Wateree Community Actions Inc. touts itself oin its website as a private, nonprofit organization. Columbia City Council recently approved a $116,000 loan to this organization. Donald Gist, the father-in-law of Mayor Steve Benjamin, is on Wateree’s board of directors.
I’d like City Council to answer six questions:
1. Why is it lending taxpayer money to a private, nonprofit organization?
2. Why does this agency have to borrow money from government and not a private lending institution?
3. Does any private, nonprofit qualify for a loan from City Council?
4. What special consideration was given to this private, nonprofit organization because of the relationship between Mr. Gist and Mayor Benjamin?
5. What are the terms of the loan?
6. Is it true that Wateree Community Actions is being investigated for financial irregularities?
This entire episode just doesn’t pass the smell test to me. Is anyone else concerned?