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Core members of the Brass Tacks Team, from left to right: Dan Metzger, Elizabeth Dwyer and Nichoe Lichen
Core members of the Brass Tacks Team, from left to right: Dan Metzger, Nichoe Lichen and Elizabeth Dwyer.

Santa Fe City Council Considers Task Force for Public Bank

(from left to right) District 1 Councilor Renee Villarreal, District 3 Councilor Carmichael Dominguez and District 2 Councilor Joseph M. Maestas

On October 26, 2016, Santa Fe Councilor Renee Villarreal introduced a resolution authorizing City Council to create a Task Force that will take the “next and final steps to determine whether to establish a Public Bank for the City of Santa Fe.” Councilors Joe Maestas and Carmichael Dominguez, who is also chair of the Governing Body’s Finance Committee, joined the resolution as cosponsors at the time of its introduction.

The resolution, as presented, calls for a nine-member task force, appointed by the Mayor, including a member of the Council’s Finance Committee; the City’s Finance Director or his representative; three members with local professional banking or financial experience (from a community bank, credit union and a CDFI); one with legal experience in New Mexico banking; one with state or federal banking regulatory experience; and two members from the public at large who support a public bank.

It will report to the public and gather comment at least twice, provide the Governing Body an interim report three months into its deliberations and a final report. Among the Task Force’s duties are to identify the process for establishing the public bank’s mission; research and recommend the most appropriate kind of bank charter and determine capitalization requirements and from where those funds would come. It will also consider how a public bank could be governed to assure transparency and accountability to the public, and has been charged with recommending at least two governance models for consideration by the public and the Governing Body.

Banking on New Mexico’s Five-Year Financial Model Will Inform Task Force Work

On January 22nd, BoNM released its Five-Year Model Supporting a Public Bank for Santa Fe, in development for the past several months. It suggests that should A Public Bank for Santa Fe “open for business” on July 1, 2017 with a loan portfolio of $45.5 million in loans to the City, plus a small amount of partnership lending, in its first year of operation the bank could help Santa Fe reduce its annual debt service costs by $1 million, while making a small profit of $.5 million. In five years the bank could reduce the City’s annual debt service costs by $1.3 million, reduce total City debt by $4.8 million and produce a $10.5 million dollar profit to benefit the public.

(from left to right) District 1 Councilor Renee Villarreal, District 2 Councilor Joseph M. Maestas, District 3 Councilor Carmichael Dominguez

On October 26, 2016, Santa Fe Councilor Renee Villarreal introduced a resolution authorizing City Council to create a Task Force that will take the “next and final steps to determine whether to establish a Public Bank for the City of Santa Fe.” Councilors Joe Maestas and Carmichael Dominguez, who is also chair of the Governing Body’s Finance Committee, joined the resolution as cosponsors at the time of its introduction.

The resolution calls for a nine-member task force, appointed by the Mayor, including a member of the Council’s Finance Committee; the City’s Finance Director or his representative; three members with local professional banking or financial experience (from a community bank, credit union and a CDFI); one with legal experience in New Mexico banking; one with state or federal banking regulatory experience; and two members from the public at large who support a public bank.

It will report to the public and gather comment at least twice, provide the Governing Body an interim report three months into its deliberations and a final report. Among the Task Force’s duties are to identify the process for establishing the public bank’s mission; research and recommend the most appropriate kind of bank charter and determine capitalization requirements and from where those funds would come. It will also consider how a public bank could be governed to assure transparency and accountability to the public, and has been charged with recommending at least two governance models for consideration by the public and the Governing Body.

Banking on New Mexico’s Five-Year Financial Model
Will Inform Task Force Work

On January 22nd, BoNM released its Five-Year Model Supporting a Public Bank for Santa Fe, in development for the past several months. It suggests that should A Public Bank for Santa Fe “open for business” on July 1, 2017 with a loan portfolio of $45.5 million in loans to the City, plus a small amount of partnership lending, in its first year of operation the bank could help Santa Fe reduce its annual debt service costs by $1 million, while making a small profit of $.5 million. In five years the bank could reduce the City’s annual debt service costs by $1.3 million, reduce total City debt by $4.8 million and produce a $10.5 million dollar profit to benefit the public.

Banking on New Mexico is the primary initiative of WeArePeopleHere!
Our mission is to educate and advocate for the creation of a public bank to democratize our local economy and support the City in its stewardship of the peoples’ money. Our goal is to promote economic justice at the local level by putting the peoples’ money to work here at home, where it can be an engine for reducing debt and growing revenues for our community.

It Should Be Done.

Benefits of a Public Bank for Santa Fe

A Public Bank – owned by the City rather than by private stockholders – would keep Santa Fe’s public monies at home by:

  • Protecting the City’s Resources from the dangerous practices of Global Banks
  • Paying higher interest on City deposits
  • Charging lower interest on City borrowing
  • Retaining interest paid and interest earned within the Santa Fe economy
  • Assuring local control of the City’s resources,
  • Increasing lending to projects benefiting our local community
  • Partnering with locally owned Community Banks and Credit Unions to invest in Santa Fe’s economic growth.

It Can Be Done.

Managing a Public Bank in Santa Fe

A formal legal opinion by the Rodey Law Firm supports the legality of a Public Bank for Santa Fe. The bank would be governed and managed by a professional banking staff and Board of Directors totally independent of elected or appointed government officials. The bank’s policies, priorities and practices would be developed by the People of Santa Fe. Initially at least, the bank would provide banking services only to the City and other public institutions and governments.

public-bank-santa-fe-circle

It Has a Record of Success.

Creating a Public Bank for Santa Fe

The public bank would be chartered and regulated by the New Mexico Department of Licensing and Regulations, Financial Services Division. The state-owned Public Bank of North Dakota has been successful since it was founded in 1919. The Chickasaw Nation Bank2 has grown from $7.5 million to more than $100 million in assets since its founding in 2002, and public banks have thrived in Germany, Switzerland and other countries around the world for Centuries.

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Public Banking — Funding Local, Sustainable Economies