OPENING THE BOOKS: Clarkstown Launches Budget Transparency Tool

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Digital platform brings town budget data to the fingertips of the public

The Town of Clarkstown now offers taxpayers an easy-to-access online library of budgetary and other governmental information thanks to the launch of the digital platform ‘Accountable Clarkstown,’ Town Supervisor George Hoehmann told the public on Wednesday.

According to Hoehmann, who promised increased transparency during his 2015 campaign, the Accountable Clarkstown platform not only provides access to financial information, it also demystifies difficult-to-understand data and presents it in an interactive, digital format.

The supervisor credits the site with having an “intuitive design,” which “makes it easier to explore how taxpayer money is collected and spent.” The platform may be accessed by clicking the ‘Accountable Clarkstown’ logo on the town’s website at Clarkstown.org.

The OpenGov platform displays six years of government spending and revenue detail. Users can view historical revenue and expenditure trends over time and explore multiple views of financial data, including by fund, department, expense, or revenue type.

“On day one I promised the people of Clarkstown a more transparent and responsive government,” Supervisor Hoehmann said. “By giving our residents access to our financial information, we take another step toward a government that the people of our town can be proud of.”

Beyond sharing information with the public, Hoehmann pointed out that the town can also use ‘Accountable Clarkstown’ internally to create custom reports, manage operations to budget, and keep administrators informed.

The new technology could have a ripple effect in Rockland County if taxpayers in other municipalities take note and ask for the same easy access to government data afforded to Clarkstown residents. Stony Point Councilman Tom Basile said his town is already mulling over a similar platform.

In addition to the Accountable Clarkstown tool, the town’s website also features a “Resident’s Portal,” where residents can express concerns or make work requests to town officials and are promised a prompt response.

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