Cambridge City

City Manager's Agenda Item
CMA 2016 #54
Mar 14, 2016 5:30 PM

A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the City of Cambridge retaining the noteworthy distinction of being one of approximately 36 municipalities in the United States with three AAA ratings from the nation's three major credit rating agencies.


Department:City Manager's Office, RCRSponsors:
Category:Transmitting Communication


I am pleased to inform you, the taxpayers, and all our residents that the City of Cambridge has retained its noteworthy distinction of being one of approximately 36 municipalities in the United States with AAA ratings from each of the nation’s three major credit rating agencies.   Each year since 1999, the City has received these ratings from Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings. This achievement allows the City to invest more money into important projects throughout Cambridge with a favorable interest rate. The agencies highlighted the City’s conservative budgeting practices and prudent use of reserves to help keep tax levy increases at a moderate level to cover operating expenditures.

These ratings are in conjunction with the City’s sale of $35 million in General Obligation bonds, which took place on March 1, 2016. This sale will finance capital projects such as the King Open/Cambridge Street Upper School and Community Complex, sewer reconstruction, street and sidewalk reconstruction, and other municipal and school building renovations.

All three agencies have given the City a positive outlook. However, in reviewing Moody’s criteria, it is important that we continue to pay attention to the factors listed below to ensure our AAA rating in the future. 

·              Material growth in the debt burden

·              Deterioration of the tax base or weakening of the local economy

·              Trend of operating deficits that lead to a significant reduction in reserve levels

·              Significant increases in pension and other postemployment benefit (OPEB) liabilities

Based on this ongoing recognition from the rating agencies, the City Council can be justly proud of its sound fiscal policies. Additionally, I would like to thank the City’s Department Heads and staff for their commitment to prudently managing their budgets and programs. The City is fortunate to have such a strong and dedicated team.

Attached are the rating opinions of Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investors Service, and Standard & Poor’s Corporation.

Meeting History

Mar 14, 2016 5:30 PM Video City Council Regular Meeting
draft Draft
YEAS:Leland Cheung, Jan Devereux, Craig A. Kelley, David P. Maher, Nadeem A. Mazen, Marc C. McGovern, Timothy J. Toomey, E. Denise Simmons
ABSENT:Dennis J. Carlone