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Kudos to Town Council and Staff  of the Town of Mammoth Lakes for Standard & Poor (S&P) upgrading the town’s bond rating last week to a “BB+” with a “stable” outlook from a “C”.  While recent decisions weren’t easy, they did the right thing by reaching a settlement agreement with its largest creditor and withdrawing its petition for bankruptcy. Furthermore, Council instructed staff to come up with a 5-year restructuring plan that only forecasts modest growth, didn’t increase taxes or use restricted funds. In my opinion, the approved budget was very fair because every department complained about the impact of the cuts. But the real lesson is that all governments need to start living within their means and not base their spending assumptions on what may happen in the future. This takes tremendous discipline and a thorough understanding of town budgets and the impact of unions. And the second lesson is everyone needs to participate in the process. The ironic part of this story is that the Town’s primary source of income is Transient Occupancy Town. And now that we have some of the very best snow in the country, the Town is 100% booked! If you would like additional information, please contact me at Mickey@RPExperts.com

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