CITY FINANCES AND EDINA’S BOND RATING
Edina has the highest possible bond rating from independent agencies Standard and Poor’s (“AAA”) and Moody’s Investors Service (“Aaa”). Edina is one of very few communities in Minnesota with both “AAA” and “Aaa” ratings. Bond ratings are important because they help ensure that debt issued by Edina has the lowest possible interest expense to Edina taxpayers. The ratings reflect the fact that Edina’s finances have been managed conservatively. Because we have a strong tax base and sound fiscal policies, the City has been able to avoid taking on significant financial risk.
Edina needs a fiscal watchdog like me to keep an eye on the financial activities of the City to sustain our sound financial practices. This extends across an array of issues that impact our city. (As an example, see my position regarding the use of TIF)
The City manages a number of enterprises. Perhaps most visible among these is Edina Liquor. If we had it to do over again, I would probably not be an advocate for the City being a participant in a competitive retail business. That said, I believe our best option is to press forward with Edina Liquor and operate it as a competitive business in the best manner possible.
There was some alarm when Edina Liquor’s net income fell from almost $2 million to around half of that. However, the business is steadily rebuilding and continues to reduce the tax burden on Edina residents.