Lake County, Indiana

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Transparency grading process


Lake County is one of 92 counties in Indiana. According to the 2010 census, Lake County's population is 496,005.[1]

Website evaluation

Main article: Evaluation of Indiana county websites

This website was reviewed on an unknown date.

The good

  • Budget
    • The most current budget is listed.
    • Budgets are archived for 5 years.[2]
  • Administrative Officials
    • Department heads are listed for each department.[3]
    • Contact information for administrative officials is provided including a mailing address, phone number, and personalized email.
  • Elected Officials
    • Elected officials are listed with a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.[4]
  • Meetings
    • Meeting minutes are archived for 8 years.[5]
    • Meeting agendas are archived for 6 years.[6]
    • A meeting calendar is available and names the times and locations of public meetings.[7]
    • Meeting video or podcasts are not available.
  • Audits
    • The most recent audit is posted.
    • Audits dating back to XXX are available.
  • Contracts
    • Bids and RFPs are posted online.
    • Approved contract statements are provided for vendors.
  • Public Records
    • The public information officer is identified and maintained by the Recorder. This person provides a mailing address and phone number but no personalized email.[8]
    • A public records form is not provided.
    • A fee schedule for documents is provided.[9]
  • Taxes
    • Tax revenues are broken down by federal, state, and local funding in the budget.
    • Local taxes, like property taxes, are available online.
    • Residents are able to pay taxes online.
  • Lobbying
    • The XXX discloses it's a member of government sector lobbying associations and membership dues for associations available.
    • The XXX discloses it hires lobbyists and the total amount spent on lobbying.
  • Permits and zoning
    • Zoning ordinances are posted online.
    • Permit applications can be downloaded on the site, along with information on how to apply for the permits.



  • Elected officials are posted with contact information.[10]
  • Meeting minute archives are posted, but are not kept current.[11]
  • Budgets are posted, but do not include revenue estimates.[12]
  • Annual financial reports are posted.[13]
  • A directory includes contact information for all departments.[14]
  • A "tax search" is available to look up taxes by property, and taxes may be paid online.[15]
  • Building permit information is posted,[16] and zoning maps are posted.[17]

The bad

  • Election dates for council members are not posted.
  • Budgets do not include summaries or revenues.
  • Recent meeting minutes are not posted.
  • County contracts are not available.
  • The site does not disclose if the county belongs to government sector lobbying associations.
  • Information on how to make a public records request is not provided on the site.

Board of commissioners

The board of commissioners is the county's executive authority. The 2013 commissioners are: Roosevelt Allen Jr. (1st District), Gerry Scheub (2nd District), and Frances DuPey (3rd District).[18]

Budget

2011 General Fund Budget[19]
Expenditure Area Expenditures
Salaries $46,575,659
Other Personal Services $42,595,466
Supplies $3,046,209
Other Services $25,718,400
Capital Outlay $405,450
Total $118,341,184

The highway fund was $5,709,025 for 2011.[19]

Taxes

Average property taxes in Lake County are 2.51. The highest rate in the county is 6.8587, and the lowest is 1.3056.[20]


Indiana Transparency Portal

The Indiana State Auditor has launched an Indiana Transparency Portal (ITP), containing budget and financial information for local governments. The interactive report-builder page offers a range of information. Users can find financial data for a county, municipality or other unit of government.[21]

Accuracy

The ITP currently has data only for 2012. Because Lake County has not posted its 2012 budget online, it is not possible to compare the two. According to the ITP, Lake's 2012 budgeted expenditures are $187,034,211 and its revenues are $183,840,269.[21]

External links

County Municipalities

Cities

Towns

References

  1. Official Lake County website, "Lake County Facts," accessed November 10, 2010
  2. Lake County, Budgets, Accessed: Feb 6, 2013
  3. [http:www.url.com CITY, Staff Directory, Accessed: DATE]
  4. [http:http://www.lakecountyin.org/portal/media-type/html/group/council/page/default.psml/js_pane/P-13b9cba6081-103c5 Lake County, Elected Officials, Accessed: Feb 6, 2013]
  5. Lake County, Meeting Minutes, Accessed: Feb 6, 2013
  6. Lake County, Meeting Agendas, Accessed: Feb 6, 2013
  7. Lake County, Meeting Calendar, Accessed: Feb 6, 2013
  8. Lake County, Recorder, Accessed: Feb 6, 2013
  9. Lake County, Recording Costs and Fees, Accessed: Feb 6, 2013
  10. Official Lake County website, "County Council," accessed November 10, 2011
  11. Official Lake County website, "Monthly Minutes," accessed November 10, 2011
  12. Official Lake County website, "Council," accessed November 10, 2011
  13. Official Lake County website, "Auditor," accessed November 10, 2011
  14. Official Lake County website, "Detailed Directory," accessed November 10, 2011
  15. Official Lake County website, "Treasurer," accessed November 10, 2011
  16. Official Lake County website, "Building Department Forms," accessed November 10, 2011
  17. Official Lake County website, "Maps," accessed November 10, 2011
  18. Official Lake County website, "Commissioners," accessed February 3, 2013
  19. 19.0 19.1 Official Lake County website, "2011 Budget," accessed November 10, 2011
  20. Stats Indiana, "Property Tax Rates by County," accessed November 10, 2011
  21. 21.0 21.1 Indiana Gateway for Government Unites, "Report Builder," accessed November 28, 2011