MOORLACH UPDATE — Standard & Poor’s Upgrade — January 8, 2014

Sometimes miracles do happen. Standard & Poor’s just upgraded the County’s credit rating a notch. This is unbelievably good news, considering the numerous fiscal constraints that the County is facing. S&P is acknowledging the fiscal difficulties, but commended the approach that the Board of Supervisors and senior management are taking in addressing them. The Orange County Breeze provides the news via a press release from the County, including a kind shout-out, in the first piece below. The second piece is also from the Orange County Breeze and promotes the final annual State of the County Luncheon that I will do for the Cypress Chamber of Commerce.

Standard & Poor’s upgrades County of Orange credit rating to ‘high quality’

The following information was released by the County of Orange.

A recovering local economy and “very strong” management practices led to a recent upgrade to the County’s creditworthiness by national rating agency Standard & Poor’s.

The County’s issuer credit rating went to ‘AA’ from ‘AA-,’ while its rating on outstanding general obligation debt went to ‘AA-‘ from ‘A+’ in action taken late last month. The new ratings are within S&P’s “high quality” range. Additionally, the agency noted that the County has no variable-rate debt.

The upgrades came despite continued concern about the County’s budget flexibility and large pension obligation. The County must begin repaying $150 million in vehicle license fee revenues to the State beginning next fiscal year. The Orange County Employee Retirement System currently is 62.5% funded.

“This is a welcome acknowledgement of the hard work by County leadership to make the best of a bad situation,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Shawn Nelson said. “Our financial challenge is serious but we are managing it.”

The S&P ratings analysis said the County’s outlook is stable and not expected to be revised within the next two years.

“The stable outlook reflects our view of the county’s very strong economy and adequate budgetary flexibility, which is supported by very strong management conditions,” the S&P ratings report said. “We believe the county will maintain reserves that include a set-aside of amounts due to the state … and very strong liquidity.”

Editor’s note: John Moorlach especially should be proud!

Cypress Chamber looks to State of the County after Holiday Extravaganza

The following article and photographs were submitted by the Cypress Chamber of Commerce.

After a successful, sold-out Holiday Extravaganza in December, the next big event for the Cypress Chamber of Commerce will be the annual State of the County Luncheon featuring Orange County Second District Supervisor John Moorlach on Feb. 6.

Supervisor Moorlach is running to replace John Campbell in the 45th Congressional District, to the southeast of Orange County Breeze’s coverage area.

Make a point of coming to this year’s Luncheon. It is well attended by local political, civic, and business leaders — and it will be the last to feature Moorlach’s signature laugh-while-you-cry summary of local, regional, and state finances.

If you’re able, consider participating in the Chamber’s 28th Annual Student & Business Mentoring Breakfast on March 20. Meeting with sharp students from Cypress High and Oxford Academy rewards both students and mentors! Call the Chamber at 714-827-2430.

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