Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Bolsters Transparency with New Website

The site, which is live now, features performance-related data from 2018 and the first quarter of 2019. Officials say the the public has a right to know about both the county’s successes and shortcomings.

by Courtney Astolfi, Advance Ohio Media / May 1, 2019

(TNS) — Cuyahoga County is tracking its own effectiveness and sharing the information with the public.

The administration of County Executive Armond Budish on Tuesday launched a publicly accessible website containing performance-related data on subjects such job creation, pre-kindergarten programs and jail populations.

Chief Innovation and Performance Officer Catherine Tkachyk told cleveland.com that the website also offers comparable data, when available, for similar counties in Ohio and elsewhere.

Check out the website here.

Information now posted on the site is from 2018 and the first quarter of 2019. But Tkachyk said her office will update the website quarterly to create a running tally of how well county government is meeting the needs of residents.

In a Monday meeting with cleveland.com, Budish acknowledged that not all the information is positive. But he said he believes the public has a right to know about both the county’s successes and shortcomings.

“This is not intended to be a PR-type report,” he said. “We’re here to track our programs. The purpose for this is to impact our work as we go forward, so we can improve things.”

For example, the website reports on one of Budish’s key initiatives, making available more high-quality, pre-kindergarten programs for children in the county.

Data for the first quarter of 2019 show about 3,600 children enrolled, and about 88 percent of the open classroom spots filled. Going forward, the public will be able to see whether enrollment increases or declines, and whether those fluctuations are seasonal.

Among the information the public can now check out for themselves:

  • Infant mortality rate
  • High school graduation rate
  • Broadband connectivity
  • Poverty rate
  • Enrollment in federal programs such as Medicaid and SNAP
  • County jail population
  • How many followers the county has on social media
  • Child support payments
  • The county’s credit rating
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Job creation and retention
  • Community development and demolition
  • Internal county employee data

©2019 Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.