San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

At the March 26 Commissioners Court meeting, Hays County Judge Bert Cobb invited elected officials and employees present in the courtroom to join the court in receiving the State Comptroller’s Gold Leadership Circle Award for online financial transparency. Holding the plaque are County Clerk Liz Gonzalez and Vickie Wilhelm, the budgets and projects manager in the auditor’s office. HAYS COUNTY PHOTO

At the March 26 Commissioners Court meeting, Hays County Judge Bert Cobb invited elected officials and employees present in the courtroom to join the court in receiving the State Comptroller’s Gold Leadership Circle Award for online financial transparency. Holding the plaque are County Clerk Liz Gonzalez and Vickie Wilhelm, the budgets and projects manager in the auditor’s office. HAYS COUNTY PHOTO

SUBMITTED REPORT

This just in from Hays County spokesperson Laureen Chernow:

The Hays County Commissioners Court on Tuesday accepted the Texas Comptroller Office’s Gold Leadership Circle for financial transparency, which recognizes local governments across Texas that place specific financial documents online in an easy-to-access format. Gold is the highest of three designation levels and “highlights entities that are setting the bar for transparency,” according to the comptroller’s office.

The Hays County Auditor’s office and the Pct. 3 Commissioner Will Conley’s office prepared the application for the award, which required that the county meet criteria such as creating a dedicated financial transparency web page with three years of audits and searchable annual budgets, the County’s current check register and links to tax rate data, treasurer’s reports and many other finance-related documents – all accessible within three clicks of the mouse.

County Judge Bert Cobb recognized the efforts of all those involved in creating the web page. “This information has always been available, but not necessarily in an easy-access format,” he said. “I applaud all our elected officials and staffs for recognizing the need for transparency and public access.”

“We’ve made great strides in transparency of all kinds since I first joined the Commissioners Court,” Conley said. “As few as nine years ago, meeting notices were posted only at the County Courthouse, and that was the end of it. We met the basic requirements of the law. Now, we ensure that all of our notices are online and that we take advantage of various means to let the public know what is happening and how we are spending our taxpayers’ money. Our financial information is certainly among the most important information we can share, and we’re pleased that the Comptroller’s Office has recognized our efforts.”

To view the county’s financial information, visit the Hays County website and click on the Financial Transparency button in the middle of the page.

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