Transparency has become a buzzword in American government as taxpayers demand accountability and access to public financial records. Transparency is also a word that has long driven the City of Greer's finance department, according to Seifert.
"The public should not have to demand fiscal accountability. Government operations at every level are made possible by tax dollars, so government entities owe it to the public to make that information both available and easily accessible. That has long been the belief in the City of Greer," he said.
The city makes a number of financial documents available online, including current and past budgets, current and past audits, monthly financial reports to City Council, and a web dashboard that provides real-time access to both revenues and expenditures for the current fiscal year. The Flash-based page includes access to personnel and operating budgets in every city department, as well as revenue from taxes, permits and fees, grants, and other sources. Graphs provide a quick "year at a glance" breakdown for both revenues and expenditures.
"It not only provides a window for the public to follow the city's financial health, but also shows the challenge of projecting revenue and expenditures in a volatile economy," Seifert said. "That's what real fiscal transparency is about."
View the City of Greer Comprehensive Fee Schedule (PDF) for a complete listing of Finance Department fees.