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PR- 245-04
September 15, 2004


Public Safety Continues to Improve as Crime, Pedestrian and Fire Fatalities Reach Historic Lows Overall Customer Service Levels Maintained, Report Includes New 311-Related Features

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today released the Mayor's Management Report (MMR) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2004. The Report indicates that citizen service has been maintained since preliminary results were released last January, and several key indicators have improved since the last fiscal year.  It also shows that for FY 2005 agencies are projecting overall performance levels that are similar to, or in many cases, better than the prior year. In addition, building on an effort initiated last year, the MMR expands the use of information generated by the 311 Citizen Service Center as a tool for accountability.

"New Yorkers have much to be proud of when it comes to City services," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The safest city in America continues to get safer; our streets are the cleanest they have been in 30 years; we have made progress in educating our children; fewer families entered homeless shelters for the first time in four years; traffic fatalities decreased; potholes are being repaired quicker; and civilian fire fatalities remained at historic low levels. We have met New Yorkers most pressing needs and are operating government efficiently and responsively despite the City's fiscal crisis and $3 billion in budget reductions."

In an effort to maximize the use of 311 as a tool for monitoring and managing customer service, the Fiscal 2004 MMR provides information on the City's timeliness in responding to requests for service being made by New Yorkers calling 311.  In Fiscal 2004, 311 logged over 8 million calls, receiving an average of over 678,000 per month, twice as many monthly calls as compared to the end of Fiscal 2003. New features of the MMR include the reporting of monthly comparisons of the number of 311 requests made to an agency, the average time required by an agency to close out a request, and the number of outstanding requests at the end of each month.  This information has been piloted for ten diverse operational categories, in seven different agencies.

In addition, My Neighborhood Statistics (MNS), which allows residents to track performance of City services in their neighborhood, and how their community is faring compared to others, has been expanded to include 311 neighborhood-level information.  Some service requests are now mapped for each of the City's 59 Community Boards.  Taking advantage of the real-time nature of 311 calls, this data will be updated monthly.  MNS can be accessed from the City's website at

311 statistics serve as a check on performance data produced by agency managers.  MMR statistics that correlate to citizen complaints, inquiries and service requests are now highlighted in the MMR's statistical tables. A "311-related" icon - a small telephone symbol - now appears before the name of performance measures that are related to key inquiries received by City agencies through 311.

Aside from the inclusion of new 311 information, the MMR has been enhanced by providing web-based, thematic statistical tables that facilitate the tracking of performance on multi-agency services and initiatives including noise complaints and enforcement, emergency preparedness, traffic safety, domestic violence, rodent control, lead poisoning, inspections and abatement, HIV/AIDS, childhood asthma, provision of affordable housing, and tort reform.

The Report also expands the number of statistics that measure cost-effectiveness as the cost per unit of services provided; the number of these measurements has quadrupled over the last two years. Finally, the MMR provides more benchmarks comparing New York City's performance to other localities, national or private sector standards.  There are twice as many external comparisons as two years ago.

The following highlights the results reflected in the Fiscal 2004 Mayor's Management Report. 

  • New York continues to be the safest large City in America:  Major felony crimes decreased for the 13th consecutive fiscal year, dropping by 3% from 147,669 in Fiscal 2003 to 143,268 in    Fiscal 2004.

  • Homicides decline again: For the second consecutive fiscal year, there were fewer than 600 murders in New York City, declining from 599 in Fiscal 2003 to 566 in Fiscal 2004, the lowest since 1963.

  • Response times to critical and serious incidents by the Police Department remain low: In  FY '04, NYPD response time to critical incidents remained at 5.0 minutes, and the response times to serious incidents remained at 6.9 minutes. Non-critical response time increased from 11.7 to 12.6 minutes.

  • Civilian fire fatalities remain at historic low levels:  The number of civilians dying in fires decreased from 109 in Fiscal 2003 to 106 in Fiscal 2004.

  • Structural fire response remain unchanged: Excluding the effects of the August 2003 citywide power failure, structural fires were responded to on average in 4 minutes and 17 seconds, identical to Fiscal 2003.  Including data from the blackout increases response times to 4 minutes 19 seconds.

  • Medical emergency response times were slightly slower, but below target: As a result of the August 2003 citywide blackout, response time to life-threatening medical emergencies, counting both fire companies and ambulance units, rose by 4 seconds to an average of 6 minutes 1 second in Fiscal 2004, but remained faster than the fiscal year target of 6 minutes 4 seconds.  Excluding the blackout, overall response times was 5 minutes and 55 seconds, lower than FY '03.

  • Pothole repairs are quicker despite a large increase in work orders.   After a severe winter, pothole work orders jumped 50% in Fiscal 2004, to 54,011. The Department of Transportation repaired over 190,000 potholes, and maintained a 96% record of fixing potholes within 30 days, up from 89% in Fiscal 2003.

