Wake's open books

July 13, 2009 

There will be members of the Wake County Taxpayers Association who think they've died and gone to heaven. Right there on their home computers they'll be able to pick through gobs of data about county government spending. If there's waste in the works, the Taxpayers surely will help ferret it out. Good for them!

Of course other folks take an interest in the county's spending habits as well. Some of them work at The N&O. They're the people who reported, for example, on the outrageous travel and buying spree carried out by some employees of the solid waste department. It was after that mini-scandal that county leaders decided to go the extra mile in terms of making the financial books accessible.

When the Board of Commissioners approved the new Wake Accountability Tax Check (WATCH) Web site, only Stan Norwalk voted no, on the grounds that it sets the county up for needless harassment by self-appointed watchdogs. There will be some of that. But if Wake's government has nothing to hide, and if it's open to constructive criticism, this approach should be useful. And, for some, fun.

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