Letter: Is an increase in County’s credit rating a good thing?


Letter: Is an increase in County’s credit rating – a good thing?

Dan Abel
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Dear Editor and Historic City News readers:

As a Financial Advisor and Retirement Planning Counselor, I talk with clients everyday about their budgets. We talk about balancing their income verses their spending, and setting the extra income aside – investing for the future.

We talk a lot about debt, and the stress that it takes on our on our personal and family lives. Debt places stress on our governments at all levels as well. St. Johns County is not immune from this; we carry over $378 Million in total debt of our own.

At the moment, some of our current County Commissioners are very excited about a report that just came out. The S&P, an agency that evaluates Corporate and Municipal bonds, has increased our credit rating from AA- to AA+. This is great news – if you are an investor! It means that you have a ‘very strong’ chance that you will receive your interest payments, and a return of your initial investment. However, if you are a taxpayer in St. Johns County, you need to be very concerned about why your Commissioners are so excited. To the County, a higher credit rating means something entirely different. It means that our ability to take out more debt is increased, and the interest we pay on that new debt is more attractive.


Our current County Commission already has a spending problem as proven by the increase in our total outstanding debt by $35 Million over just the last 2 years. Increasing their credit line is not the solution! We need leaders that understand that it is your money they are spending, and that more debt will only cause us more pain in the future. I do understand this, and it is one of the reasons why I am running for this election.

I cannot do it alone, and I am here to ask for your help. As a candidate, I have approved this message. I am a Republican candidate for District 4 on the St Johns County Commission. Please join me on this campaign. Please help me bring fiscal responsibility to our County Commission. You CAN make a difference!

Find out more information about me at www.DanAbel.org.