County finance director resigns
Grand County Finance Director Scott Berger has announced his resignation effective Dec. 4.
Berger said he submitted his letter of resignation on Wednesday morning, Nov. 4.
“This is a pretty recent development,” Berger said of his decision to resign. “Obviously I’ve lived through all the discussions regarding the deficit spending that the (Grand County Board of Commissioners) has gotten themselves into, and with revenues coming down we needed to react to that and they will, but it’s going to be tough, and I think I’ve done everything I can as finance director.”
The timing of Berger’s departure coincides with the conclusion of a tumultuous budget process in which capital spending was cut significantly or halted completely in departments across Grand County’s government.
At the beginning of the 2016 budget process, Berger warned the Grand County Board of Commissioners that its strategy of adopting budgets with large deficits was unsustainable.
Speaking to the Sky-Hi News previously, Berger said he’d expressed concerns to the county manager about the strategy but wasn’t sure if they’d made it to the board.
Grand County Board of Commissioners Chairman Merrit Linke said he had called Berger on Thursday and thanked him for his service to Grand County.
“I felt that he really did a good job of explaining where were at and where we needed to be,” Linke said of the 2016 budget process.
Berger denied that his departure was the result of any internal conflict in county government, and said he timed his departure to fall between the 2016 budget process and the preparation of financial statements in 2016.
“I think it’s a positive on both sides, and I don’t think there’s any hard feelings in any way that I can detect,” Linke said.
Berger, who started with Grand County in May 2006, said the county had made “a lot of improvements” in areas like transparency.
Berger called his last 10 years in government finance “really fascinating,” and said he looks forward to building on that expertise. Berger said he hopes to stay in Grand County.
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Grand County’s real estate transactions April 4-10 were worth more than $20 million combined.