Saturday, November 15, 2008

San Jose Seeks 14 Billion of TARP Money

From the San Jose Mercury News, San Jose mayor seeks slice of bailout pie

As cities around the United States start to scramble for a share of the
$700 billion federal bailout package, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said Friday that
he's working with leaders of other large California cities to make sure they're
not left behind.

The stimulus package Congress passed last month wasn't designed to dole out
money to governments, so it's far from clear whether San Jose will get a piece.
But with $1.6 billion in unfunded retiree health care obligations, plus $500
million worth of local and regional road work to be done and $750 million in
federal help sought to bring BART to the South Bay, Reed noted the city has a
full slate of needs.

Reed created a minor furor Friday when he told an Associated Press reporter
he would seek 2 percent of the bailout, or $14 billion, for San Jose — an
eye-popping figure, given that the city's entire annual budget is $3.3 billion.
Reed later told the Mercury News that his remark was "off the cuff," and based
on the fact that the city contributes more than 2 percent of the nation's gross
domestic product.

"I do believe that an investment of 2 percent of such a stimulus package in
San Jose, the nation's 10th-largest city and innovation capital, would not
only be fair but pragmatic," he said in a statement late Friday.