POMEROY — Meigs County is the latest to join the Ohio Treasurer’s transparency initiative, becoming part of the online checkbook website, OhioCheckbook.com.
In December 2014, Treasurer Josh 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 addition of Meigs County to OhioCheckbook.com was made during Thursday’s weekly Meigs County Commissioner meeting.
Commissioners Mike Bartrum, Randy Smith and Tim Ihle were joined by Auditor Mary T. Byer-Hill and Treasurer Peggy Yost, as well as Treasurer’s Office Public Affairs Liaison Jamie Barker.
Meigs County is the second county in Southeast Ohio and 28th county in the state to post their spending on OhioCheckbook.com. Meigs County’s online checkbook includes over 16,000 individual transactions that represent more than $57 million of total spending over the past two years.
“I believe the people of Meigs 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 in a news release. “By posting local government spending online, we are empowering taxpayers across Ohio to hold public officials accountable.”
“Meigs County is pleased to partner with the Ohio Treasurer’s office to post our spending on OhioCheckbook.com at no cost to the county,” said Meigs County Auditor Mary Byer-Hill. “Thanks to this transparency tool, the people of Meigs County can now see how their hard earned tax dollars are being spent.”
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 March 27, 2017 there have been more than 737,000 total searches on the site.
OhioCheckbook.com displays more than $585 billion in spending over the past eight years, including more than 159 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.
For more information or to view the local government website, visit the Local Government option on OhioCheckbook.com or by visiting MeigsCounty.OhioCheckbook.com.
The villages of Pomeroy, Middleport and Racine, along with Letart Township, previously joined OhioCheckbook.com.
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