Newport earns high bond ratings

The city of Newport Beach received high financial marks in a report released Monday.

New York and London-based analytics research agency Fitch Ratings gave the city an AA+ for its infrastructure improvement bonds and AAA, an overarching assessment score issued by the agency.

Key considerations for the ratings included above average economy, strong financial performance, low debt profile, sound lease structure, diverse local economy, superior financial management and manageable debt.

"The Fitch report was nice to see," Newport Beach City Manager David Kiff said in an e-mail. "While cities in California and indeed any state are never out of the woods when it comes to downturns, pension costs and performance, and other things that lurk in woods, we are on a pretty sound path through them."

The report stated that Newport Beach has high reserves, a result of strong financial performance and pension and employee pension and salary prudence, adding that it expects the trending financial fortitude to continue in future fiscal years.

Proud of the favorable report in the face of a nationwide economic downturn, Mayor Pro Tem Keith Curry concurred Tuesday that the city's financial success is in part "due to people living responsibly within their means, higher employee pension contributions and greater financial efficiency within city government."

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