Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Intersection Development and Stimulus Funds

Last night there was a detailed discussion about what type of liability(ies) the City puts itself in each and every time it accepts stimulus monies.

While philosophically I have an issue with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA, stimulus), over the past week there have been several issues that have come to the front lines of the media that have given me even greater concern about accepting these funds.

The first is the fact that the US Treasury's auto industry task force is now dictating the marketing budget of Chrysler, which has filed bankruptcy and accepted stimulus money in an effort to stay afloat. While I understand the purpose of doing this, I must disagree with the idea that the federal government should have the ability to dictate the marketing and business decisions of a company simply because they have taken stimulus monies. Even if they are to increase regulation, the government should be mindful that a company such as this one greatly relies on marketing to succeed.

The second story that has caught my eye involves the state of California. After the state trimmed $74 million from its budget, the federal government made it clear that if the cuts aren't revoked the state will be denied $6.8 billion in stimulus. Using my logic, this action defies everything the tenth amendment of the US Constitution is supposed to represent. I'm not sure that the best remedy for a frail budget is to have individuals on the other side of the nation deciding what cuts will and will not be made.

These two examples, along with the fact that our biggest creditor, China, is 'terrified' that our nation will default on our debt, and have recently slowed their purchases of US debt, has brought great concern.

At this time, I believe that accepting any stimulus funds will be a detriment to our sovereignty as a city, and puts us in a situation in which we don't know what the rules will be from day to day. It is not a wise business decision, and at this point I will not be a part of it.


Matthew said...

Your reasoning is sound, and in a sense I think you made the right choice. I would have found myself rather conflicted on the issue, and though I probably would have voted on the side of accepting the funds, I think it is important to recognize the dangers of such funds. Thanks for representing us in this fashion.

Anonymous said...

Did the citizens elect you because of your political philosophy? Or was it because the citizens want someone who will help Springfield. I watched you the first Council meeting where you read your rationale for your vote. It was painful to watch frankly. Are you really going to have to go through all of this analysis?

Just vote...spare us all the consternation.!

Nick said...

I appreciate your comments and will take them in to consideration. However, there are two reasons that I do discuss 'no' votes. The first is that it has been made clear to me that while the votes I cast are my own, staff and other members of Council would like explanation as to why 'no' votes are cast by all members of council. The second has to do with the media and the public; I have voted in the minority four times now, and only once did I not give an explanation. That one time was the one time that I received four phone calls the next day from the media (all different outlets) asking for my reason for voting 'no'. So, to be transparent for staff, Council, the public, and the media, as well as to save time in the matter, is my reasoning for explaining my votes. If you have any other concerns you would like to discuss feel free to call me at 773-9441.

With Respect,