Letter to the Editor: County Needs More Transparency on Real Estate Loans



On July 10, reporter Jenna deJong wrote a compelling story titled “Summit County continues to offer mortgages to staff amid labor shortages… “I am writing this because my name is featured in this story as someone who has a problem with the county government providing real estate loans to staff. To be clear, I have no problem with the district providing down payment assistance to full-time full-time staff members through the current program. There are clear guidelines governing this program, one of which is that the amount of assistance allowed to anyone is limited to US $ 30,000.

In this story, County Manager Scott Vargo argued that there is a second “program” for senior staff, specifically for staff retention. This “program” provided more than $ 1.1 million to four employees, well above the $ 30,000 per person statutory contribution limit. In fact, this is more than 10 times more. I don’t believe for a minute that there is a second “program” for the leadership team. I do believe that special arrangements have been made to provide real estate loans to a handful of high-level employees, and I think this is a problem.

Finally, the article states that there are similar programs in Eagle, Pitkin and Grand counties. While they may have down payment assistance programs, none provide full-fledged real estate loans to senior employees. However, Summit County did just that, refusing to provide promised road maintenance in the county due to “budget constraints.” I think it’s time for the promised transparency.

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now, more than ever, your financial support is critical to helping us educate our communities about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and its impact on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, regardless of its size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used solely to support quality local journalism.


Source link