandel Announces Launch of Summit County Local Government and School Checkbooks on OhioCheckbook.com
Momentum Grows for Statewide Government Transparency with Over 985 Local Government and School Districts Partnering with OhioCheckbook.com
AKRON – Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel announced today the launch of the Akron Public School District, Village of Richfield, Village of Peninsula, Village of Lakemore and the Cuyahoga Falls Library’s online checkbooks on OhioCheckbook.com. In December 2014, Treasurer Mandel launched OhioCheckbook.com, which sets a new national standard for government transparency and for the first time in Ohio history puts all state spending information on the internet. OhioCheckbook.com recently earned Ohio the number one government transparency ranking in the country for the second year in a row.
The Ohio Treasurer’s office was joined at today’s announcement by Akron Public Schools Treasurer Ryan Pendleton.
Akron Public Schools is the third school district in Summit County to post their spending on OhioCheckbook.com, Richfield, Peninsula and Lakemore are the first villages in Summit County to post their spending on OhioCheckbook.com, and Cuyahoga Falls Library is the second library in Summit County to post their spending on OhioCheckbook.com.
The following is a breakdown of today’s local government sites:
- Akron Public Schools’ online checkbook includes over 126,000 individual transactions that represent more than $303 million of total spending over the past four Fiscal Years.
- Richfield’s online checkbook includes over 6,000 individual transactions that represent more than $14 million of total spending over Fiscal Year 2015.
- Peninsula’s online checkbook includes over 1,900 individual transactions that represent more than $937,000 of total spending over Fiscal Year 2015.
- Lakemore’s online checkbook includes over 13,000 individual transactions that represent more than $8.2 million of total spending over the past three years.
- Cuyahoga Falls Library’s online checkbook includes over 27,000 individual transactions that represent more than $15 million of total spending over the past five years.
“I believe the people of Summit 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 Treasurer Mandel. “By posting local government spending online, we are empowering taxpayers across Ohio to hold public officials accountable.”
“Akron Public Schools proudly encourages its students and staff to seek innovative ways to educate and learn,” said Treasurer Ryan Pendleton. “Similarly, the OhioCheckbook is an innovative way to present the district’s financial information. We are excited to join this program to continue our district’s transparency efforts and display public records in a 21st century format.”
“We are happy to announce that the Village of Richfield has joined numerous governmental and educational entities throughout the state of Ohio with detailed expenditures published on OhioCheckbook.com,” said Assistant Finance Director Kevin Edwards. “We see this as a great opportunity for us to showcase our goal of transparency to our citizens by making our records so easily available.”
“By joining OhioCheckbook.com, the residents of Peninsula are able to view how their tax dollars are being spent in an online format,” said Fiscal Officer John Stiegel. “This transparency tool will allow citizens to quickly access real spending information, and reinforces the dedication of village officials to an open government.”
“The Village of Lakemore is happy to stand with other governments in Summit County to publish our OhioCheckbook.com site,” said Fiscal Officer Tracy Fast. “It will be a great tool to use for reviewing public expenditure information.”
“We are happy to launch an OhioCheckbook.com site for our Cuyahoga Falls Library community,” said Fiscal Officer Susan Finley. “This will be a great way to show how money is being spent wisely.”
“I want to congratulate Sagamore Hills Township and the Villages of Richfield and Peninsula for demonstrating a strong commitment to transparency by moving their checkbook online,” added State Senator Frank LaRose. “This is an important step to improve accountability and openness to local taxpayers."
On April 7, 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.com and extending an invitation to partner with his office at no cost to local governments. These local governments include cities, counties, townships, schools, library districts and other special districts.
A large coalition of statewide and local government organizations have expressed support for OhioCheckbook.com and local government transparency, including:
- Ohio Municipal League
- Ohio Township Association
- Ohio Association of School Business Officials
- Buckeye Association of School Administrators
- County Commissioner Association of Ohio
- County Auditor Association of Ohio
- Ohio Newspaper Association
- Ohio Society of CPAs
- Buckeye Institute
- Common Cause Ohio
OhioCheckbook.com was launched on December 2, 2014, marking the first time in Ohio history when citizens could actually see every expenditure in state government. Since its launch, OhioCheckbook.com has received overwhelming support from newspapers and groups across the state and, as of December 20, 2016 there have been more than 681,000 total searches on the site.
OhioCheckbook.com displays more than $564 billion in spending over the past eight years, including more than 153 million transactions. The website includes cutting-edge features such as:
- “Google-style” contextual search capabilities, to allow users to sort by keyword, department, category or vendor;
- Fully dynamic interactive charts to drill down on state spending;
- Functionality to compare state spending year-over-year or among agencies; and,
- Capability to share charts or checks with social media networks, and direct contact for agency fiscal offices.
In March 2015, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) released their annual “Following the Money 2015” report and Treasurer Mandel earned Ohio the number one transparency ranking in the country for providing online access to government spending data. Ohio was prominently featured in the report after climbing from 46th to 1st in spending transparency as a result of Treasurer Mandel’s release of OhioCheckbook.com. Due to the launch of OhioCheckbook.com, Ohio received a perfect score of 100 points this year – the highest score in the history of the U.S. PIRG transparency rankings.
In April 2016, U.S. PIRG announced that Treasurer Mandel earned Ohio the number one government transparency ranking in the country for the second consecutive year in a row. Due to the launch of OhioCheckbook.com, Ohio again received the highest perfect score of 100 points this year – marking the second time in two years Ohio received the highest possible score in the history of the U.S. PIRG transparency rankings.
The Treasurer’s office is partnering with OpenGov, a leading Silicon Valley government technology company, to provide residents of Ohio the ability to view and search local government expenditures in a user-friendly, digital format. “Ohio is setting the standard for financial transparency on an unprecedented scale. We are excited to partner with the Treasurer’s office to bring world-class technology to communities large and small across the state,” said Zachary Bookman, CEO of OpenGov.
For more information or to view your local government website, visit the Local Government option on OhioCheckbook.com or click on: