City of New Rochelle Narrowly Misses Classification as "Susceptible to Fiscal Stress" in New York State Comptroller Fiscal Stress Monitoring System

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NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The City of New Rochelle scored 44.2% in the New York State Comptroller Fiscal Stress Monitoring System, just a few tenths of a percent under the cut-off for being classified as "Susceptible to Fiscal Stress".

"With the restrictions and mandates the State puts on local governments, the City is doing fairly well," said City Manager Chuck Strome. "If you look at all of my budget messages, the issue of fund balance and the importance of it is stressed in all of them.

"The actions the Governor is proposing relative to local governments will make things more difficult in the future," added Strome.

For a copy of the City of New Rochelle fiscal profile visit: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/fiscalmonitoring/satfiles/City/NewRo...

Earlier this year, New York State Comptroller DiNapoli implemented an early warning system that gives local communities a fiscal stress score.

Thomas DiNnapoliDiNapoli’s system evaluates local governments and school districts on nine financial indicators and creates an overall fiscal stress score. Indicators include fund balance, cash-on-hand and patterns of operating deficits. The scores are used to classify a local community or school district as being in “significant fiscal stress,” “moderate fiscal stress,” “susceptible to fiscal stress” and “no designation.” The system also evaluates communities relative to 14 environmental stress factors such as population trends, poverty rates and property values.

The Fiscal Stress Monitoring System and resulting fiscal stress designations rely on data (as of 11/29/2013) from annual financial reports submitted by local governments to the Office of the State Comptroller.

This list (sorted in order of fiscal stress score) includes only municipalities with fiscal years ending on 12/31/2012. All towns and counties, 44 cities and 10 villages have a 12/31 fiscal year end.

Local Government Stress List: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/fiscalmonitoring/pdf/stress_list.pdf

To be classified under "Significant Stress", the Municipality or County has a score of greater than or equal to 65% of total points. 12 Municipalities or Counties were determined to be in "Significant Stress" (5 Counties including Rockland and 7 Municipalities).

To be classified under "Moderate Stress", the Municipality or County has a score of greater than or equal to 45% of total points. 10 Municipalities or Counties were determined to be in "Significant Stress" (3 Counties including and 7 Municipalities).

A third category is "Susceptible to Fiscal Stress" for Municipality or County with a score greater than or equal to 25% of total points. 18 Municipalities or Counties were determined to be in "Significant Stress" (7 Counties including and 11 Municipalities).

For more detailed information about Comptroller DiNapoli’s fiscal stress monitoring system and to view reports related to local government fiscal stress visit: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/fiscalmonitoring/index.htm

For access to state and local government spending and more than 60,000 state contracts, visit http://www.openbooknewyork.com/. The easy-to-use website was created by Comptroller DiNapoli to promote openness in government and provide taxpayers with better access to the financial workings of government.

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

Brian Sussman on Thu, 01/16/2014 - 23:07

According to the NYS comptroller's graph and report, the city government of New Rochelle clearly was NOT designated as financially stressed at all, and the graph shows the city government of New Rochelle was more financially solvent than the average NYS large downstate city.

As New Rochelle is NYS's 7th largest city, and Westchester's 2nd largest, and considering that the American economy, since 2008 has been worse than at any time the 1930's Great Depression, New Rochelle current financial situation is in remarkably good health.

However, the New Rochelle Board of Education's financial health, evidently is not in the good shape our city government is in. I believe this is due to too many tax reductions for so-called 'development'. So although our city government is financially healthy, it appears that our city government's policies have led to our Board of Education being slightly financially stressed.

Of course, much of our financial problems are mostly due to poorly regulated Wall Street's greed and incompetence leading to national and international economic problems from the bursting of the Internet Bubble in 2000-2001 and the of the real Estate Bubble in 2007-2008.

There is no one under the age of 74, who has lived through an American economy as stressed as the period beginning in 2008. All things considered, the City of New Rochelle is remarkably solvent.

However, due to stressed national and world economies, our taxpayers are financially stressed, and therefore the NR government must cease providing tax reductions for new 'developments', and must focus on building up revenues from sales taxes.

In particular, NR should cease advocating increasing its residential population, and instead focus on expanding its commercial base and increasing culture and night life in its downtown area South from North Ave Sickles Aves to Clinton St, and on US Rt 1 from Weyman Ave east to the Larchmont Border.

Increasing our population only further stresses our Board of Education budget and quality of public education. In comparison, increasing our commerce leads to greater municipal and Board of Education solvency.

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Thu, 01/16/2014 - 23:50

Brian,

Take a breath! Now read the article again…slowly.

Neither the article nor the headline says that the City of New Rochelle was classified as "financially stressed".

Therefore, I am not sure why you would be taking issue with something that was NOT said AS IF it had been said.

What the article DOES NOTE is that at 44.2%, the City BARELY MISSED the cut-off for the "Susceptible to Stress" category.

All of this is entirely accurate.

As for the City doing WELL…being just a few tenths of a point from making ANY of these three categories is not an indication that New Rochelle’s current financial situation is in “remarkably good health”.

I have been communicating with DiNapoli and his staff about all of this. I can tell you that the Comptroller’s office does not think New Rochelle’s score indicates “remarkably good health” or anything close to it.

It is misleading to say that “the city government of New Rochelle clearly was NOT designated as financially stressed at all” because (a) I did not say this; (b) the score the City got, according to the Comptroller, IS something to be concerned about.

City Council members, the City Manager, the Mayor and the Rating Agencies are ALL concerned about it — especially as the major indicator tracked is Fund Balance and that has been a source of concern for all of them as has been discussed over the past few budget cycles. As Chuck noted, it has been part of his annual budget message for the past several years.

I communicated with the City Manager on this and quoted him in the article. His statement speaks for itself.

I am not sure why you think the “graph shows the city government of New Rochelle was more financially solvent than the average NYS large downstate city”. The only graph I see is one that indicates to my eyes that New Rochelle’s score is almost exactly the same as the average for “NYS large downstate city” and higher than “Cities” and “Mid-Hudson Regional Cities”.

Finally, if you look through the three categories or use the drop down database linked in the articles, you will see that New Rochelle has one of the worst scores in Westchester so while there have been global, national and regional economic issues, the data indicates that New Rochelle is faring worse that municipalities in our area.

I am hoping to interview the Comptroller about all of this soon and we can see what he has to say.

I do not understand why the school district and municipal/county categories are different but I would note that for SCHOOLS, the cut-off for "Susceptible to Stress" is 25% and “Moderately Stressed” is 45%. Again, I do not yet know why the ranges are different but it does indicate to me that a score above 25% is a cause for some concern.

John Imburgia on Sat, 01/18/2014 - 00:54

"Sustainable development, Smart Growth, and Transit Oriented Development," will lead the city out of financial trouble. At least, that is what Bramson would like you to think. In fact, sustainable development has been draining municipal budgets since its onset, and it has not made a dent in the protection of the environment. It is costing billions to implement nationally supposedly to reduce CO2 emissions which are being blamed for global warming. In fact, if we were to cease using all fossil fuels and return to the stone age, we would be lucky to cut the earth's temperature by 1 degree. If Bramson weren't so consumed by this costly notion of sustainable development and instead focus his attention on bringing industry and retail to NR, the city would be doing a lot better financially.

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