Rockland County officials, legislative leaders and financial staff met Thursday in New York City with representatives of three rating agencies to brief them on the county’s financial situation. County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef, County Legislative Chairwoman Harriet Cornell, Legislative Budget & Finance Committee Chair Ilan Schoenberger, Acting Finance Director Stephen DeGroat, Legislator Michael Grant, Chief of Staff Sean Matthews and Rockland’s bond counsel met with , Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings.
Ron Levine, county communications director, said the first meeting was with Moody’s followed by Standard & Poors and then Fitch. He said the county was not expecting any immediate action from the agencies following the sessions.
“The purpose was to really have an opportunity to go to them to let them know our perspective,” said Levine. “We’re cautiously optimistic.”
He explained it was a chance for the government officials to meet face to face with so they could discuss what the county’s situation has been, the contingency budget that is being put into place and what the county anticipates doing in the future.
After the meetings, Vanderhoef described them as "productive."
On May 10, Moody’s downgraded Rockland’s bond rating to a level just above junk bond status. Levine said the county recently asked state officials to approve its request for a $95 million bond to pay off its deficit.