Supervisor Kate Murray
While recent newspaper articles have detailed the troubled finances of several municipal governments, Hempstead Town has just received a recognition from financial experts as a beacon of fiscal strength and responsible budgetary management. Supervisor Kate Murray has announced that respected Wall Street credit rating agency Standard & Poor's has upgraded the township's credit rating to the highest level that exists. The upgrade from AA+ to AAA distinguishes Hempstead Town as the highest rated township in New York State.
"We've worked hard to earn the highest credit rating that is awarded," said Murray. "My administration has planned for economic challenges and has remained accountable to taxpayers."
In awarding Hempstead its top credit rating, Standard & Poor's credit analyst Eden Perry stated, "This upgrade reflects the town's consistently strong financial profile maintained by conservative budgeting practices..."
The credit rating agency also termed the township's fiscal outlook as "stable" in recognition of the administration's strong financial position, despite the economic slowdown and deflated mortgage tax revenues. Hempstead's rating upgrade places it a full four grades higher than Nassau's often-heralded ratings.
Town Comptroller John Mastromarino observed that other local governments have blamed the economy and the drop in mortgage tax receipts for their gloomy fiscal outlooks, while Murray had shown unique foresight in planning for current economic trends. "Kate Murray deserves genuine credit for crafting conservative budgets, controlling costs, monitoring departmental spending and adjusting budgeted revenue amounts for 2008 to avoid budget surprises," stated Mastromarino. "I know that's why she is respected on Wall Street and has earned the highest credit rating available."
Murray emphasized that the town has maintained all services while controlling costs through instituting work shifts, establishing cost reduction goals for managers and aggressively pursuing grants and revenues from other levels of government.
"Strict fiscal management has been a painstaking task," said Murray, "but the rewards to local taxpayers have made it a worthwhile effort."
"I will continue to do everything possible to maintain the respect of Wall Street and justify the trust of neighbors on Main Street," concluded Murray.