Sarah Barr, the city's director of communications and uber-booster put out the news yesterday that Hartford "is getting a big, financial thumbs-up from Moody's investment service." The thumbs-up, as a result of a recalibration of Moody's ratings, boosted Hartford from A2 to Aa3. "Just three notches away from Aaa," Sarah wrote in the slightly breathless release.
In the release Mayor Eddie A. Perez said it was a "testament to both the improvements we have made to our financial systems and to the caliber of professionalism we have brought to our City financial departments."
That's all well and good, but a quick check with some other municipal types in surrounding communities found that, well, pretty much every town in the state got an automatic upgrade Tuesday as a result of the recalibration.
One Friend of Cityline said his community got a similar boost, although his town's rating was higher to begin with, and acknoweldged that it was hard for him to "proclaim that we did anything in the last 6 to 12 months to deserve a new rating as this was "system-wide" for all of Moody's clients."
When asked about the free upgrade for everyone, Sarah, ever the optimist, pointed out that Moody's was treating debt service for municipalities differently and more conservatively than in the private sector and that the change is a benefit for the city.