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California in Brief | SAN DIEGO

Wall St. restores city's credit rating

May 16, 2008|Tony Perry

The city, shut out of the municipal bond market for four years because of its financial mess, is once again seen as a good credit risk by Wall Street, officials announced Thursday.

The Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, which had suspended the city's credit rating in 2004, announced it has restored the rating and given the city an outlook listed as "positive" and "stable."

"Today is the most significant day for residents of our city in the past four years," said Mayor Jerry Sanders.

The Standard & Poor's action means the city can go to the bond market to finance a series of water, sewer and other infrastructure projects that had been stalled.

Sanders and the City Council have reduced the city workforce, outsourced some jobs and increased payments to the pension system -- all in an effort to woo Wall Street.

San Diego lost its credit rating when it was disclosed that officials had understated the enormity of its pension fund deficit. That disclosure led to criminal and civil charges against several former high-ranking staff members and a political upheaval that led to Sanders' election as mayor.

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-- Tony Perry

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