In order to provide transparency to its spending record, the Delaware County District Library (DCDL) has joined the state’s government expenditure database — www.OhioCheckbook.com. The office of the state treasurer announced the partnership Thursday in a press release.
Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel launched OhioCheckbook.com in December of 2014 as a way of setting a “new national standard for government transparency and for the first time in Ohio history puts all state spending information on the internet,” the press release states.
“I believe the people of Delaware 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 Mandel. “By posting local government spending online, we are empowering taxpayers across Ohio to hold public officials accountable.”
The search engine-style database includes interactive graphics and logs of transactions. Entities in the system range from local governments to school districts. Figures for the library extend as far back as 2008.
“Delaware County Library is proud to join the other public entities in Delaware County sharing their expenses with citizens,” said DCDL Fiscal Officer Angela Cox. “We want to have a strong relationship with our citizens and believe the checkbook will help accomplish this goal.”
DCDL Director George Needham said the library had been working on launching its file for months, and Cox wanted to “make sure that the workflow was smooth and that we had the right data in the right places” prior to the launch.
“The data presented in the checkbook has always been available to any interested party since it’s all public information, but the Ohio Checkbook makes it easier to access,” Needham said. “This wasn’t timed to go with the levy renewal, but it will allow people to make sure we’re doing what we said we’d do.”
Last week, the library’s levy renewal, which makes up two-thirds of the DCDL’s budget, was passed by a comfortable margin. The levy is good for the next 15 years and will help to pay off the Orange Township branch that was built in 2011, as well as fund the new branch that will soon be constructed in the Powell and Liberty Township area.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @ddavis_gazette.