Thursday, July 8, 2010

Councilmember Trachtenberg's Statement on Tripple-A Bond Rating at Press Conference with County Executive on July 7

“Last week, by voting to require annual contributions to the County’s reserves and mandate balanced budgets, Montgomery County’s elected officials caught up to where the residents have been for quite some time. Long before the current recession, families in our area recognized the need for fiscal discipline, debt reduction, sensible spending, and long-term planning.

“But the clock has finally run out on the thought that government can spend without consequence or make budget policy without discipline – and it is not just citizens who are demanding a new era of scrupulousness and fiscal responsibility. The bond agencies that rate counties’ financial health, thus determining the rate at which municipalities can borrow money, have made it clear that Montgomery County budgets have to change; and this year's budget did. For the first time in 40 years, the budget which was passed by the Council at the recommendation of the Executive cut spending.

“Today's vote of confidence from Moody's and the other positive actions from Fitch and Standard and Poors underscore the importance of recent actions taken in Montgomery County.

“As governments at every level—national, state, county and municipality—struggle to rein in spending and find a way to maintain essential services, the urgency of sober and serious fiscal planning is inescapable. As stewards of the County's economy, the Executive and the County Council have shown real leadership and a vision for the future by building our reserves and clearing a path towards balanced budgets. When the current fiscal crisis is finally past, our fiscal plan and actions of the last month will be seen as part of the solution.”

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