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Cortez launches Transparency Center on budget

The city of Cortez has launched a budget transparency service for citizens to review. (Journal file photo)
Citizens can review city finances, give input

The city of Cortez has launched an online Transparency Center powered by ClearGov, a provider of online budgeting and communications software for local governments.

According to a Aug. 23 city news release, the online profile provides residents with an interactive breakdown of the city's finances.

The Transparency Center also is optimized for use by citizens with disabilities who rely on assist technology, such as screen readers and voice recognition software.

“The City of Cortez believes that financial and operational transparency is the cornerstone of good government and strong, sustainable communities,” the press release states.

The new online Transparency Center intends to empower citizens to understand how funds are generated and allocated, and to see how the annual budget impacts the community programs and services they care about most.

“We are proud to have taken this proactive step toward a more open and accessible government, and we’re excited to make this intuitive, user-friendly, and ADA-optimized experience available to our community,” said Finance Director Kelly Koskie. “These days, not everyone has the time to attend public meetings. The Transparency Center will make it easy and convenient for residents to stay informed. We encourage all citizens in Cortez to leave their comments on what they feel are priorities for spending.”

Koskie said the best way to learn more about the Transparency Center and city of Cortez finances is to go online and explore.

Visit www.tinyurl.com/cortezbudget today to see how their tax dollars work.

You can also visit the City website, www.cityofcortez.com and click on the Transparency Center button. Once on the ClearGov Cortez page, scroll to the bottom to leave comments if desired.

The city has started the process of preparing the budget for 2022 and invites residents to visit the site and provide input on what they think budget priorities should be for next year.

Community grants

Each year, the Cortez City Council budgets money from the general fund to support community organizations that preserve or enrich the health, education, welfare and fitness of the community.

Organizations may receive grants to support activities and programs that are accessible to the city of Cortez community and encourage citizen welfare and education. Council funding priorities for 2022 are:

  • Nonprofits with verification of status from the State of Colorado.
  • Organizations that address a unique community need.
  • Organizations that serve a broad spectrum of the community.
  • Organizations that avoid overlapping services.
  • Established service providers.

For information on criteria and the grant program, go to: http://www.cityofcortez.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=759

The application can sent in via mail, dropped off at Cortez City Hall, emailed in and also be submitted via online form at: http://www.cityofcortez.com/FormCenter/Events-14/2022-City-of-Cortez-Grant-Guidelines-60