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Municipal website awarded excellent rating

Jacksonville’s municipal website has received an award for Excellence in Municipal Investor Relations—making it one of only four sites nationally to gain the distinction for providing easy access to quality investor information., an independent online resource specializing in municipal matters, and the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs (CUPPA) at the University of Illinois at Chicago honored the city after completing a survey of the nation’s 75 largest cities.

The survey found fewer than 30% of the cities reviewed provide online content specifically aimed at municipal bond investors. Jacksonville’s site was among the notable exceptions, as were the other cities recognized for their excellence: Albuquerque, N. M.; Portland, Ore.; and San Diego, Calif.

“These cities have demonstrated courage in taking on the challenge to communicate about issues of importance to people in the position to assess their creditworthiness and financial condition in a direct, up-front manner,” editor Mardee Alvaro wrote in a report posted March 15 on the website. “Their websites incorporate an obvious mission to help bondholders make informed and educated decisions.”

“This is not a one-time ‘project’ but rather part of an ongoing effort by MuniNet to promote ongoing municipal financial disclosure and openness in government reporting, which benefits taxpayers and investors alike,” Alvaro said.

Jacksonville’s Investor Relations page has a subtle and streamlined appearance, but it packs a lot of punch when it comes to providing comprehensive information pertaining to its outstanding bond issues.

“In addition to bond ratings, official statements, and Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports, the site provides links to other relevant pages of the city’s website, including its budget and capital improvement plan, thereby serving as a true portal for investors and others with an interest in the City’s finances,” Alvaro said.

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