Letter to the Editor: The District Should End Real Estate Loans



In May, I expressed my concern during a public discussion at the Council of County Commissioners’ Summit meeting about the exorbitant cost that the County has spent since 2007 on real estate loans to senior staff. According to reliable sources, over $ 1.2 million has been allocated in loans to only four senior employees I know of, and two of those employees have received multiple loans. All of these loans were approved by previous county commissioners. I asked the current district commissioners if they would continue this practice, but have not received a response yet.

When did the role of the mortgage lender become the role of the county government? More importantly, why do senior employees, whose salaries are more than double the average salary of Summit County workers, ask their employer for a real estate loan? I don’t know of a single taxpayer who thinks this is correct. Department leaders and managers regularly receive guidance from senior staff to cut program costs, but could the district find $ 1.2 million in senior staff loans? As I understand it, in 2008 and 2009, some employees were laid off due to the recession. This usually means that there were no dollars to pay these salaries, but in the same period, $ 615,000 were disbursed for these real estate loans. How is this justified?

We have a right – yes, a right – to some of the answers here. More than $ 400,000 of these previous loans remain outstanding. This is $ 400,000 that cannot be used to solve more pressing current problems.

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