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Friday, January 21, 2022

Interim City Manager has authorized independent study of water rates with possible options

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The new interim city manager for the Kennedale, George Campbell, has issued a letter to the residents of the city today. {{more: Continue …}}
In the letter, Campbell ask citizens to fill out an online survey to help city leaders to better understand your communications preferences and interest. Take survey at www.cityofkennedale.com/survey.
independent study of water/sewer rates authorized …
He also said that he has ask for a special study to provide an objective assessment of the city’s utility rate structure and suggest options for possible future consideration.
To the Citizens of Kennedale,
Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is George Campbell. I have recently been afforded the opportunity to provide service, in an interim capacity, as the City Manager of Kennedale following the resignation of long-time City Manager Bob Hart.
As a manager in local government for many years, I was attracted to Kennedale because of your community?s very evident commitment to neighborhoods, economic health, parks and open space, sustainability and progressive leadership. My personal knowledge of Kennedale and the dynamic nature of the city itself was reason enough to accept the opportunity and challenge of managing the City organization during a transition period.
What I have found is a city that is poised for progress and grounded in community. Clearly there is much to be proud of and there are challenges that face the Kennedale community as is the case for any dynamic city. Being new to the City organization I want to provide my initial perspective and observations knowing that the city?s leadership has made a clear commitment to an expanded dialogue with you, our citizens.
Let me first congratulate you on the strong financial foundation of the City as evidenced by two recent and significant occurrences.

Certified Annual Financial Report (CAFR)

An audit by Pattillo, Brown and Hill provided the City of Kennedale with an unmodified opinion ? the highest opinion that can be rendered. This comprehensive audit process reviews financial statements for accuracy, evaluates financial processes for compliance with generally accepted government accounting principles, and provides assistance to a system of checks and balances to ensure that your tax dollars are spent appropriately.
Bond Rating Upgrade
S&P (Standard & Poor?s) Global Ratings raised the city?s long-term bond rating from A+ to AA-. This upgrade reflects the City?s improved financial performance and flexibility. Several factors were considered including quality of management, standard financial policies, the capital improvement plan and strong budgetary flexibility and liquidity.
Clearly, two different assessments by highly professional and independent organizations have resulted in high marks for your city?s financial integrity.
While we have much to celebrate, there is also work to do. The recent increase in water and wastewater rates and the reasons they were adopted generated many excellent and legitimate questions. For that reason, I have authorized a comprehensive analysis by Government Resource Associates (GRA), industry experts, to evaluate our Utility Fund and the need for these additional revenues. GRA?s analysis will provide us with an objective assessment of our utility rate structures and suggest options for future policy considerations. The City will share the results of this work with you as quickly as possible.
My short tenure here has confirmed that Kennedale is a very involved and connected community. It is clear Kennedale residents stay informed and engaged. As a City, we need to do our part to nurture this connectivity. As a first step, I invite you to participate in a short survey in order that we may better understand your communication preferences and interests. Please take a few moments to complete this online survey: www.cityofkennedale.com/survey. Your responses will inform and guide our future efforts.
Thank you for letting me share with you my initial observations of the City government and this great community. I?m excited by the opportunity to build on the existing strong foundation and continue to make Kennedale a wonderful place to live.

George Campbell
Interim City Manager

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