The City of Pompano Beach recently received extremely high credit ratings from both Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s

by Elaine Fitzgerald

In case you hadn’t heard, the City of Pompano Beach recently received extremely high credit ratings by both Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s. This is huge for the City and its residents, but not everyone may know how important this is. Specifically, the City has been found to have such solid finances, positive infrastructure growth and bright path for the future that it will be granted lower interest rates than almost any other borrower.

According to the Assistant City Manager, this will save us taxpayers about $20 million in interest on the voter-approved general obligation bonds for infrastructure projects slated throughout the city. This is direct savings to city residents and business owners on their tax bills for decades to come.

In late August, Moody’s gave the City a Double-A-Plus credit rating, citing the city’s growing tax base, healthy reserves, formalized fiscal policies and low debt burden.  Standard and Poor’s cited similar factors. When these experts look into a city’s creditworthiness, they look at everything with a fine-tooth comb. It all has to be accurate and above board.  They crunch every number and look at every statistic.

Our Watchdogs

As a ten-year volunteer on Pompano’s Economic Development Council, I get a more close-up view of the workings of the City. And so do the hundreds of other residents and business owners who also volunteer their time on dozens of city advisory boards and attend public meetings. They contribute input to the city’s every move.

These are our watchdogs! From everything I’ve seen, I am proud of the absolute integrity and broad transparency of our city that led to the results of our Double A-Plus credit rating.

I hope this puts to bed the last two years we have endured of constant misplaced accusations and misinformation by the two newest members of this commission. A barrage of half-truths and innuendo, and mere ill-preparedness dragged out the length of each commission meeting, sometimes twice as long.

The Landslide Vote in Favor of the GO Bonds

This behavior has no place on this commission. These are anything BUT watchdog tactics, from commissioners who seem to just want to hear themselves speak.

I don’t want to hear that our much-needed beach parking garage will be a white elephant when it is anything but, that the new pier shouldn’t be funded, that our golf course should be shut down, that desperately needed new fire stations throughout the city should not be built when we have the means to do this.

I don’t appreciate when these two commissioners can’t see the need for purchasing the Elks Club land for much needed soccer fields – when it was documented that a sober home facility was slated to purchase it.

I felt it was awful when these two commissioners voted against putting the General Obligation bonds on the ballot so that we residents could decide. The landslide vote in favor of the GO bonds is a testament to the approval rating that our residents have of the city’s positive direction.

To conclude:  On Election Day November 6, we all need to remember which commissioners constantly voted against city residents, and which ones supported this city’s amazing turnaround, and will work to Keep It Going.