Standard & Poor’s Global (S&P) announced it has upgraded the overall credit rating for the City of Deerfield Beach to “AA” from “AA-“and reaffirmed its “AA” long-term rating on the city’s general obligation debt. The outlook is stable according to S&P Global.
S&P Global ratings analyst, Randy Layman, further stated, “The rating action reflects our view under the updated methodology that the non-ad valorem pledge effectively constitutes an ongoing special obligation of the city that is indistinguishable from its general creditworthiness. These obligations provide funding for projects we believe are central to the city, and the city’s non-ad valorem revenue constitutes a majority of its operating revenue.”
Standard & Poor’s announcement explained that the 2018 bonds would be used to finance various capital improvements, park and recreational improvements, city hall improvements, and improvements to the city’s Center for Active Aging. S&P reaffirmed that the “stable” outlook reflects that their organization expects that Deerfield Beach will maintain very strong budgetary positions.
Mayor, Bill Ganz weighed in on this recent announcement, “Our City Commission is so humbled by this announcement. Deerfield Beach has seen some very dark days, and we had to make difficult and unpopular decisions as part of a strategy that would steer us to a pathway of prosperity and success. There is still much work to do and I am not ready to celebrate just yet. However, this is the beginning of better days for our City. We have never been more excited about the future of Deerfield Beach.”
The City Commission and management team worked steadily since 2010 to increase efficiency and effectiveness in every single department, which entailed the streamlining of expenditures. The City Manager, Burgess Hanson, made it his mission to create new operations and processes that would right-size the City’s fiscal profile. The City also made the budget reporting easier to understand and more transparent to the public.
You can now access the City’s budget at www.dfb.city and click “Finance” in the “Departments” menu, then go to “Budget.”
In July of 2016, Fitch Ratings announced a credit upgrade to “AA-“from “A.” It was a highly unusual two-notch credit rating improvement based on many factors including the City’s improved financial flexibility, strict reserve policies, reduction in spending beyond its capabilities, and revenue growth.
Vice Mayor, Joe Miller expressed, “The state of our City is strong and stable, just as the Mayor reported a few months ago. There is so much good growth, responsible development and business expansion happening in Deerfield Beach! This is just reaffirmation to our City Commission and staff that our hard work and the many difficult decisions we’ve made have paid off. God bless our City.”
For City Manager, Burgess Hanson it has always been about setting a new standard for government operations and striving to be better every day – all day. He said, “This City was facing a massive deficit just eight years ago with a shrinking revenue base and ever-increasing expenditures. We were focused and undeterred; the mission was to diversify our revenue, control costs, decrease long-term liabilities, and increase property values while still providing a high level of services to the citizens and businesses of Deerfield Beach. There have been many sleepless nights and decisive actions about how to institute real solutions that would not have a long-term negative impact. Our workforce has proven that hard work and sacrifice truly does pay off. We are seeing great economic gains for our City and that is testament to the unwavering leadership of our City Commission, solid financial recommendations by our Chief Financial Officer, Hugh Dunkley, and many dedicated staff. We also need to thank the many engaged residents and businesses who have supported us for a long time and took the time to actually understand the issues.”