County budget software a win for transparency

Early action has saved the county $7,000 on software that is intended to make the county budget more transparent and understandable to the public.

But we have to agree, partly, with Republican Commissioner Tony Mussare, who recently voted against spending $94,949 initially and another $236,000 over five years on the software. The software will allow county departments and the public to track real-time spending of county funds.

Mussare had two reasons for voting against the measure: The proposal should have been given more time to allow for public input, and he didn’t believe the money was budgeted.

Fellow Republican Commissioner Jack McKernan suggested it fits within the contingency or public affairs line item.

We can buy that, but we do not believe government should rush into projects or big expenditures without proper vetting, and that includes allowing time for public comment. In the overall scheme of things, we’re not sure a $7,000 savings was worth it.

That doesn’t mean the purchase of the software was not worth its $330,000 pricetag, provided the software delivers on its promise to make county spending more transparent.

Anytime government information becomes more accessible to ordinary citizens, everyone wins.

“I think it’s an important tool to be able to understand spending,” Democratic Commissioner Rick Mirabito said.

We agree with him too. We just wish the county would have given it the proper time to allow for public input.