San Jose City Hall is pictured in this file photo. Photo by Loan-Anh Pham.What may just you do with $2 billion dollars?
Two billion! No, that’s no longer a line from an Austin Powers movie. It’s the amount of coins the town has stockpiled in its investment portfolio. This is money that could be used to offer protection to a have to-have facilities and decrease the pain small agencies are suffering all over this crisis.Since day one of the pandemic, elected and appointed leaders across our country have asked the public to dramatically change their lives, to sacrifice. From sheltering-in-place, to final businesses to canceling weddings and graduations, existence as we knew it changed. You have been asked to think otherwise.
To act in a different way.
We have asked you to do this to benefit the better community. You need to expect the identical of your city leaders.The San Jose City Council is working on its budget for the next fiscal year, and it is no easy task. As the council grapples with how to cope with the human and financial crisis created via the COVID-19 pandemic, we ought to look at each and every option reachable to discover answers to aid people and minimize the pain of budget and carrier cuts. Cutting facilities and raising taxes need to not be the simplest alternatives on the table.The town of San Jose is in an advantageous role to meet this challenge. We have $2 billion bucks that we can positioned a portion of to paintings to serve our citizens.The city’s investment portfolio of $2 billion is invested in many alternative ways. The town buys bonds of other local governments, invests in the U.S. federal govt mortgage programs, and it even loans cash to inner most corporations. In fact, correct now, more than part a billion dollars has been lent to private businesses with top credit ratings. The town’s investments are even handed conservative, and so far, this monetary year have yielded a 2.32% go back generating more than $35 million in attention earnings.If the city can invest in corporate America and the U.S. executive, why can’t it invest in itself?
The town has the ability to loan a small element of this investment portfolio to its General Fund for a quick duration of time to aid make ends meet even as we adapt to the post COVID world. The General Fund is what will pay for core city facilities, like police officers, fire fighters, librarians and is easiest perfect to assist small businesses get back on their feet again.How could this work?
Simple. A loan agreement is created that facts how loads the loan will be for, the period of the loan, the schedule of payments and the quantity of attention charged to the General Fund so that the fund that lends the cash receives interest simply as if it became invested like the leisure of the cash in the investment pool. This procedure is criminal and supported through California law and the City Council’s own policies. Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed identical activities to balance California’s budget this year.A relatively modest loan to the General Fund can mean we give protection to ourselves from longer police and fire response times to 9-1-1 calls, shuttered libraries and canceled programs to help senior citizens. We can also plan on how to help our struggling provider marketplace small agencies, such as restaurants and retailers.Unfortunately, some at City Hall only believe in cutting their manner to a balanced budget. They do no longer need the public to understand approximately the large stockpiles of coins we have that could be placed to use to store services.
That manner of thinking led to the draconian budget cuts last decade, that decimated our police branch and severely harmed our residents.
We’re still recovering.We believe it’s our accountability to bring these options to the table. To anyone who refuses to even accept as true with searching at this choice, we have to ask, “We have asked each person to think in a different way and to act otherwise because of the pandemic, why doesn’t that apply to our town govt?”So we ask, if you had $2 billion dollars that may just aid our residents and small agencies, what may you do with it?Sergio Jimenez is a San Jose city councilmember elected in 2016 to represent District 2, spanning Edenvale, Santa Teresa and Coyote Valley. Paul Kelly is the president of the San Jose Police Officers Association.