Thursday, August 13, 2015
TRANSPARENCY IN GOV'T FOR "ALL" OF OHIO IS WELL WORTH $1.3 MILLION!
The SCPR has never much liked Ohio treasurer Josh Mandel (a Republican) because he comes across as a blatant political opportunist.
Soon after he had been first elected treasurer, he was planning a run for the United States Senate against Sherrod Brown.
Sort of like here in Stark County when the-then Nimishillen Township trustee Todd Bosley ran against the-then incumbent commissioner Richard Regula (2006) and to nearly everybody's surprise defeated the Republican commissioner, Bosley (a Democrat, who seeks this November to be elected once again Nimishillen Township trustee) started talking almost immediately against Richard's father Ralph, the long time 16th District congressman (which then included all of Stark County).
The arrogance caught up with Bosley when he and fellow Democrat and commissioner Tom Harmon (now running at-large for Canton City Council having been the clerk of courts for Canton's municipal court) along with Republican commissioner Jane Vignos "imposed" a 1/2 cent sales tax on Stark Countians in December, 2008.
After that he was political toast.
But the lesson was not brought home to Bosley until the November, 2012 elections when (apparently knowing he could not be reelected commissioners) he ran against the-then 50th District Republican incumbent Todd Snitchler who buried the former commissioners at the polls.
Undoubtedly, Bosley in running again for Nimishillen trustee has his sights set much, much higher for himself in regrouping and getting back on track with personal political ambitions.
Likewise, though Mandel was defeated by Brown, he in pushing the Ohio treasury transparency checkbook program has to be intent on using it as a springboard from which to launch future personal political ambitions in terms of specific offices sought.
Folks like Bosley (e.g. his commitment to rebuilding Stark County broken (2007, 2008) 9-1-1 emergency call receiving and dispatch capability) and Mandel with his transparency checkbook initiative are good for the general societal welfare.
However, they do need to be kept accountable in the methods they use outside of program initiatives to achieve personal political goals.
If not kept in check, they can become political wrecking balls who hurt a lot of people tangibly and the body politic psychically in setting up conditions for political cynicism to take hold and grow.
Of course, there is a cost to effective, informative government.
Bosley's effort though not properly informed as not having gained the consent of the people in his being a party to "imposing" the tax (also, only part of the monies generated were for the 9-1-1 project with half of it being for general revenue fund shortfall coverage purposes) did generate the funds (several million dollars) to reconstruct Stark County's system so that it is pretty much "state of the art."
Now everyday Stark Countians have a greater assurance that when the need for emergency services surface, the county can deliver effective service.
For this Bosley, Harmon and Vignos are to be credited of achieving a good thing for the Stark County hoi polli.
Increased public confidence is well worth the monies spent.
In marked contrast, Mandel's transparency checkbook program will cost Ohioans $1.3 annually which long term will dwarf Stark County's 9-1-1 expenditures.
And transparency in government is a lot less tangible than the provision of higher level emergency services.
Nonetheless, in terms of building up the public confidence in being able to know what our hard earned tax dollars are being spent for, $1.3 million is a small price to pay for ensuring government official accountability.
Here is a headline from the Cleveland Plain Dealer on the cost for Mandel's checkbook program
SCPR readers should go to Ms. Borchardt's well written and highly informative article and read it (the LINK).
While Stark County auditor Alan Harold has shown yours truly he too is highly motivated to do good for the public, he does not come across as requiring personal political advancement (like it appears that Bosley and Mandel do) in order to imagine what he as a government official do to make all of our lives better.
This distinction The Report attributes to Harold is why he is a the apex (at #2, LINK) of the SCPR's Top 10 List of Stark County Political Subdivision Elected Officials in ranks as a quality local government official.
Harold is the first to tell anyone who asks that his success in the product of the excellent support he gets from day-in, day-out county employees who staff the auditor's office.
The Report inquired of Harold of where the county spin off of Mandel's program is in terms to going online.
Re: Roll out date for Stark County checkbook
Today at 9:53 AM
To: Martin Olson
Martin - thanks for the note. Right now it will include FY 2012, 2013, 2014. We will attempt to add 2015 data by quarter yet by the end of the year. The data will include all departments for which the Auditor serves as the fiscal officer. These include all county elected officials, Job & Family Services, Board of DD, Board of Mental Health, Multi-County Juv Attention, Stark Parks, Regional Planning, Soil & Water, Sanitary Engineer, Board of Health.
The Treasurer of State (TOS) is right now projecting early September for the statewide roll-out of this project. I understand we have been asked to be in this initial wave. TOS has approved the format of our data; right now, we are working on redacting non-public information. This work and testing will continue over the next few weeks.
I'm excited to be part of the program. Transparency in government is critical to maintaining the trust of the public and ohiocheckbook.com is just one other way we can show to the public that in Stark County, we have nothing to hide and that we are being prudent in spendingt our tax dollars.
Please let me know if you need anything further.
A SCPR "hats off" to Mandel and Harold for bringing a greater measure of transparency to Ohio and Stark County government!