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McLiverty: History Shows Derby Succeeds When People Work Together

by Keith McLiverty | Letter to the Editor | Nov 3, 2017 10:31 am

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Posted to: Derby, Derby Election 2017, Letters To The Editor

One of the greatest things anyone can do is give back to their community. Use your skills, education, experiences, and passion for your city and serve. Another great honor is having others support you in this role.

I am blessed to have parents who value education and they worked hard to make sure I received an education and understood the value of public service.

We are facing tough times.

Our state is ranked 44/50 in taxes overall burden, we are ranked 44/50 in tax climate, in terms of property taxes, the state is 49/50. Local tax burden on individuals, per capita- 48/50. Our State GDP is flat, zero. The national rate is 2%, the worst since WWII. Connecticut job growth is a mere .2%, and nationally 2%. We are ranked 47/50 in State competitiveness. There is a massive fleeing of residents out of the state.

While growth is absolutely a good thing and needed, it is one element in the equation to success. Growth is good, smart growth even better. Managing the other essential ingredients is key, and together we have done that.

We were facing the same situation in 2008. The worst fiscal period in history. Banks collapsed, unemployment on the rise, spending was outpacing revenues. We were all concerned with the overall economy.

This was the back drop then, and similar to today. We demonstrated success recovering then, and we can do it again.

But you have to know the macro situation, the economics, how to manage the various indicators of success, the markets and work with others, it is not a one person show.

In 2009 we had a low fund balance of 3% but we achieved a bond rating upgrade in 2009. How? Because that is not the only indicator of success. We were successful in the other indicators that are used.

In fact, we have never had 8%-10% fund balances when we had the three bond upgrades and three confirmations of our ratings. How can that be- because we were and are strong in every other indicator area that also matters.

According to independent analysts, we have a strong capital plan ( short term and long term debt), aggressive short debt amortization schedule, well funded pension plan (78% funded), strong fiscal policy, strong budgetary performance, adequate budget flexibility, strong liquidity, debt service less than 2.9% of expenditure. The Tax Board, City and Administration have done well managing all indicators.

Success comes from a team approach. Rowing together is a good thing, hitting each other with our oars not.

Experience: what someone bring to the table, is important. It matters

What do I bring to the table?

  • An undergraduate and master degree in Finance
  • State Certified – School Business Official

*18 years in public finance

  • Navigated tough economic cycles
  • Worked collaboratively with boards and commission
  • Involved in over 40 municipal budgets
  • Seven successful appearances before rating agencies, while never having an 8% fund balance

I respectfully ask for your consideration and support.

The writer is running for re-election as Derby Treasurer on the Democratic line.

Views expressed in letters to the editor and press releases do not necessarily reflect the views of ValleyIndy.org. The Valley Indy has a 550-word limit on guest columns.

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