Trash? Ok, so not exactly Junk Bond Status, but it is a downgrade. As first mentioned on this site last Friday, Moody’s officially downgraded Long Beach’s bond rating down to a Baa3; A far cry from the A1 the city gloated about in the October 2011 LB Citybeat newsletter a few months ago. I am still waiting for the official press release on Moody’s website and will post more when it’s available, but the Long Beach Herald pretty much has all the info you need (LB Herald – Moody’s to downgrade Long Beach’s credit rating.)
According to that article, it seems like Tropical Storm [Hurricane] Irene is once again being blamed. What I don’t understand is this: If that storm was such a financial disaster for this city then why would City Council President Thomas R. Sofield, Jr. tell us how great our finances are in a city newsletter that was printed well after the storm? I mean, tell us the truth for once.
From the taxpayer-funded October 2011 LB Citybeat, Sofield said:
“Even in this era of economic uncertainty, while the Federal Government’s bond rating has been downgraded, we are proud to say that our City’s finances are in order,” states City Council President Thomas R. Sofield, Jr. “This favorable rating given to us by Moody’s demonstrates their recognition of our sound financial structure both now and going forward.
“Our administration is proud to lessen the tax burden to our residents with no increase in taxes for the fiscal year,” says Sofield. “We are committed to reduce spending while seeking funding through alternative sources as we move forward with infrastructure and other upgrades throughout the City.
October might have been cutting it close, but they could have updated us taxpayers in the newsletter that was send out a month later. The followup November 2011 LB Citybeat said absolutely nothing about the financial state of affairs the City of Long Beach apparently suffered from Tropical Storm Irene. I mean, surely our elected officials would of known by then what financial damage this city suffered.
This is what I think: Leading up the the elections we were told how great our city’s financies were. The LB Coalition doesn’t get re-elected and guess what? The shit hits the fan. They sing a different tune and Long Beach is a financial disaster. First we have to borrow money and now this bond rating downgrade. Here is something to think about: Maybe it has to do with some salaries / hiring practices and not the storm at all? Can we get a list of all city employees, including Interns & their salaries? I demand to know where my tax money is going.