City Council Unanimously Approves Online Access To Spending Records

By John W. Davis

July 6, 2010 Updated Jul 6, 2010 at 9:39 PM EST

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Fort Wayne residents may soon have access to the city's checkbook... at least freedom to see how much money is being spent and on what.

Fort Wayne City Councilman Mitch Harper said publishing the city's spending online is the next step to make sure For Wayne's financial records are open and available to the public.

The ordinance was approved by an unanimous vote.

"It's the peoples money. It's not the city's. They have a right to know where it's going. One of the advantages I think for having it published online is that folks can go in and they can begin to do analysis," Fort Wayne City Councilman Mitch Harper said.

A final vote will be taken later this month.

Meanwhile, allowing the public to access financial spending records online is not a new idea.

The City of Chicago has been offering online access for quite some time now.

Locally, Allen County leaders recently adopted a similar law.

"Address the ordinance without adding any staff and to have it fairly automated so we don't have to have people touching it. That cost money every time someone has touch something to figure it out," said Fort Wayne Deputy Mayor Beth Malloy.

City leaders say financial records could be available online by August.

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Meanwhile, long-time Councilman Tom Smith brought up Fort Wayne Police Officer Scott Morales as Tuesday's meeting came to a close.

Smith said he is calling out the Fort Wayne Board of Public Safety for a better explanation on their disciplinary ruling on Officer Morales.

"Not only did you keep him, you suspend him without pay for 90 days and then bring him back and give him a nice desk job so to speak. None of it makes sense. Now it may if there is a good explanation. I think that's what the community is calling for and on their behalf, I'm asking for that kind of an explanation," said Fort Wayne City Councilman Tom Smith.

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The Fort Wayne city council also approved $1.6 million dollars to begin construction on the Martin Luther King Jr. Clinton Street Memorial Bridge.

City planners said they desperately needed the go ahead because their goal is to finish construction on half of the bridge before Winter 2010.




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