City bond rating is upgraded to 'AA'

Posted

Citing the city’s “very strong economy” as well as its retail base, development in City Centre Warwick, management and financial reserves, Stand & Poor’s Global Ratings has raised its long-term rating on the city ’s existing general obligation bonds from AA- to AA.

S&P has been assigned to the long-term rating to the Rhode Island Health & Education Building Corp.’s series 2017 revenue bonds issued for school improvements. The bonds total $4.46 million and are due in 2032. The improved rating is expected to result in lower interest costs on the revenue bonds.

But there’s a psychological impact to the improved rating that affirms Warwick is not only on the right track but also improving.

Predictably, Mayor Scott Avedisian was delighted with the development and in a release stated:

“Standard & Poor’s upgrade of our bond rating is great news and reflects our continued efforts to ensure that our economy is growing, we employ sound budgetary practices, and that we are meeting our financial obligations. This assessment is a reflection on the hard work of our finance team, who work every day to ensure that Warwick remains in a good fiscal position for the future.”

Ward 5 Councilman and chair of the Council Finance Committee Ed Ladouceur was miffed by how he learned of the development but pleased by the news.

“It seems information is disseminated to the press before the council,” Ladouceur said. “On the face it sounds like very good news to the city. Whenever a rating improves that’s a good thing.”

Ladouceur also said he is hopeful that council efforts to examine city spending and their diligence to control costs has had a positive effect on the rating.

In its summary, S&P termed the outlook for Warwick as “stable.”

“The rating change reflects Warwick’s increased budgetary flexibility, with an available fund balance in fiscal 2016 of 6.1 percent of operating expenditures and consistently balanced operating results,” the summary states.

The report calls the city’s budgetary “flexibility” as adequate with an available fund balance, or surplus, of $18.5 million in fiscal 2016.

In its analysis of Warwick’s economy, S&P said the city “continues to serve as one of the state’s leading commercial and retail centers, benefiting from close proximity to Providence, as well as being in the approximate geographic center of the state.” Green Airport is cited along with direct access to Interstates 95 and 295 as well as the Interlink and connection to rail service.

As for developments, S&P cites the re-purposing of Pontiac Mills for residential and commercial uses, construction of a 125-room Hyatt Place hotel, a new brewery as well as retail and restaurant renovations.

Concerning management, the report finds city finances as supported by “conservative budgeting practices with a history of mixed operating results, but better-than-budgeted results in positive economic cycles.”

The picture is not entirely rosy.

In its outlook, S&P says, “While we believe pension and OPEB [other post employment benefits excluding pensions] costs will likely remain a long-term credit concern, we expect the city to continue to manage these costs while maintaining stable finances and improving reserves from now on.”

S&P does not foresee a need to change the rating over the next two years.

Comments

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richardcorrente

Wow. Look at that!

For the first time in 17 years Warwick "cut taxes - cut spending".

For the first time in 17 years Mayor Avedisian was unable to raise taxes even though he tried 29 times! (and was defeated 29 times in a row BY UNANIMOUS VOTE of the City Council who heard loud and clear from their constituents "Cut taxes - Cut spending".)

And look what happened; Warwicks' bond rating improved, making Warwick ATTRACTIVE to new home buyers. As we all know, new home buyers increase tax revenue reducing taxes for us all.

Whoever had anything to do with that "cut taxes - cut spending" campaign should be proud of his or her efforts.

I'm proud of my part, however big or small it turned out to be. I campaigned for it for over 700 days in a row. My critics will say it didn't make any impact but the 80,000 taxpayers that are paying the tab know better.

"Cut taxes - Cut spending"

What a great idea. Let's keep doing it! 2018 is right around the corner.

Happy Autumn everyone

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Thursday, October 26
CrickeeRaven

The fake "mayor" yet again proves that he can not read. Here is the link to the adopted FY18 budget for Warwick: https://www.warwickri.gov/sites/warwickri/files/pages/adopted_fy18_general_fund_budget.pdf

On page 11 of the PDF, the total expenditures [that is, spending] for the current fiscal year is $305,271,737, a $6,543,618 increase -- here, let me emphasize that: INCREASE -- from the adopted FY17 budget. Revenues from property taxes for FY18 are $230,264,242, an increase -- and again, let me emphasize: an INCREASE -- over the FY17 adopted budget of $3,657,290. The same page shows that FY17 revenues are projected to be about $228 million, which still results in about a $1.7 million INCREASE in FY18 revenues.

Only in the fake "mayor's" imaginary world could one call the amounts of taxes and expenditures going up to be "cuts."

He also clearly does not understand that bond ratings are based on several years' financial performance, not a single budget or a single fiscal year. S&P clearly sees the city's budget to be responsible and sustainable, two things that can not be said for the fake "mayor" and his false statements.

As he has proven over and over on this site, it is only a matter of time before he humiliates himself again in his comments.

