Vern Bentley’s misleading letter (printed in New Berlin NOW, May 6 ) about Moody's Investors Service recently assigning the City of New Berlin a Aaa bond rating, elicted two response letters that were published in the May 20 issue of the NOW newspaper.
To view Mayor Jack Chiovatero’ s response letter, click here.
The other published letter was mine. Here’s what it says:
Misinformation spread by Vern Bentley in his recently published letter compels a response.
Contrary to what Bentley conveyed or insinuated, the Aaa bond rating that Moody's Investors Services assigned to the city of New Berlin was not due to anything the Common Council recently did with the 2010 city budget.
According to Ralph Chipman, the city finance director, the last time Moody's did a review of our city's budget was around August 2009.
The city's improved bond rating resulted from a recalibration by Moody's in how it rates municipalities. In fact, Moody's April 22, 2010 letter to the city carries the headline Moody's Assigns Aaa rating to New Berlin due to Global Rating Scale Recalibration. That letter expressly states, "Moody's has not characterized the City's GSR as a formal 'rating upgrade.' "
The letter explains that in March 2010, Moody's announced its intention to complete the transition to the Global Ratings Scale, an effort to have a common rating scale for corporate and municipal debt.
Comparing our city now to businesses rather than just governments has helped make New Berlin look relatively better. Many businesses have struggled during the economic downturn. Businesses default at a higher rate than governments do.
In a letter to Mayor Chiovatero, Ehlers, the city's financial consultant, stated: "The proposed 2010 budget dated November 20, 2009 includes 'appropriation from surplus' of $1,833,000 representing an $833,000 increase over the 2009 budgeted amount. This is the practice Moody's cautioned against in its August 2009 report."
For Bentley to suggest that depleting the fund balance (reserves) of $l.8 million does not put the city at risk is absurd.
He owes the Take Back Our City and We Care New Berlin groups an apology for his spurious comments against them.
Visit my blog Inside New Berlin at NewBerlinNOW.com for more information.
Reread Vern Bentley’s letter and observe how he uses Moody’s Investors Services’ action in assigning the City of New Berlin a Triple A bond rating to praise the Common Council and try to discredit We Care New Berlin, Take Back Our City, Mayor Chiovatero and Ald. Moore. Bentley mentions New Berlin Citizens for Responsible Government, but doesn’t mention his long-time affiliation with it. NBCRG endorsed Hopkins, Seidl and Ament in the last election. NBCRG endorsed Wysocki and Harenda when they ran.
Although Bentley’s letter specifies that I am treasurer of We Care New Berlin and Rush Wilkens is treasurer of Take Back Our City, Bentley omits to mention that his wife is treasurer of Ald. Ament’s personal campaign committee.