While the eclipse plunged much of the country into darkness, here in Denver, we shone the light on our processes and programs. 2017 brought clarity to campaign finance, officer and appointee gifts, as well as opening up foreclosure auctions to people everywhere.
Campaign Finance, Lobbyist and Officer Disclosures
In 2017, the Clerk and Recorder and Director of Elections spearheaded the modernization of Denver's campaign finance ordinances. Stakeholders and the community helped direct changes that increase transparency through more frequent reporting, add reporting for independent expenditures and electioneering communications, and add fines for filers who miss deadlines.
Clerk Johnson worked with City Council, government oversight groups and the City's Ethics Board to increase transparency around lobbying efforts and gifts to city officials. The public can view these disclosures on the Clerk's websites.
Online Foreclosure Auctions
We were the first county in Colorado to take our auctions online. Bidders can now sit at home - wherever home is - and participate in the auctions. The sun never sets on our pool of bidders. More than 3,000 bidders are from as far away as Ukraine and as close as Arizona.
Fewer houses sold to the public than in previous years because of the strong real-estate market. But those 50 sales resulted in almost $3.6 million in Excess Funds. That's an average of about $72,000 per property. Excess Funds is the difference between what is owed and what the home sells for. We returned more than $2.7 million in Excess Funds to foreclosed-upon homeowners in 2017.
Did You Know: Mysterious shadowy figures that wriggle like snakes have been known to appear on surfaces near the ground seconds before and after a total solar eclipse. The shadow bands — sometimes called shadow snakes — are thin and wavy lines that can be seen moving on plain-colored surfaces, like white cars.