Thursday, October 26
Thecaptain

The fake Mayor Dumb Ness clearly shows once again what an uneducated unqualified fool that he really is. The Lillie Pop Guild awaits his return home.

Friday, October 27
WwkVoter

When will the CORRENTE NONSENSE stop abusing the comments sections? Really tired of reading Corrente's crap.

Friday, October 27
richardcorrente

Dear reader,

The tax increases that CrickeeRaven refers to were implemented years ago by Mayor Avedisian. No one can stop that. What I was referring to was the 29 attempts Mayor Avedisian made during the spring of 2017 budget hearings. Each attempt was UNANIMOUSLY shot down by a City Council who heard a clear message from their constituents to "Cut Taxes - Cut Spending".

Now, I don't think CrickeeRaven is so stupid that he/she doesn't realize that. After all, I clearly explained it in my first comment. I believe that CrickeeRaven is just trying (again) to con the reader. He/she calls me a "fake" mayor as if I ever said I was the real one. As the readers know, I never have. (another attempt to con you). I proudly refer to myself as "The Taxpayers Mayor" because I am devoted to the 80,000 taxpayers that are paying the tab. There is nothing fake about that. There is nothing fake about me. CrickeeRaven, on the other hand, doesn't have the courage to even use a real name.

To anyone who refuses to credit my efforts I have 4 questions;

1. Have I ever run for any office before? Answer..."No."

2. Did the Mayor raise taxes EVERY YEAR FOR 17 YEARS IN A ROW? Answer..."Yes."

3. Did I campaign for over 700 days in a row with the slogan "Cut Taxes - Cut Spending"? Answer..."Yes."

4. Was the Mayor denied 29 attempts to raise taxes in the 2017 budget process? Answer..."Yes."

Maybe it was just a massive coincidence. OR! Maybe all my campaigning caused those 29 TAX INCREASE ATTEMPTS TO FAIL.

The reader will decide, and 2018 is right around the corner!

Happy Halloween CrickeeRaven.

Happy Halloween everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Friday, October 27
Thecaptain

Corrente, how can I say this? You're an idiot. You were destroyed at the debate because you were so informed you're an embarrassment. You did absolutely nothing for this city and as of this date you have been unable to render an intelligent two-sentence comment at the microphone.

Friday, October 27
CrickeeRaven

Hello again, WwkVoter and Thecaptain:

You are witness, yet again, to the fake "mayor" attempting to distract and deflect from the clear evidence of his statements being proven false. Taxes have not been cut in Warwick; spending has not been cut in Warwick. The nine members of the City Council who belong to his party passed a budget for Fiscal Year 2018 [the current fiscal year, the one happening NOW] that increases spending and taxes.

The 29 amendments made to the proposed budget by the council did not cut taxes or spending from fiscal 2017 levels, and at least one of them -- the $3 million "sequester" of school funding -- will very likely have to be reversed once the costs of the new teacher contract are known.

And still more lies:

-- "Have I ever run for any office before? Answer...'No.'"

The fake "mayor" actually filed a Notice of Organization for East Greenwich City Council in 2002. Here is the link to that document: http://ricampaignfinance.com/tempreports/08268_RI.pdf

-- "Did the Mayor raise taxes EVERY YEAR FOR 17 YEARS IN A ROW?"

Clearly the fake "mayor" does not know basic civics; it is the city council that approves the budget, including tax increases.

As for the rest of his pathetic whining about being taken to account for using a title he did not earn and does not deserve, and continued attempts to enforce rules for using this site that the owners and managers do not require, it's just further proof that the fake "mayor" lives in his own delusional fantasy land and expects that Warwick voters are not smart enough to see through his obvious and continued attempts to mislead them.

Friday, October 27
Thecaptain

Notwithstanding the fact that the media thought you were a joke. You got zero media attention none of the news networks wanted anything to do with you .WPRO quote said you were a joke and they would not waste a moment of air time with.

Friday, October 27
CrickeeRaven

Honestly, Thecaptain, when is the fake "mayor" ever going to realize that he is the only person who believes the drivel he continues to spout?

He really does not get it, does he? No one with any brains takes him seriously, except as a very real threat to fact-based discussion about the city. In that one narrow sense, you and I and many other readers rightly view his statements from our perspectives as informed, honest, and responsible taxpayers and voters in Warwick.

Friday, October 27
Reality

Richard Correntee AKA Political Chameleon

I just noted Richard that you posed to CrickeeRaven a series of questions that required just a "yes" or "no" answer but you have evaded and refused my inquires that address your credibility to run for Mayor.

Those of us who participate at City Budget Hearings and confront the Mayor on fiscal matters ( nobody can remember you ever once asking one question), are tired of the Mayor's lack of candor. Avedisian will tell you to call his office for documentation and when you do his staff will tell you no such document exists. That's why you truthfulness is so important.

