More transparency in township


By Sandi Latimer
Staff Writer

Jackson Township residents can now go online to check where their taxpayer dollars are going.

The township has become the third township in Franklin County to have its own page on the Treasurer’s Office program of Jackson Township follows Jefferson and Plain townships as having their expenditures online. Prairie Township also went live the same day Jackson did, and Franklin Township has committed to having their page soon.

Residents can visit and view expenditures of the township in the years 2014, 2015 and 2016. This represents more than 8,000 individual transactions and more than $32 million in spending.

When representatives of Treasurer Josh Mandel’s office rolled out the township’s page March 31, Fiscal Officer Ron Grossman recalled that he and trustee Steve Bowshier had seen a demonstration of the project at a local government meeting in January and knew the township had to become involved. Bowshier was so excited about it that he introduced the resolution at a subsequent meeting to get the township started.

Mandel started the project in 2014 to put the state’s spending information on the Internet. Since then, 620 local governments, school districts and libraries have committed to joining the online checkbook and many of them are live, said Eric Ochmanek, deputy chief of state for Mandel.

When residents go to the Jackson Township page, they will see bar graphs for three years, with different colors for each department. Clicking on a particular department or even a reason for spending will take the visitor to another page, and even to a copy of the check.
If they have any questions, they can fill in the blanks in a box provided and that will go directly to Grossman’s email account.

Information can be updated as often as necessary.

“Whether it’s $2 for a box of pencils or millions for construction, it’s right there for the taxpayers to see,” said Ochmanek.

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