The Town of Stratford has finally joined the Open Checkbook movement — even if the Mayor joined it kicking and screaming.

Earlier today, the Town posted the disbursements for January 2015 on its website (i.e., all of the non-payroll checks issued  by the Town in January). This didn’t happen on its own, as it finally occurred within days of my filing a proposed ordinance to force the Town to do post the information — with the help of  the bills co-sponsors, newly-elected State Rep. Joe Gresko (and 5th District Councilor) and 7th District Councilor Mitzi Antezzo. The proposed ordinance is included at the end of this post. The Town also finally posted the Revenue & Expenditures Report for its enterprise funds (like the WPCA fund and Railroad fund) — which is another requirement contained in the proposed ordinance. It took five years, but Mayor John Harkins has finally lived up to his promised that, “a complete list of disbursements made by the town will be posted each month on the Town of Stratford website.” He just needed a little help getting there.

For earlier posts on this topic, click here, here, and here.

Here’s the text of the proposed ordinance.

AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 14 OF THE CODE OF THE TOWN OF STRATFORD, CONNECTICUT TO REQUIRE THAT THE FINANCE DIRECTOR PUBLISH TOWN REVENUE AND EXPENDITURE REPORTS AND A LIST OF NON-PAYROLL DISBURSEMENTS ON THE TOWN’S WEBSITE ON A MONTHLY BASIS; (#16__)

Sponsored by: Hon. Mark Dumas, Second District; Hon. Joseph Gresko, Fifth District; and Hon. Marianne Antezzo, Seventh District

WHEREAS, Section 2.2.1 of the Charter of the Town of Stratford gives the Town Council the authority to enact ordinances relative to the regulation of the various departments;

WHEREAS, the Town Council desires to increase transparency relative to the Town’s financial practices and to foster the public trust in the operations of the Town and its enterprise funds;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT HEREBY ORDERED BY THE TOWN COUNCIL OF THE TOWN OF STRATFORD:

That Chapter 14 of Code of the Town of Stratford, Connecticut shall be amended to include the following new Section:

A. That the Finance Director publish on the Town of Stratford’s website a list or database of the non-payroll disbursements for the Town of Stratford, and for each of its enterprise funds, and shall update such lists or databases on at least a monthly basis.

B. That the Finance Director publish on the Town of Stratford’s website a report of the fiscal year-to-date revenues and expenditures by budget line item for the Town of Stratford, and for each of its enterprise funds, and shall update such reports on at least a monthly basis.

RESOLVED: that the first reading of the above entitled Ordinance (#16-__) be and is hereby dispensed with as copies thereof have been previously furnished to each member of the Town Council, and that the same be adopted as a first reading and referred to the Ordinance Committee for a public hearing.