Smith County Embraces Open Government - Texas Scorecard

Texas is now home to the only TWO counties in the nation opening their books up to taxpayers for real-time review. The first was COllin County, in north Texas. Now comes word that commissioners in east Texas’ Smith County have thrown sunlight on their expenses.

My good friend JoAnn Fleming and her fellow county commissioners decided this week to make their budget transparent — up to and including putting their check register online. This is a great step that is to be congratulated. Nothing helps reform government like the cleansing sunlight of fiscal transparency.

Fleming is quoted in the Tyler newspaper as saying, “I think the citizens deserve to have open access to records and see where the money is going. There is no more openness than to have your checkbook open where everybody can see it.”

The measure passed unanimously. With 254 counties in Texas, who’ll be next?