This comes about after a conference call update meeting with S&P, with Mayor Sarno, CAFO Plante, Comptroller Patrick Burns, Treasurer/Collector Stephen Lonergan and Deputy CAFO Lindsay Hackett making a formal presentation to S&P for review and consideration of the enhanced and positive outlook.
The enhanced outlook is due, in part, to the city’s ability to manage and sustain its fiscal health and stability, especially during the surreal and challenging times from the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to S&P, under Mayor Sarno’s sound financial leadership, Springfield has positioned itself over the next couple of years to ‘navigate economic headwinds stemming from inflation and rising mortgage interest rates, and manage increasing costs relating to its long-term liabilities’, and ‘strong financial performance throughout the pandemic, with sizable increases to available reserves.’ S&P also supported Springfield’s strong and healthy financial history under the Sarno Administration by stating ‘Springfield's strong budgetary performance and its comprehensive array of financial policies and procedures have historically supported its financial position.’
Mayor Sarno states, “I want to commend CAFO TJ Plante and his award-winning finance team for this tremendous news. Under my administration we continue to hold the highest bond rating in the city’s history, a drastic turnaround from when I first took office where our municipal bond rating was near junk bond status from the days of the state imposed Financial Control Board. This positive update to our bond rating to ‘stable’ ‘AA-’ rating is a testament to the strong fiscal management policies and practices of my administration. Our strong comprehensive financial practices are stable and sustainable, with a healthy reserve, allowing the city to deal with the ‘ebbs and flow’ of our local and national economic landscape.”
CAFO TJ Plante stated, “The reaffirmation of our rating and ‘stable’ outlook by S&P is a testament to our strategic financial practices and policies that have allowed us to maintain healthy reserves and manage our liabilities. This was especially evident during the challenging times of the pandemic, where we were able to manage the budget and maximize reimbursements. The City generated record free cash and capitalize on the investment opportunities. We have also been able to enhance core city services for our residents thanks to Mayor Sarno’s sound fiscal management policies that is both innovative and sustainable.”