Here’s an update on this news today that the city got its first positive signal from the three credit rating agencies since its financial meltdown in 2004.

Mayor Jerry Sanders just released this statement:

This change represents a historic breakthrough for our City. It is the first good financial news that we have received from Wall Street in four years. Fitch’s credited the City for “adequate operations, debt service coverage and reserve levels” and stated that the City’s “underlying economic diversity, strength and enterprise fund financial flexibility are likely consistent with higher ratings than those currently assigned.” …

The focus of my efforts for the past 27 months has been to restore our city’s financial reputation and stability. Much of what we’ve accomplished — the tough new financial controls, completion of audits, transparent budgeting, long-term financial planning — aren’t sexy and don’t grab headlines. But it’s precisely this kind of work that was needed to get our city’s finances back on track.That’s why the announcement today by Fitch’s that our financial outlook has been changed from negative to positive is so gratifying.

It’s tangible evidence of our very significant progress in turning our city around. It’s a message to Wall Street that our city is headed in the right direction. This show of support by Fitch’s is particularly significant given the more general economic slow-down in our region which they acknowledge and factor in to their analysis. 

I view this new Rating Watch as a sign that San Diego city government is on the path to recovery.

Notwithstanding my pleasure in making this annuouncement (sic), I must still urge caution and restraint. We still have major challenges ahead, not the least of which is the negotations (sic) currently underway with all major city employee unions. Keeping our city on track will depend on continued fiscal discipline and re-doubling efforts to make city government more efficient and accountable.


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