Controller warns on reserves in June, says we've "rounded corner" a month later

Here's City Controller Ron Green back in June:

Mayor Annise Parker‘s proposed fiscal year 2012 budget will cause the city to draw down its reserves so low that it will cost Houston millions more to carry its debt, Controller Ronald Green warned last week.

He issued the latest warning during a regularly scheduled report to City Council.

By Green’s projections, the city’s budget will have to draw down its reserve account by $31 million. That would leave the city with about a $71 million cash reserve. If that comes to pass, the city’s reserves would amount to about 4 percent of its $1.8 billion general fund budget.

That matters because anything below 5 percent is a signal to the bond markets that Houston is on shaky financial footing.

“It’s like having bad credit. Your borrowing costs are increased. That’s a major issue for us,” Green said.

Here's City Controller Ron Green in an op-ed that appeared in the Chronicle this past weekend:

I wasn't surprised when the city's budget became troubled - it was only doing what the area's economy was doing, an economy larger than the economies of two-thirds of the countries on Earth, an area economy that affects every municipality in the eight-county region. While the city of Houston must continue its stringent belt-tightening in FY 2012, I believe FY 2012 will be a turnaround year and that subsequent years will see an increasingly healthy revenue stream to support the city's delivery of services.

From worries over alarmingly low reserves to tangerines and roses in a little over a month!

Of course, the elephant in the room (the various muni pension plan liabilities) goes unmentioned in Green's bizarre little op-ed.

Posted by Kevin Whited @ 07/25/11 09:55 PM | Print |

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