City Councilor Renee Villarreal is calling for the formation of a task force to determine whether the city should move forward with the establishment of a public bank. Two other councilors, Carmichael Dominguez and Joe Maestas, have signed on to co-sponsor Villarreal’s proposal, and a nonprofit group called WeArePeopleHere! continues to push the public banking idea with support from the likes of state Sen. Peter With and school board member Linda Trujillo, recently elected to the state House of Representatives.
But some outside city government and with experience in the banking industry remain skeptical.
“To me, it’s one of those circumstances that sounds conceptually interesting. People say, ‘Why can’t we do this?’ ” Bryan “Chip” Chippeaux, chairman of the locally owned Century Bank, said in an interview this week. “But I think people underestimate the requirements of what becoming a public bank would entail. Plus, it’s one of those deals where you have to ask, ‘Is that the biggest issue Santa Fe has in front of it right now?’ ”
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