Good evening Chairman Gentz, Vice Chairman Kubicki, ladies and gentlemen of the County Board, other elected officials, county employees and citizens of Kenosha County.
Isn't it great to be here in Kenosha County? I think it is. I stand before you tonight, as prescribed by law, to deliver the State of our County. I am pleased to be here tonight, to report that Kenosha County is in very good shape.
Working together, our bond rating is one click below AAA, at Aa1, as established by Moody’s, and is higher than any other municipality solely within Kenosha County. Standard and Poors states: “Kenosha County maintains strong financial reserves paired with good managerial practices. Kenosha has a moderate overall debt burden with rapid amortization.”
As the Finance Committee learned last Thursday, preliminary financial indicators, before audit, shows our General Fund balance is above our 17% General Fund Reserve Policy, which also indicates we are in strong financial shape.
You also learned Thursday that county sales tax collections are at an all-time high at $10.7 million. It’s an indicator that our county’s economy is getting stronger.
I appreciate the County Board’s continued efforts to add best practices to execute our collective fiduciary responsibilities.
With 70% of our operating funds coming from sources other than the property tax, clear, accurate and timely reporting is critical when we are all making important County decisions.
The lowering of our Other Post Employment Benefits from $132 million dollars in 2008 to our present day level of $70 million dollars was also a significant accomplishment that put us on a course of sustainability of good county services. I do not take lightly that discomfort was involved, because I can tell you that our employees deliver high quality services every day to our community.
Every day, services are provided to our veterans, to people who have been downsized or displaced, to people who need a child support check, to ensure immunizations are provided to the very young, to keep the elderly safe from abuse, to provide justice to individuals through the court system, to record and maintain vital records and ensure financial records are done properly.
KSD patrols our roads and can face great danger on any call. County, State and Federal roads are well maintained and plowed by our Public Works employees for good commerce and public use. County jailers work hard and have allowed the county to gain financially over many years.
The County is the front line delivery for State and Federal services, as you are all very aware of from the reports given to your oversight committees. We are where the rubber meets the road, we are the pipeline for those mandated programs, and I want to publicly acknowledge the top notch efforts our Kenosha County employees do every day.
View News Release to see the entire 2013 State of the County Address.