Blan finances transparent on OhioCheckbook.com


By John Hamilton - jhamilton@wnewsj.com



Lauren Bowen, Senior Public Affairs Liaison for State Treasurer Josh Mandel, does a presentation on the Village of Blanchester’s Ohio Checkbook Online during Thursday night’s council meeting.

Lauren Bowen, Senior Public Affairs Liaison for State Treasurer Josh Mandel, does a presentation on the Village of Blanchester’s Ohio Checkbook Online during Thursday night’s council meeting.


John Hamilton | News Journal

From left, Blanchester Councilmembers Don Gephart, Lori Byrom, Cindy Sutton, Ohio Treasurer’s Office Senior Public Affairs Liaison Lauren Bowen, Councilmember Gary Bauer, Mayor John Carman, Councilmember Reilly Hopkins, Fiscal Officer Jewelie Casteel, Councilmember Chad Holton III.


John Hamilton | News Journal

BLANCHESTER — The Village of Blanchester is the most recent Ohio municipality to adopt State Treasurer Josh Mandel’s online checkbook OhioCheckbook.com.

Mandel launched the website in 2014 in the hopes of setting a new national standard for government transparency. This website also is the first time in Ohio history to put all state spending information online.

“I believe the people of Clinton County have a right to know how their 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.”

Blanchester Fiscal Officer Jewelie Casteel said one their goals over the past two years was to create a more transparent atmosphere in regards to the village’s finances.

“It was inspiring to discover village council and the mayor were all in full agreement to participate in the Ohio Checkbook program from its presentation onset. This fact alone speaks highly of our elected officials’ concern for a higher level of openness with residents,” said Casteel.

She hopes making this information easily accessible to the public resolves uncertainties and misinformation in regards to village expenses.

During Thursday night’s council meeting, the Treasurer’s Senior Public Affairs Liaison Lauren Bowen made a presentation showing how the website works, including the site’s “Google-style” search engine which allows users to sort through info by certain categories, interactive charts, a function to compare state spending year-over-year or among agencies, the capability to share charts or checks on social media, and direct contacts for agency fiscal officers.

Blanchester is the second village in Clinton County — the other being Midland — to use the website. Wilmington City Schools and six townships — Green, Liberty, Marion, Richland, Union, and Vernon — also use it, according to the website.

For more information or to view your local government website, visit the Local Government option at OhioCheckbook.com.

Lauren Bowen, Senior Public Affairs Liaison for State Treasurer Josh Mandel, does a presentation on the Village of Blanchester’s Ohio Checkbook Online during Thursday night’s council meeting.
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/04/web1_DSC_0109.jpgLauren Bowen, Senior Public Affairs Liaison for State Treasurer Josh Mandel, does a presentation on the Village of Blanchester’s Ohio Checkbook Online during Thursday night’s council meeting. John Hamilton | News Journal

From left, Blanchester Councilmembers Don Gephart, Lori Byrom, Cindy Sutton, Ohio Treasurer’s Office Senior Public Affairs Liaison Lauren Bowen, Councilmember Gary Bauer, Mayor John Carman, Councilmember Reilly Hopkins, Fiscal Officer Jewelie Casteel, Councilmember Chad Holton III.
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/04/web1_DSC_0111.jpgFrom left, Blanchester Councilmembers Don Gephart, Lori Byrom, Cindy Sutton, Ohio Treasurer’s Office Senior Public Affairs Liaison Lauren Bowen, Councilmember Gary Bauer, Mayor John Carman, Councilmember Reilly Hopkins, Fiscal Officer Jewelie Casteel, Councilmember Chad Holton III. John Hamilton | News Journal

By John Hamilton

jhamilton@wnewsj.com

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

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