LFC Comments: We have been asked by several citizens to look into the CARES Act money spent by the local Lake County jurisdictions. Citizens want to know if the politicians are being good stewards of the taxpayers’ money. Here is the link to the State of Ohio website that details the various grants offered by the State.
Here are the details of the CARES Act:
From the State of Oho website we found these details showing that the County Auditors control the funding for the local jurisdictions.
Funding Opportunity Categories: COVID-19
The Office of Budget and Management (OBM), in accordance with HB 481, is distributing Coronavirus Relief Funds provided to the state from the US Department of Treasury as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”). OBM is currently accepting registrations for the Local Government Assistance Program from counties and jurisdictions. Registrations enable the recipient of funds access to the grants portal to report on funds as required by OBM and HB 481. Funds must be used in accordance with the requirements of Section 5001 of the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act,” as described in 42 U.S.C. 801(d) and must adhere to guidance published by the US Department of Treasury and OBM. Resolutions, as required by HB 481, may be submitted to OBM via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. While the CRF disbursements for cities, villages, and townships will flow from the state through county auditors, OBM considers each local government to be a subrecipient of the state and will structure reporting and monitoring that way.
We sent a records request to Mr. Chris Galloway, Lake County Auditor asking for all correspondence from and to the local jurisdictions regarding the CARES Act. We will provide the information to our readers when we receive it.
As a reminder to any budding community activists, the politicians and bureaucrats are only obligated to send you records, and are not required to compile information in any logical format for you. You still have to do the “heavy lifting” by making sense of the information sent to you. They will not make it easy for you, and some will not be transparent at all. It is also important to remember to compliment officials that go “over and above” the call of duty to provide information to citizens, and take the time to explain their rational on a given issue.
We would be remiss if we did not give kudos to the City of Willowick for following up to ensure that we received the records we requested, and to be sure we had no further questions. A “tip of the hat” to the Mayor’s administrative secretary. Now that is transparency!
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