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Marion County Public Spending Digest
Keeping better tabs on how county commissioners dole out billions of your in public funding
There are three people in Marion County that quietly dole out about tens (sometimes hundreds) of millions of dollars a month in public funding.
Most of it goes to other local, regional and state government organizations. Some of it goes to highly specialized agencies and companies that are widely used for municipal projects. Some of it goes to high-powered political donors. Some of it even goes to religious organizations.
Month-in. Month-out. These three folks are approving one fat check after another. Who are they? Marion County Commissioners. We’ve got three of them. You can learn more about them here.
Colm Willis. David Cameron. Danielle Bethell.
Hey - real quick. Building these tools is super fun, but they take time and resources to make & maintain. It’s critical work, though, to keep government accountable. Help me continue building powerful shit like this by becoming a paid subscriber. Or free subscriber. But let’s agree that you’ll at least *think* about kicking me $1 a week. The snark alone is worth it :)
Most people in Marion County don’t know who these people are, much less that they exist and will influence the allocation of likely billions of public dollars over their respective tenures.
SKP aims to change that. With a spreadsheet!
C’mon - everyone loves a nice, warm spreadsheet right? Cell after cell of data. Decimal points with absurd amounts of numbers following. Formulas? Anyone? Where’s my pivot table crowd?
OK, seriously, we built a spreadsheet-based tool that aims to make it approximately 1000% easier to do the following:
Know where public funding is actually going in Marion County & how much
Understand who our 3 Marion County Commissioners are doling money out to & why
Please consider this a work in progress (but aren’t we all)
For real though - there is one important aspect of this tool still in development. Categorizing each contract into a “Contract Type” is often a very manual research process. It’s friggin’ time consuming work at this point - that’s what I’m trying to say.
When that process is completed for the 6-months of data included to launch this tool, we’ll be able to see, for example, how many contracts go to political donors. Or, say, how much public funding in being steered towards religious organizations. Fun stuff. Powerful stuff.
This is the latest edition to the Salem-Keizer Proletariat “Tools & Resources” collection.
And, as always, let me know if you have any ideas for how to make this Marion County Public Spending Digest better. Or any useful tools you think should be built!
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