Georgetown becomes more transparent with new online portal

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GEORGETOWN — The town announced Monday that it has launched a new online Transparency Center, powered by ClearGov, a leading provider of online budgeting and communications software for local governments.

This new online profile provides residents with an easy-to-understand, interactive breakdown of the city’s finances, as well as insights into demographics and much more.

The Transparency Center is also optimized for use by citizens who rely on assistive technology, such as screen readers and voice-recognition software. This ensures that the town’s financials, demographics, capital projects, department metrics and other information displayed on the Transparency Center are already optimized for Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines.

“We are proud to have taken this proactive step toward a more open and accessible government, and we’re excited to make this intuitive, user-friendly and ADA-optimized experience available to our community,” said Georgetown Mayor Bill West. “These days, not everyone has the time to attend public meetings. The Transparency Center will make it easy and convenient for interested residents to stay informed.”

The new portal empowers citizens to see precisely how funds are generated and allocated and better understand how the annual budget impacts the community programs and services they care about most. Visitors to the Transparency Center can easily drill down to the line-item level and even view comparative analyses of similar towns.

In the coming months, town officials — who believe financial and operational transparency is the cornerstone of good government and strong, sustainable communities — plan to expand the profile to include details about town departments, ongoing developmental projects and more.

In time, residents will have a clear window into everything from fiscal health to operational performance and the factors that contribute to economic development. Visitors to the Transparency Center will also be able to subscribe to certain pages to receive automatic email updates as new information becomes available.

“ClearGov is pleased to partner with the town of Georgetown to enhance their transparency efforts and drive citizen engagement,” said Chris Bullock, CEO of ClearGov. “Residents should be proud of the leadership the town of Georgetown has demonstrated by embracing innovation and taking that essential next step toward true clarity and accountability in local government.”

Georgetown Town Manager Eugene Dvornick broke down the service’s cost to the town as follows: Year one’s cost, including initial setup and an early-adapter discount, is $3,862; the annual cost for years two and three is $3,950.

Mr. Dvornick said the best way to learn more about the Transparency Center and the town’s finances is to start here.

“We strongly encourage residents to visit (the website) today to see their tax dollars at work,” said Mr. Dvornick. “You can also visit the town website and click on the Transparency Center button.”