Mount Carmel money use to be transparent on website
MOUNT CARMEL - As a way to increase the transparency of the borough, Mount Carmel Council President Tony Matulewicz plans to display employee salaries and spending plans on a website.
Matulewicz took it upon himself to purchase mountcarmelborough.com for $90 a year, but has not yet started to upload information.
"It's the people's money. They should have access to it. What better way to give them that than to put everything on the Internet?" he said.
The initial goal is to provide the salaries and benefits of each employee position - including council members, street departments and police departments - but eventually, he will include the current year's spending plan, copy of bills, minutes, agendas, permitting information and ordinances.
The financial information would include a breakdown of employee pensions and health care: what the employees put in versus what the borough puts in.
The idea was inspired by pennwatch.pa.gov, a state website that advertises as "an open window to your state government."
Because it's taxpayer money, each person can "keep tabs on the state budget, spending, revenue, employees and performance," according to the state website.
Matulewicz said there were many borough residents who were unaware and surprised by the amount of money being paid to current tax collector Christopher Grayson from the borough.
Last month, council reduced the tax collector compensation rate by approximately $20,000. In 2012, the borough paid Grayson $19,480.64 for real estate bills, $4,253 for occupational assessment bills and $412.03 for per capita bills. Since there's also 7.65 percent on the real estate bills for Social Security and Medicare that goes to Grayson, the borough's total bill to the tax collector was $25,636.07 in 2012.
Matulewicz wants to make information like this readily available so taxpayers can check this information any moment of the day at their convenience.
Not to mention, the information would be available for every council member in the same way, and more eyes on the budget means more mistakes could be caught, he said.
"The people deserve to know where their money is going," he said.
Matulewicz wants to formally present his plan at a future borough council meeting and introduce an ordinance for the website's maintenance.