Treasurer Josh Mandel Announces Launch of Harrison County Local Government Checkbooks on OhioCheckbook.com
Momentum Grows for Statewide Government Transparency with Over 1,210 Local Government and School Districts Partnering with OhioCheckbook.com
Press Release - Ohio Treasurer's Office
CADIZ– Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel announced today the launch of Nottingham Township, Short Creek Township, Green Township and the Village of New Athens’ 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 the announcement by Nottingham Township Fiscal Officer Carol Heavilin, Green Township Trustee Jim Ward and Green Township Trustee Tracey Kuhn. Nottingham Township, Short Creek Township, Green Township and New Athens are the second, third, fourth and fifth local governments in Harrison County to post their spending on OhioCheckbook.com.
The following is a breakdown of today’s local government sites:
• Nottingham Township’s online checkbook includes over 1,700 individual transactions that represent more than $611,000 of total spending over the past three years.
• Short Creek Township’s online checkbook includes over 2,200 individual transactions that represent more than $700,000 of total spending over the past three years.
• Green Township’s online checkbook includes over 900 individual transactions that represent more than $395,000 of total spending over the past two years.
• New Athens’ online checkbook includes over 2,300 individual transactions that represent more than $1.7 million of total spending over the past three years.
“I believe the people of Harrison 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.”
“The Nottingham Township Trustees feel that it is important for our residents to have access to the township’s records,” said Nottingham Township Fiscal Officer Carol Heavilin. “Allowing access through OhioCheckbook.com is a very easy, convenient way for them to see how the township is utilizing taxpayer dollars.”
“Short Creek Township is excited to partner with the State Treasurer’s office on this transparency initiative,” said Short Creek Township Fiscal Officer Darla Monteleone. “Our citizens deserve easy access to public information.”
“As public officials it is our duty to provide transparency to our residents,” said Green Township Fiscal Officer Tracey Kuhn. “With the help of the OhioCheckbook.com program, we are able to continue to deliver high levels of transparency, but in a more modern and efficient fashion.”
“The Village of New Athens is excited to join other Harrison County local governments on the OhioCheckbook.com,” said New Athens Fiscal Officer Kelley Fulton. “Transparency in government is a good thing for our residents.”
“Officials in Harrison County are leading by example in this effort to improve transparency and maximize the efficient use of taxpayer dollars,” said State Senator Frank Hoagland. “I applaud them for their commitment to making government more open and accountable.”
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 September 10, 2017 there have been more than 821,000 total searches on the site.
OhioCheckbook.com displays more than $608 billion in spending over the past ten years, including more than 166 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: