The Marion County Commission can increase trust and create transparency by participating in “Project Mountaineer.” A project initiated by the State Auditor’s office which grants taxpayers the privilege of viewing county expenses. Nineteen counties in WV, including Monongalia county, have adopted the Auditors project with the state which provides the software free of cost. Marion County needs to adopt Project Mountaineer because it will promote transparency and trust with our county government, give taxpayers a more accessible way of viewing where our money goes, and only requires action from the Commissioners.
First, it will promote transparency and trust with our county’s government. The ability for taxpayers to review and approve of our county’s decisions will create a better relationship with our leaders. The most trusting relationship between citizens and government is when the government is transparent with their spending agenda and is open towards being questioned. Publicizing the budget will create public interest, and when this information is easily accessible taxpayers can start questioning our local leaders if needed.
Secondly, taxpayers deserve to have a more accessible way of viewing where their money goes. This software will make any person, with access to the internet, be able to view how money is being spent. Currently, there is no easy access for us to instantly look up, efficiently, how our county spends our money. Having a more accessible way to view spending will create an atmosphere of accountability. When accountability happens, and it will, we will have a more efficient government. That should always be the goal for our leaders.
Lastly, it is completely free but requires the commission’s action. The Marion County Commissioners must take action to participate in this project. The project is accessible and other counties, large and small, have decided to participate. Monongalia County and Kanawha county, which have a greater population and revenue then Marion county does, are participating in the project and promoting transparency. I believe Marion County should too.
Darton McIntire, a WV House District 50 Republican Candidate, is a Pre-Law Student and hopeful servant in the WV Legislature. He addresses his concerns with the direction of the country, the state, and his local cities in writing for people to read. His main goal in writing is to provoke critical thinking and promote government accountability. He promotes small government and looks to protect our inalienable rights granted in the Constitution.