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At Riverside
Investment strategies for city funds discussed

by Kathy Crawford
Landmark reporter

Donna Resz, finance director for the city of Riverside, asked the city council to consider changes to its investment policy at the board of aldermen meeting Tuesday night.

“Tonight I wanted to bring those changes to you, see if you have any questions or concerns,” she said. “If so, make changes where we have concerns. If not, at the next board meeting bring an ordinance to adopt the revised policy.”

Diversification and risks were factors in her recommendations regarding certificates of deposit, maturity limits and callable securities.

“It's not our money. It's not my money. It's the taxpayers' money,” Resz said.

The current policy limits Resz to invest 30 percent of the city's portfolio in certificates of deposit. She would like to increase that to 75 percent, with no more than 20 percent in any one bank.

“The risk with the CD is that the bank would go bankrupt,” she said. “While they have pledged collateral for us, there would still be a little bit of a gap before we would get our money.”

However, she said the new proposal is more conservative than what the city currently has because only 20 percent would be in any one bank, but now 30 percent can be in one bank.

“If I invest $2 million with them, I'm going to be in 20 or more different banks,” she said.

Resz also proposed that the city allow up to 20 percent of the portfolio to go into maturities up to two years. The current policy limits investments to those maturing in one year or less. She would also like the city to allow for 20 percent of the portfolio to be invested in callable securities, which give the issuer the right to settle before maturity. The current investment policy does not allow for any callable securities. She said these usually allow for about a quarter of a percent higher return.

“A quarter of a percent is probably all we'd get,” she said. “But, you know, a quarter of a percent on a million dollars is a lot of money.”

Finally, Resz asked the board to consider establishing an Investment Review Committee, which would be comprised of a council member, the city administrator and the finance officer.

“This is to periodically review how the performances of the investments are doing and to talk about investment strategies,” she said. “I think that when you're investing large sums of money, it's helpful to have input from more than just one person's frame of reference.”

In other business, Alderman Mike Fuller said rumor has it that a new resident may be in the Riverside area--a bobcat. He said that he has received reports of a few sightings, and Mayor Kathy Rose said she had heard the same thing. Fuller did not report any injuries or damage and said he thought that the best course of action is to contact the Missouri Department of Conservation.

“We don't want our neighbors out there with guns,” he said.

For information regarding the legal restrictions in Missouri on hunting bobcat, contact the Department of Conservation or visit the Secretary of State's Web site.


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