Want to know how many millions of stimulus dollars are going to the Houston Police Department? How about to transportation, housing or energy? Well, no need to call up your legislator, just a couple clicks on your mouse and it’s all right there.
Houston Controller Annise Parker says this gives anyone with a computer the ability to know whats really going on. The public won’t have to rely on politicians or talk show hosts.
“I researched a number of different websites. There’s some federal websites. There’s some watchdog sites. There’s some state sites. And decided that we need to have one place where someone in the greater Houston area could go and find out all of the money that’s coming down broken out by category.”
Not everyone has been happy with the stimulus program as a whole. Some say the government is spending too much money. Others don’t believe some of the proposed uses of the money won’t actually stimulate the economy. But Parker says that’s why it’s even more important that the information be made available for the public.
“As we saw with the initial round of tarp dollars — which is the banking dollars that came out of the federal government — there was no transparency and there was very little accountability. So as this second round of stimulus dollars comes out, I think we all have to make sure that at every level of government there is as much transparency as possible and accountability.”
You can access that stimulus information by going to city of Houston’s webpage and then clicking city controller, or at http://www.houstontx.gov/controller/Recovery/houstondollars.htm.
Bill Stamps, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.