City officials have been notified by the Office of the State Comptroller that this year’s preliminary “Fiscal Stress Score” has improved from “Significant Fiscal Stress” to “Susceptible to Fiscal Stress.” The two-step improvement in the Comptroller’s rating moves the city to its best ranking since the Comptroller’s Fiscal Stress Monitoring System was enhanced in 2017.
The Fiscal Stress Monitoring System scores a range of factors, including the city’s fund balance or deficit, cash position and fixed costs.
Mayor Marc Nelson credited the city’s finance team and noted that the city’s “Whole of Government” approach to improving its financial condition touches every city department: “These types of report cards, the Comptroller’s annual review, the opinions of our bond rating agencies and our external auditors, are all strong indicators of sound fiscal management. I want to thank Commissioner of Finance Dr. Brian Martinez for leading an exceptional team of dedicated public servants in our Finance Department, and I want to thank our entire city staff who are working toward making our local government more efficient.”
Dr. Brian Martinez, Commissioner of Finance, said “We know that constant vigilance on spending and effective budgeting are the critical components required to provide successful city services and upkeep of our infrastructure. Only taking on debt when absolutely necessary was also a fundamental change that began with the Rob Rolison administration and continues today. There is still more work to do to remedy our negative fund balances, but I thank Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli for recognizing our progress thus far.”
Yvonne Flowers, Chair of the City’s Finance Committee said: “The Common Council adopted a Debt Management Policy in 2017 and more recently passed our first formal Fund Balance Policy earlier this year. These important legislative steps support the work of city staff and the administration and reflect our shared objective of being good stewards of public funds.”
The city expects that the Comptroller’s preliminary report will be finalized later this year.