Town Mgr. Michael Herbert’s Newsletter, 9/22/23

(Reposted every Friday from email)

Good Afternoon Ashland!

Unfortunately, Ashland Day scheduled for tomorrow has been canceled. We understand the disappointment for attendees and recognize the immense efforts of organizers, vendors, and booth participants. A heartfelt thanks to the Ashland Day Committee for their dedication. We’re eager to celebrate Ashland Day with you next year.

For taxpayers: We have some fantastic news to share regarding Ashland’s financial standing! Standard & Poor’s, a renowned rating agency, has once again awarded us the prestigious “AAA” rating, which is the pinnacle of financial ratings a municipality can earn.

You might wonder, “Why is this significant?” Think of it this way: much like an individual’s credit score, a city’s credit rating influences the interest rates we receive. Our “AAA” standing means we are in the best position possible. With projects running into the hundreds of millions, this rating translates to potential savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest costs, compared to a lower rating.

In the evaluation process, Standard & Poor’s uses six key metrics to assess our creditworthiness. Impressively, Ashland achieved the highest possible score in four out of these six categories, including “management”. We also secured the second-highest score in “budgetary performance”.

Our accomplishments in the financial realm wouldn’t have been possible without our stellar finance team, under the leadership of Finance Director Brittany Iacaponi. A huge congratulations to her and our Treasurer/Collector Cindy Cincotta, whose efforts have been paramount. Additionally, the dedication of our Select Board, School Committee, and Finance Committee in collaboration with Superintendent Jim Adams and me has been instrumental. Together, we’ve set and adhered to robust financial guidelines that steer our fiscal choices.

With that, I want to thank you, Ashland, for your continued trust. We remain dedicated to upholding this standard of excellence.

Michael Herbert
Town Manager