During her tenure as Mayor, Nicola Smith has hired a professional and dedicated financial, and administrative services team. Balance was restored to the city’s budget, and its government. The state auditor conducts a yearly audit and for the first time in eight years there were no findings in the 2016 annual audit report, and the City of Lynnwood has been given a clean financial bill of health. The invoice for Lynnwood’s 2016 audit payment was $30,000 less than in 2015 because the leadership streamlined financial procedures that resulted in a clean audit.
The City’s Municipal Bond status went from A+ to AA+ in 2014 for general bonds and in 2015 for the utility bonds. The AA+ designation indicates the city of Lynnwood has a very strong capacity to meet its financial commitments. * This rating is a sound predictor that the city is prepared to manage the growth ahead.
For the first time, the city has submitted the city's 2016 Consolidated Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for a Government Financial Officers Association (GFOA) award. The Municipal Research and Services Center for WA State named Lynnwood's new 2016 Financial Policies as one of the three cities with 10,000-50,000 population as regional best practices. Going forward, the city administration has established the Economic Development Infrastructure Fund which will be used to finance public infrastructure and public facilities as we prepare for City Center Development and Light Rail in 2023. This fund should have about 6.3 million at the end of the 2017-2018 biennium.
The City has the governance in place to make sure that Lynnwood’s growth is healthy, positive and there is a connection to the community that creates safety for our citizens. Five city departments Fire, Parks, Police, Public Works, and the Code Enforcement (CDCE), work as a coalition to keep our community safe. The ground work for the Lynnwood Light Rail and 1,000 affordable housing units in Lynnwood City Center is now a reality! The right team is in place to be fiscally sound and fiscally responsible now and in the future.
*Lynnwood is rated better than similar-sized municipalities in the state of Washington. Other cities of comparable size with comparable bond ratings include: Des Moines, Lake Stevens, Pullman, and University Place. Data derived from Morgan Stanley, New York City, July 20, 2017.