There's a constituency of people in the city who feel that Guelph is always mere days from a complete economic collapse, that the Mayor and a majority of council are driving us over a fiscal cliff at the speed of sound. Then there's news like this.
Now I don't pretend to know everything about how the economy works, but I know that this is the second year in a row that the credit rating of the city's been raised. That sounds pretty good, right? And that's not to say that the city doesn't have cash flow issues, or that it won't have cash flow issues in the future, but at least from the somewhat superficial standpoint of this announcement, the local fiscal house seems fairly in order. Agree or disagree as you see fit.
Here's the city press release:
Guelph, ON, August 29, 2013 – Earlier today, Standards & Poor’s Rating Services (Standards & Poor’s) increased Guelph’s credit rating from AA to AA+.
“We are very pleased to see Guelph’s credit rating upgraded again this year,” said City treasurer, Al Horsman “The AA+ rating reaffirms our belief that the City’s financial position is not only healthy, it’s getting stronger.”
According to the Standard & Poor’s Ratings Direct Research Update, “Guelph demonstrates good financial management, which has a positive impact on its credit profile. The City has a robust set of financial policies and annual financial statements are audited and unqualified. Guelph provides transparent, easy-to-access disclosure to pertinent information and prepares detailed operating and capital budgets.”
The improved credit rating also reflects Standard & Poor’s view of Guelph’s strong economy; particularly its solid manufacturing base which fared better than many municipalities in Ontario.
“Seeing our credit rating continue to improve is good for our community, and offers further evidence of Guelph’s thriving local economy,” said Mayor Karen Farbridge. “It shows Council’s financial policies are strong, and City employees are managing our finances effectively and responsibly.”
The Standards & Poor’s website offers further information about changes to Guelph’s credit rating and the Ratings Direct Research Update.
About Standards & Poor’s Rating Services
With offices in 23 countries and a history that dates back more than 150 years, Standard & Poor’s is known to investors worldwide as a leader of financial-market intelligence. Today Standard & Poor’s strives to provide investors who want to make better informed investment decisions with market intelligence in the form of credit ratings, indices, investment research and risk evaluations and solutions.