HALLANDALE BEACH - By Mayor Joy Cooper - General Obligation Bonds are now to market
Hallandale Beach’s General Obligation Bonds are now to market. You can buy the bonds online or with your broker. The issue date was 6/21 and they are selling at 123.901 with issue yield at 1.380. The bonds are tax free. If you want a fixed asset in your portfolio, the current average on 2 year bonds is 1.00 so we are in the higher range.
After the long wait for the final ratings, it was great to read the agency's final reports. The Fitch AA+ rating was based on multiple municipal factors. They found that our City has strong financial management as evidence of our healthy maintenance of reserves. We have little debt and have enacted retiree benefit reforms to stabilize costs. We have strong revenue and expenditure flexibility that provides for resilient operations moving forward. Lastly, our favorable redevelopment prospects and the other activities in the greater south Florida area are a benefit.
Standard and Poor’s gave us an AA rating. Their view of the City included strong management with good financial policies and practices. S&P also found a strong budgetary performance that balanced our funding levels not just in the general fund, but in all funds. They looked very favorable to our budget flexibility and resiliency and our strong reserves at 38% combined with liquidity and available cash as of 2015 at 29.8% of total government fund expenditures. Our 10.3% ratio of government debt service was considered very strong.
As a medium sized City, we have and continued to work hard guarding and most importantly, managing your taxpayer dollars. It is a very proud moment when you receive validation of your work. I want to publicly thank our City staff and our City Managers, past and present, who have laid this foundation. The commissioners who have also supported our progress by voting for our budget and infrastructure investments.
I bring this up because, yes it is election season again in Hallandale Beach and the negativity has already begun. It is a shame for our community. While people are entitled to their opinions, they are just that, opinions. I have learned over the past years that no matter the wonderful projects and programs, some individuals find it better to teardown then to build up. Some individuals thrive on trouble without any regard to what it means to the organization as a whole.
In our City, we are fortunate to have a CRA. Not everyone agrees with the concept of CRA’s. While our City is stable, there are still some troubling statistics with unemployment and salaries.
Hallandale Beach ranks low on job opportunities. Our median annual income is $34,180 and benefits. Hallandale Beach also has a high unemployment rate 12.6% percent. It must be noted that 25% of our population makes under $25,000. This is why we been very focused on our CRA goals and most importantly, our Community Benefit Programs.
Our CRA has been working hard to ensure that we partner with outside agencies to facilitate opportunity. The goals are connecting people with jobs, job training and connecting local businesses with projects that are taking place in our City. It is a shame that once again, these programs are being singled out. We are not sure who filed a complaint, but with election upon us, it is a repeat of years past. No matter what the outcome, these programs are a vital component of community redevelopment.
It is ironic that our CBP has been recognized as a model for other communities. It is not an easy task, but we require all builders and vendors to provide some form of CBP when it comes to doing work here. Not all agencies doing business with our City like this requirement. It is an additional step that is not required in every city. Builders have to hire local and buy local. Vendors often offer internships or community programs to benefit students and adults. After they participate and see the rewards of creating the jobs they are all in. I will keep our readers updated.
Our hearts and prayers are still with Orlando as they continue to heal. We will be planning a blood drive in the days to come. I want to thank Terri Dillard P&Z board member for reaching out to me and suggesting it!
As always, please feel free to contact me any time with your questions/concerns and ideas on how to make our City a better place at my office: (954) 457-1318. On my cell/text at: (954) 632-5700. Or visit my web-site at: www.mayorjoycooper.com. If you are heading out of town and want to stay connected to our City issues, you can sign up for my weekly update.
Please remember to shop local! We are now in Hurricane Season, so please be prepared!!
Have a Happy Hallandale Beach Weekend!