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Noteworthy

Hallandale Beach Will Soon Let Residents Use OpenGov To Access The City Budget In An Easy And Open Format

Not sure if you've heard, but Hallandale Beach wants you to know the city is getting ready to bare it all—"it" being the city government's financials.

Yes, Hallandale Beach residents will soon be able to see exactly where government money is being spent, and how that changes every month.

On Oct. 1, Hallandale Beach is launching its OpenGov webpage, which provides quick and easy charts that break down the city budget. The City of Hallandale Beach website—cohb.org—will feature a button that takes visitors to the continually updated, open data dashboard.

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Larger cities like Fort Lauderdale and Miami already use OpenGov, and smaller Broward cities like Tamarac and Oakland Park have invested in it as well.

The program isn't changing what information is available to residents, but rather the way data will be made available.

"The budget has always been an open book, but that book can be several hundred pages," Peter Dobens, publicist for the City of Hallandale Beach, said.

While residents will still be able to download the entire budget if they choose, OpenGov will provide data in a more easy-to-digest manner. Interactive bar charts, pie charts and line graphs are intended to be user-friendly and help residents understand the ever-changing city budget.

With Open Gov, data can be filtered by fund, department or type, and historical expenditures will be accessible as well. In the past, if a resident wanted this information, the city had to run a program to collect the data, Dobens explained.

"Now, the monthly expenses will be updated by the 15th of each month and posted to OpenGov, allowing residents to see how much has been expended to date," he said.

The OpenGov page will have a list of frequently requested charts, and Hallandale's finance department will update the information on a monthly basis.

The City Budget

Screenshot of the dashboard courtesy City of Hallandale Beach

(Image via Flickr/Bob B. Brown)


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