Let Public See How Money Is Expended

Transparency is among many buzzwords we hear regularly from those in public office and those seeking to be elected. But when it comes to allowing the public to “look at the books” — that is, to see how our money is being spent — there suddenly seems to be less interest in accountability.

Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague’s office provides an excellent window into both state and local government finances. It is the ohiocheckbook.com program. Those using it can examine how their tax dollars are being spent, in detail.

Since the initiative began, even before Sprague took office, hundreds of local government entities, including school districts, have signed up for it.

But, by our count, only a handful of East Ohio municipalities, townships, counties, court systems and school districts are participating. It appears just four school systems — Edison Local, Martins Ferry City, Switzerland of Ohio and Union Local — are on the ohiocheckbook.com list.

There is some cost, in both money and effort, involved, of course. But getting the public in the loop on how their money is being spent is worth it. More East Ohio local government officials ought to consider signing up for transparency through ohiocheckbook.com.

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