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Letter: Spend or invest?
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Letter: Spend or invest?

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Downtown Rock Island, September 28, 2020.

The Biden administration signed into law the American Rescue Plan on March 11, and notified the City of Rock Island to expect $27.5 million. A total of $13.7 million will be in our checking account by May 10. The second payment will be later.

When was the last time that Rock Island saw such a financial jolt as we will get with this money? Decades? I’m not sure.

One thing I know is that in 10 years, the voters of the 7th Ward and the city will all look back at this time in the city’s history and ask what did this council do with all that money?

Did we merely spend it or did we invest it?

I know fully that the stakes have never been higher. The legislation clarifies that the money needs to move out of the city’s checking account and be invested into the community quickly and in the most fair way possible. The decisions that this new council needs to make in the coming weeks, months, and year regarding the $27.5 million will most likely do one of two things: 1. Provide a brief economic boost to Rock Island or 2. Seed a new trajectory of inclusive and smart growth with a more efficient local government providing quality services that make this city a place to live and love.

I look forward to working with my colleagues in listening to our voters as to which option they’d like us to go.

Dave Geenen

Rock Island

(The writer is 7th Ward alderman.)


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