Having established a reputation as a strong fiscal watchdog since becoming the leader of Hempstead Town 14 months ago, Supervisor Anthony J. Santino has just earned his government its third Wall Street upgrade in its financial outlook in recognition of his sound fiscal policies, aggressive commitment to controlling costs and his impressive budget management. Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services (S&P), awarded the town a “positive” financial outlook, in a March 31st credit profile, an upgrade from the municipality’s “stable” rating. This affirmative action follows a previous “outlook” upgrade earned from S&P in October of 2016 and another positive bump granted by Moody’s Investors Services in February of this year.
“I’ve worked very hard with my management team to drastically cut government costs and scrupulously manage the town’s budget, showing the highest regard for Hempstead Town’s taxpayers,” said Santino. “It’s gratifying that a respected Wall Street credit rating agency has acknowledged our commitment to sound and sensible budgeting by awarding my government a strong upgrade in its fiscal outlook.”
In granting the financial outlook upgrade, S&P acknowledged “…the town has begun to restore fiscal stability and work toward stabilizing its financial position and improving and restoring reserve levels” and recognized the town for its “ongoing cuts in discretionary spending (as required by the new town supervisor)…” Further, the Wall Street credit rating giant noted that if the town continued to maintain structural (budgetary) balance and increase and maintain reserve levels, among other factors, Hempstead Town could earn a rating’s upgrade. Hempstead Town currently holds a solid investment grade rating of A+.
S&P’s credit profile also observed Santino’s strong fiscal policies, noting that the Supervisor slashed the town’s 2017 budget by 3 percent ($13.4 million) over the 2016 financial document. The Wall Street agency indicated that Santino presented the town’s first structurally balanced budget in over 25 years. In specific, S&P’s report stated, “Management continues to work diligently and conservatively toward structural balance and improving reserve levels.” What’s more, S&P noted, “Hempstead’s debt and contingent liability profile is strong” and “overall net debt is low…”
“Governments should live within budgets just as our local families do,” said Santino “I slashed the 2017 budget by over $13 million, and I’ve ensured that this budget is structurally balanced, meaning our government only spends as much money as it takes in. That’s what responsible fiscal management is all about.”
Santino earned his first upgrade in the town’s financial outlook from Standard & Poor’s in October of 2016, witnessing a positive adjustment from “developing” to “stable.” After implementing a host of fiscal reforms that included slashing payroll costs, shrinking the workforce and cutting overtime spending, the Supervisor earned another financial outlook upgrade from Moody’s Investment Services in February of 2017. Moody’s bumped the town’s outlook from “poor” to “stable,” specifically crediting the town with dramatically slashing its utility costs through an innovative street lighting conversion to energy-efficient LED fixtures.
“Earning three separate positive upgrades in the town’s financial outlook by independent Wall Street credit rating agencies is an affirmation that our government is working hard for the town’s taxpayers,” concluded Santino. “I am committed to continuing my agenda of cutting the cost of government and making sure that our management team continues to ‘do more with less’.”