KERN COUNTY - County Supervisor David Couch wants the county retirement system to invest more money into Kern County, rather than across the globe.
Couch proposed the idea last month, but it was first discussed Wednesday.
If board members with the county retirement system approve it, $30 million to 60 million could be invested in Kern County.
"Investing locally has some benefits. It helps the local economy. It helps the local job market, and it helps our tax base," said Couch.
Couch is pushing for the Kern County Employees' Retirement Association to invest locally. He says the main investment would be in real estate, possibly expanding into agriculture and oil investments.
"The first step in this proposal is to just have a policy that says we can look into investing locally," said Couch.
As a board member, Couch says the association has invested $3.2 billion globally, but he says when it comes to the local economy, Kern County isn't seeing anything.
"Why would we be excluding Kern County when other people are investing here? They see something here. Maybe we should take a look as well," said Couch.
The county retirement system says while it may provide an economic boost locally, the proposal is being reviewed.
"We'll be doing the investigation. We'll be looking at what other systems, pension systems, may have been implemented. We'll look at successes and failures and how this concept could possibly be introduced as a prudent investment for the board of retirement," said Anne Holdren, Executive Director for the Kern County Employees' Retirement Association.
Cindy Pollard, President of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, says the proposal would help Kern County in several ways.
"Anytime that you can do a local investment here, there's going to be an economic boost on the back end, and when you have the economic boost, you can put people back to work. When people are working, they are then able to turn around and reinvest in the local community," said Pollard.
Supervisor Couch says it will take a couple of months for board members to decide on his proposal.