The City of Lynwood continues to make significant progress in improving the economic health of your city government. In a recent report to the Lynwood City Council, residents learned the City has been successful in addressing some concerns issued by the State Auditor’s office.
You may remember in September 2021, the Council was informed that the City had not made much progress in addressing concerns that the Auditor had outlined in 2018.
City Manager Ernie Hernandez, who had just been appointed to lead the city government, initiated an effort directed by the City Council to work with the Auditor.
The Council, which directed Hernandez and his team to report progress to the Council each quarter, found out last week from Director of Finance Harry Wong that the city has continued to make real progress.
“The first thing we did was to make sure we were in regular communication with the Auditor’s office,” said Hernandez. “We wanted to share progress with them and emphasize how important it was to our city to address their findings.”
The City’s fiscal health ranking has improved nine spots and three of the areas of concern, the reserve of the General Fund, Liquidity and Pension funding have improved from “high risk” to "moderate risk". In addition, as recommended, the city has also updated its Human Resources policy and Purchasing ordinances.
“The work is by no means done, but we are definitely making progress,” said Hernandez who praises the City Council members for their determination in passing policies that mandated this improvement.
The only High-Risk areas left for the city to address are Debt Burden and Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) Funding. The City is addressing the Debt Burden risk by recently refunding four existing Successor Agency bonds with a new 2022 TARB, which would shorten bond maturities from 16 years to 9 years and provide the city with an estimated $2 million total savings in debt servicing costs.
“Congratulations to our staff on continuing to make significant progress with the State Auditor. The important message here is that your Council and city staff have worked well together with the goal of restoring economic health to our city government,” said Mayor Pro Tem Jose Luis Solache.