Wealthy Kalamazoo Residents Promising $500 Million Endowment To Keep The City Afloat Indefinitely
Kalamazoo Mayor, Bobby Hopewell is doing something a little bit out of the ordinary to add some funds to the city coffers. After forming a committee to find solutions for a growing city deficit, Mayor Hopewell decided he wasn't happy with the only options being cuts to city services and imposing an income tax. That's when he reached out to his friend banker William Johnston, husband of billionaire Ronda Stryker, with an odd proposal.
Hopewell asked if Johnston thought it would possible for Kalamazoo's wealthiest citizens to offer a bailout to the city. Johnson responded with a proposal that no one expected. He proposed creating a $500 million endowment that would generate enough income to keep the city afloat indefinitely. Johnson would get help with the endowment from fellow philanthropist Upjohn Pharmaceutical heir, William Parfet.
To launch this unique program, Parfet and Johnson will provide $70.3 Million immediately to cover the city's budget gaps for the next 3-years. For more information about the endowment and how it will be used to reduce the deficit and encourage growth in the area, head over to read an interview Bloomberg Businessweek did with Mayor Hopewell.