Immediate saving measures put into place upon taking Office:
Eliminated employee birthday holiday; saved $180,000 in non-productive payroll.
Eliminated take home cars for employees other than sworn deputies; resultant fuel savings and vehicle wear and tear. Instituted pool car concept to lower travel costs.
Requested reduction in departmental Operating Budgets by 2.5% in major areas where it could be attained without interference with operations. Achieved overall department savings of 6.4%.
Instituted a new Countywide Mail System to minimize employee travel and non-productive payroll hours.
The County’s 2015 Financial Results were outstanding. Our financial auditors rendered an unqualified opinion and as a result of higher than anticipated revenue and significant saving in departmental expenses, the County increased its reserves by $3.6 million and was able to avoid the utilization of any prior year revenue.
Implemented Finance Department MUNIS Transparency Module on County website, providing citizens with a more robust financial information tool.
All three major credit rating agencies affirmed Wicomico County’s strong credit ratings as follows:
Fitch maintained its AA/Stable rating and commented: “Management’s conservative budgeting practices and recent revenue enhancements have resulted in historically positive operating results, ample reserve levels and strong liquidity. The county’s charter limitations have not hampered financial performance, and revenue and spending flexibility remains available.”
Moody’s affirmed its Aa2 rating and commented: “The Aa2 rating reflects the County’s sound financial reserve position, which is bolstered by strong management and formal fiscal policies. The rating also incorporates the County’s sizable, albeit rural, tax base that has begun to stabilize following a period of moderate declines and its position as an economic center for the Delmarva Peninsula.”
Standard & Poor’s continued its AA+/Stable rating citing: “Strong budgetary performance with operating surpluses in the general fund and at the total governmental fund. Very strong budgetary flexibility with fiscal 2014 audited available reserves at 36% of general fund expenditures. Very strong liquidity and very strong management conditions with strong financial management policies and practices.”
This facilitated an October 20, 2015 sale of $13,185,000 in new bonds at a true interest cost of 2.3% and refinancing of $6,530,000 of 2007 general obligations bonds at a true interest cost of 2.41%. The refinancing will save Wicomico County $363,201 in interest costs over the approximate 8 year remaining term of the issue.