Troubling story last week from The High Timber Times:
Jefferson County on Tuesday granted a decade-long grace period on a loan of more than $6.4 million to an undeveloped metropolitan district for construction of the C-470 and Alameda interchange.
Green Tree Metropolitan District, which is governed by at least one developer who has contributed substantially to Jeffco Republican campaigns, borrowed the money in 2007 from the county to help construct the $17 million interchange.
Under the loan’s original terms in an intergovernmental agreement, Green Tree was to begin repayment at the end of 2011 with an installment of more than $2 million. The remaining principal and interest were to be repaid at the end of 2013.
But the district cites the economy for a lack of development that would allow it to begin repaying the debt.
“Our agreement anticipated development that would allow for repayment starting late this year. With current conditions we are many years away from any development necessary to begin to repay the cost of this interchange,” Green Tree board member John Mullins wrote in an e-mail to Jefferson County. “We are suggesting 2021 as a better date.”
Did campaign contributions help grease the wheels for this loan forgiveness? Reporter Emile Hallez Williams thought it worth questioning:
McCasky, who has received at least $9,000 in campaign contributions from three members of Green Tree’s board, said the donations played no factor in his decision to approve the loan.
And despite the fact that McCasky received $3,500 from the board members less than two months before the agreement was approved, he said he had no idea who sat on the district’s board.
“This isn’t about Green Tree…I don’t even know who Green Tree is. They’re just the metropolitan district managing the property,” McCasky said. “It’s immaterial who the board members are.” [Jeffco Pols emphasis]
On Aug. 7, 2007, McCasky received $500 from John Mullins, $500 from Bill Jenkins and $2,500 from Greg Stevinson – all Green Tree board members. The original intergovernmental agreement was approved on Oct. 2, 2007.
Additionally, Commissioner Faye Griffin has received $9,000 to date from Stevinson in her runs for county treasurer and commissioner, though she was not in her current office when the agreement was drafted. She also received $250 from Mullins and $250 from Jenkins in 2008.
The idea that former County Commissioner Kevin McCasky, who recently resigned to head up the Jefferson Economic Council, has no idea who is involved with Green Tree is laughable at best. Williams notes $3,500 in campaign contributions that occurred prior to the 2007 vote, but over the years McCasky has received much more — tens of thousands of dollars, in fact — in campaign contributions from people affiliated with Green Tree.