Local officials sign letter urging next COVID-19 aid package includes funding for local government

Rep. TJ Cox
Rep. TJ Cox

Several Kings County officials, including Lemoore Mayor Edward Neal and its city manager, Nathan Olson, signed a letter urging that the government’s next emergency coronavirus aid package includes direct funding for local governments, regardless of population size.

Earlier this week, Kings County’s congressional representative, TJ Cox, sent the letter to Congressional Leadership along with the signatures of 36 county supervisors, local mayors, and city officials in California’s 21st district.  

Currently, many towns, cities, and other localities that are in desperate need are too small to qualify for stimulus programs created under the CARES Act, leaving them to rely on states and larger counties for disbursement of CARES Act funds. According to Cox, recent reports indicate that only 16 percent of the funds have been set aside for smaller localities by the state government, despite guidance from the Department of the Treasury to allocate 45 percent of the funds for this purpose. Central Valley communities are being left behind while the pandemic continues to spread, making direct funding a necessity. 

Cox is urging support for provisions in the House-passed Heroes Act (H.R. 6800), providing direct funding to local governments and provisions in the bipartisan Coronavirus Community Relief Act (H.R. 6467) which would provide $250 billion in direct stabilization funds to localities with populations below 500,000. 

This funding would assist small communities in the Central Valley fund an expansion of emergency services, testing and contact tracing programs, a transition to telework for municipal services, compensation for first responders, personal protective equipment, and other necessary programs to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and stabilize local economies. 

Cox and the local leaders wrote: “California requires municipalities to balance their budgets, meaning that in the absence of federal support, our towns will have to increase taxes or furlough municipal employees and cut essential services, including resources for public schools, police, and fire departments. Small communities in California’s Central Valley and across the nation are depending on Congress to respond to this crisis, and we urge you to act swiftly on the next emergency coronavirus package.” 

The letter was signed by: 

County of Kern Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Leticia Perez, 

Tulare County Board of Supervisors Chairman Pete Vander Poel, 

Corcoran Mayor Sidonio Palmerin, 

Corcoran Vice Mayor Patricia Nolen, 

City of Delano Councilmember Bryan Osorio, 

City of Delano Councilmember Grace Vallejo, 

Mayor of Firebaugh Elsa Lopez, 

Firebaugh Mayor Pro Tem Alfred Valdez, 

City of Firebaugh Councilmember Marcia Sablan, 

Fowler Mayor David Cardenas, 

Fowler City Manager Jeannie Davis, 

Mayor of Hanford John Draxler, 

Vice Mayor of Hanford Francisco Ramirez, 

City of Hanford Councilmember Art Brieno, 

City of Hanford Councilmember Martin Devine, 

Mayor of Kerman Rhonda Armstrong, 

City of Kerman Councilmember Espi Sandoval, 

City of Kerman Councilmember Ismael Herrera, 

Kingsburg Mayor Michelle Roman, 

City of Kingsburg Councilmember Jewel Hurtado, 

Lemoore Mayor Edward Neal Mayor, 

Lemoore City Manager Nathan Olson, 

Mendota Mayor Rolando Castro, 

Parlier Mayor Alma Beltran, 

Sanger Mayor Frank Gonzalez, 

Sanger Mayor Pro Tem Daniel Martinez, 

Selma Mayor Louis Franco, 

Selma Mayor Pro Tem Sarah Guerra, 

City of Selma Councilmember Jim Avalos, 

City of Selma Councilmember Scott Robertson, 

City of Selma Councilmember John Trujillo, 

Wasco Mayor Tilo Cortez, Jr., 

Wasco Mayor Pro Tem Danny Espitia 

City of Wasco Councilmember Alex Garcia, 

City of Wasco Councilmember Gilberto Reyna, and  

City of Wasco Councilmember John P. Pallares

Comments powered by Disqus