Here are the questions Richard you haven't answered yet.....a "yes" or "no" to each will be suffice :

Did you not call "the captain" and complain you are tired of going to the tax office and seeing all the workers just drinking coffee etc. and not working? You asked "the captain" to stir up the pot because you didn't want to harm your standing with the municipal union.

Did you demean your new canonized saint on the city council (the one you said a statute should be created for ) before you launched your campaign and needed her support?

Are you the Richard Corrente on the RI judiciary Website that the "the captain" reports has over 16 cases listed regarding your fiscal matters? One's stewardship of one's personal finances is certainly fair game when looking to run Warwick's million dollar operation.

Will you be addressing the City Council next month during the open microphone session and explain to them as well as the taxpayers were the $3.8 million this budget year for the proposed teacher settlement will be coming from? If the dollar amount of $3.8 million bandied about is correct, what impact will that have on the S & P just issued credit rating because it will reduce the budget surplus by over 20 % this fiscal year alone? I also find it appalling that people who run for office or are now considering to do so, are the first to advocate for additional spending but leave it to the rest of us to pick of the tab because they don't pay their fair share. Can't wait Richard to hear you articulate your budget impact analysis next month at City Hall.

Let me take the liberty to announce now and save you the time.... Richard is solely responsible for the stock market double digit gain this year. Those 2 shares of stock he bought really made the difference. That statement is as ludicrous as you are responsible for no tax increase this year.

Friday, October 27
Kammy

Has anyone ever heard of the Dunning-Kruger Effect? Funny, it just popped into my head after reading what you wrote in the comments.

It was first known as "Unskilled and Unaware of it: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessment". It is named after David Dunning and Justin Kruger of Cornell University, occurs where people fail to adequately assess their level of competence — or specifically, their incompetence — at a task and thus consider themselves much more competent than everyone else. This lack of awareness is attributed to their lower level of competence robbing them of the ability to critically analyse their performance, leading to a significant overestimation of themselves.

I bet we all know someone that fits the bill.

Friday, October 27
CrickeeRaven

Hi Kammy:

I think you have the basis for a case study -- plenty of evidence and a fairly long record of easily-observed behavior. I'd just worry that any academic institution would immediately hand it back and call the data unrealistic. [LOL]

Friday, October 27
Thecaptain

Kammy,

Very astute comparison. Let me bring this small piece of evidence to the conversation. When Corrente was running for office he placed several of his campaign signs at local businesses in Warwick. Several of those businesses received sealed envelopes with Family Court transcripts of Mr. Corrente's child support hearings. I'm sure that you are all aware that family court documents are sealed documents and no one from the general public can access them. Transcripts are only given to both parties attorneys and themselves. So this points to the fact that one of the litigants in this court case had to make these transcripts public. Whoever this individual was felt so strongly about the fact that this individual was so completely fiscally incompetent, that this person had to release these documents to certain members of the public. If you have been following this site you realize that I actually received a copy of these documents. That tells us that whoever had these documents in his or her possession wanted these to be released to show the complete lack of integrity of the fake mayor. That speaks volumes.

Friday, October 27
WwkVoter

I read Corrente's claims and all I could think is DELUSIONAL.

That said, Mayor Avedisian must be (very slightly) thrilled that he is sidelined as a topic in this forum by some delusional calling himself "Mayor", taking credit for the teacher contract, the bond rating, and who knows what next (and who wont shut up and go away).

As to the Warwick AA bond rating, well any way you slice it that's great news!

Friday, October 27
RISchadenfreude

Any intelligent, useful comments about the article? No? Anyone? Bueller...?

Can we just give CrippyRaven, Cap'n Krunch and "The Mayor" gym socks filled with horse manure and turn them loose on each other in City Park?

Adults behaving badly.

Friday, November 3
CrickeeRaven

RISchadenfreude:

Wow, that's some really deep insight on the article; you certainly solved the issue that you raised.

Seriously, go read something else if you don't like seeing the fraudulent losing candidate getting called to account for his lies.

Friday, November 3
RISchadenfreude

CrippyRavin':

Consider taking up a hobby- sitting in a dark room with a bag of Donettes simply riding Mr. Cote's coattails in criticizing Mr. Corrente ad nauseam isn't a healthy way to spend your life. As the saying goes, "Don't use the Devil as your example...you are becoming as unhealthily obsessed as Mr. Cote.

A little sunlight (natural Vitamin D, not a supplement) might do you some good.

The online audience gets it by now, and is probably pretty much over it.

Tuesday, November 7
CrickeeRaven

RISchadenfreude:

I've exposed the fake "mayor" for the liar and tax cheat that he is, independent of anyone else.

And as for your diagnosis: Doctor, heal thyself. Find something better to do than scolding other people.

Tuesday, November 7
RISchadenfreude

Not "scolding"...just having a chuckle at your expense.

Sunlight and exercise, besides being good for mental health, are beneficial to stomach ailments such as ulcers, also.

Actual interaction with other human beings, other than regurgitating how clever you think you are online, may be good as well.

Give 'em a try!

Tuesday, November 7