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Westfield’s S&P Rating Restored to AAA

By JACKIE LIEBERMAN

February 27, 2014 at 10:13 AM

WESTFIELD, NJ — A new report by Standard & Poor's (S&P’s) Ratings Services raises the Town of Westfield’s general obligation bond rating to AAA, up from the AA+ it was downgraded to in 2012. AAA is the highest rating available.

“It is gratifying that the efforts of the mayor and council, working together with our town administrator and department heads to prudently manage taxpayer dollars, have been recognized by a leading independent credit rating agency,” said Councilman Sam Della Fera, who chairs the town’s finance policy committee.

Factors cited in S&P’s report are a very strong economy, with a vibrant downtown that benefits from excellent access to the diverse Newark and New York City labor markets; adequate budgetary flexibility supported by an increase in fund balance in 2012 audited, which is expected to climb based on unaudited 2013; a very strong budgetary performance; very strong liquidity, providing very strong cash levels to cover both debt service and expenditures; strong management with good financial policies; and strong debt and contingent liabilities position, reflecting rapid debt amortization and a low debt burden.

“I am particularly pleased that Standard & Poor’s expressly noted Westfield’s very strong budgetary performance and liquidity, strong management, good financial policies and proactive management actions,” said Della Fera. “The mayor and council will continue to work together to improve the town’s financial condition, while at the same time delivering value to our residents.”