Is anyone not tired of the same unanswered questions about municipal finance? We’re all far past the “doing more with less” mantra, which has gone the way of the 100-year-old sewer system and the comfortable pension plan. In 2014 we’re well into making the hard decisions.
One struggling municipal revenue stream recently acquired the attention of the U.S. Treasury Department. To return better monitoring and response to the municipal bond market, the department has created a new “unit” that will interact with state and local city officials and collaborate regarding that market and other funding issues, such as public pensions.
The unit’s focus will be on troubled borrowers, according to a Treasury official in the April 16 edition of The Wall Street Journal.
By boosting the department’s monitoring of municipal finance, the article stated, the Treasury hopes in part to better understand the ramifications of municipal-market stresses. But while identifying which municipalities are on the brink allows for timely intervention, I’m more anxious to know if the attention will lead to addressing the prolonged drops in funding that are putting more small and mid-size municipalities on that same brink.
In a nod to the national nature of this and other issues that build the cities of tomorrow, as well as the wide geographic potential of innovative solutions and new products, The Municipal has made a change effective with this issue: We’ve combined our north and south editions into a single magazine.
We’ll continue to be a source for what you need to do the job, and for suggestions on how to do it more effectively and efficiently. However, since the issues we deal with are often similar, we think you’d be best served by a unified source. Beginning with this edition a singular version of The Municipal will circulate in 18 states: Minnesota; Iowa; Missouri; Wisconsin; Illinois; Indiana; Michigan; Kentucky; Tennessee; Ohio; Pennsylvania; New York; West Virginia; Virginia; North Carolina; South Carolina; Florida; and Georgia.
Please let us know what you think.
Enjoy the summer,