S&P upgrades Surprise bond rating

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Ratings Services announced today that it has raised the City of Surprise General Obligation (GO) Bonds rating from “A” to “AA-” while affirming the stable outlook.

In releasing the information, S&P stated the rating reflects the following positive attributes of Surprise:

  • Adequate economy, which is part of a broad and diverse economy;
  • Strong management conditions, with good financial policies;
  • Adequate budgetary performance;
  • Very strong budgetary flexibility;
  • Very strong liquidity, providing very strong cash levels to cover both debt service and expenditures; and
  • Very strong and contingent liabilities position.

“This is very welcome news which solidifies that the fiscal policies set by this City Council and carried out by our management team have indeed put our fiscal house in order,” said Mayor Sharon Wolcott. “Hard work, dedication and sacrifice have set the stage for our city to begin moving forward again.”

“Credit ratings are extremely important to a community as they determine interest rates in the bond market,” said City Manager Bob Wingenroth. For example, if a city goes to sell bonds to finance capital improvement projects the higher the bond rating the lower the interest payments to bond purchasers, lowering the overall cost of borrowing.”

Today’s announcement follows an upgrade by Fitch Ratings in February of this year. Citing “sound internal controls” and “solid fundamentals,” Fitch upgraded City of Surprise General Obligation (GO) Bonds and series 2003 Municipal Property Corporation (MPC) bonds from ‘A+” to ‘AA-‘.

F-35 Lightning II Unveiling Ceremony

I had the honor of attended the unveiling ceremony for the new F-35 Lightning II. We even had the opportunity to take a quick photo in front of the first F-35 that was delivered to Luke AFB just in time for the air show and open house at the base. Also attending the ceremony, which was held at Luke Air Force Base, were General Robin Rand, commander of the Air Education and Training Command for the Air Force; Brigadier General Michael Rothstein, commander of the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke AFB; Eric Fanning, Under Secretary of the Air Force; U.S. Representative Trent Franks; and Governor Jan Brewer.

Wolcott, Hall and Tande at F-35 Unveiling Ceremony
Mayor Wolcott, Hall and Tande at F-35 Unveiling Ceremony