Prince Frederick, MD – The Calvert County Commissioners did not meet Tuesday, June 13 as they traveled to New York City with several members of county government staff to meet with officials of three independent credit rating agencies. During the board’s June 20 meeting some of the commissioners expressed optimism regarding the outcome of those meetings.
The Calvert delegation to Wall Street met with officials from Moody’s Investors Services, Standard & Poor’s Rating Services, and Fitch Ratings. Last year all three agencies gave Calvert County their highest ratings.
According to Commissioners’ Vice President Evan K. Slaughenhoupt Jr. [R – District 3], Calvert officials should receive word on its rating status by July 12. Slaughenhoupt called the 2017 Wall Street visit the “smoothest, most productive” presentations he could recall. He expressed confidence Calvert County is in a strong position to retain its across-the-board Triple A bond ratings.
Among the factors cited last year for Calvert’s high ratings were the county’s high level of financial flexibility, low long-term liability burden, strong economy, and strong financial policies and practices.
“It’s an extremely important thing,” said Commissioner Mike Hart [R – District 1], who acknowledged the county’s financial reputation is on the line when the ratings are weighed by Wall Street. Additionally, the rating agency representatives are cautious because, “their reputation is on the line. Politics are immaterial. ‘Are you going to pay back your debt?’ Because their name is on it.” Hart described the trip to New York as “very tedious, very work-like.”
Commissioner Pat Nutter [R – District 2] concurred with Slaughenhoupt and Hart that Commissioners’ President Tom Hejl gave a very good closing statement to the raters as part of the presentations. “His wrap-up was most effective,” said Slaughenhoupt, adding he would like the general public to be given an opportunity to review the presentation made to the rating agencies. Slaughenhoupt indicated constituents would have a better understanding and appreciation of the local government’s efficiency.
Last year was the first time in Calvert history that all three credit rating agencies assigned Triple A ratings for the county.
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