  • Traffic fatalities continued to decrease: Traffic deaths fell by 10% from 365 in Fiscal 2003 to 330 in Fiscal 2004, the same as there were in 1912.

  • Street cleanliness reached a 30-year high: Citywide acceptably clean streets reached 89.8%; a record high; only one of 230 individual sanitation sections was rated dirty or marginal.  

  • Playground facilities are safer; park conditions decline slightly in Fiscal 2004 but are better than target.  Acceptability ratings of City parks and playgrounds remained consistent at 87% for overall conditions and better than the targeted goal of 83%. Cleanliness ratings were down slightly from 91% to 90%, but remain above the 89% target. Safety-related ratings improved from 91% to 95% for play equipment, but fell from 95% to 92% for playground safety surfaces.

  • Summer school brings progress for third graders: The Department of Education ended social promotion for third graders scoring at the lowest level on achievement tests. Of those third graders who were required to attend summer school in 2004, 51% of those who attended for 10 or more days advanced to the next highest achievement level, compared to only 19% the previous summer.

  • Attendance rates were lower for high school students: While elementary and middle school attendance was flat at an average of 91.9%, high school attendance declined from 83.2% to 81.9%.

  • Progress was made toward more cost-efficient and timely school construction work: The average bid price per square foot for new school construction projects fell by 4% from $314 to $302 per square foot over the past fiscal year, as a result of reforms in project design requirements and the procurement process. The School Construction Authority also completed a greater proportion of small capital improvement projects on time and within budget.

  • School safety initiative makes Impact Schools safer: Crime decreased significantly at the 16 Impact Schools that were part of the newly implemented School Safety Initiative. However, due in large part to the intensive enforcement attributed to this initiative, the total number of incidents in public schools grew from 14,880 in Fiscal 2003 to 16,516 in Fiscal 2004, an 11% increase.  

  • Reading and math scores improve in elementary schools: The percentage of students in grades 3-6 and 8 meeting English testing standards rose from 42.3% in the 2002-2003 school year to 42.7% in the 2003-2004 school year. Performance levels in mathematics for grades 3, 5, 6 and 7 rose from 37.5% to 42.5% over this period. 

  • There are more certified teachers in City schools:  The percentage of certified teachers rose from 89.6% for the 2002-2003 school year to 98.5% for 2003-2004.

  • Overcrowded conditions in schools are easing: The percentage of students in overcrowded elementary or middle schools fell from 38.9% in Fiscal 2003 to 31.9% in Fiscal 2004. Students attending overcrowded high schools fell from 73.8% to 71.4%.

  • The New Housing Marketplace Plan is on pace.  The City's five-year plan to create and preserve 65,000 units of affordable housing ended its first year with 10,201 units in construction.  

  • The number of newly certified minority and women-owned businesses continues to climb:  The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) certified 280 minority and women-owned businesses, a 26% increase over last year resulting from SBS' streamlining the application.

  • Processing times were slower for seniors' rent increase exemptions: The income eligibility threshold for the Senior Citizens Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) program was raised for the first time since 1996, resulting in a 10% increase in new applications. Department for the Aging processing time for new applications and SCRIE recertifications rose from 32 to 37 days, though new computer technology will help streamline the process in the coming year.

  • The number of new families entering homeless shelters decreased: In Fiscal 2004 7,015 new families entered the City's homeless shelter system, 72 fewer families than in Fiscal 2003 - the first decline in four years. The number of single adults entering the system continued to rise.

  • The number of families placed into permanent housing increased: In Fiscal Year 2004, 7,006 families were placed into permanent housing, an increase of 1,717 over the previous year.

  • Response time to child abuse reports improved: The percentage of abuse/neglect reports responded to within 24 hours by the Administration for Children's Services continues to rise, from 96.2% in Fiscal 2003 to 96.9% in Fiscal 2004.

  • Utilization of childcare slots is up: The percentage of capacity filled in childcare programs rose from 96.8% in Fiscal 2003 to 97.4% in Fiscal 2004.  Utilization of HeadStart program capacity also grew, from 89.1% to 96.6%.  The total enrollment in childcare remained stable, while HeadStart enrollment grew by 7%.

  • The foster care population continues to decline: The average number of children in foster care fell from 25,622 in Fiscal 2003 to 22,082 in Fiscal 2004, the lowest level since 1987.

  • Childhood health risks remain: The rate of infant deaths per thousand live births rose from 6.0 in Calendar 2002 to 6.5 in 2003. The hospitalization rate for asthma among children aged 0-14 also rose from 6.0 per thousand children to 6.5.

  • Lead poisoning cases show overall decline: From Fiscal 2003 to Fiscal 2004 the number of new cases with blood lead levels greater than or equal to 10 micrograms per deciliter declined by approximately 12% among children less than 18 years old, and by 11% for those aged 6 months to less than 6 years. The number of children requiring environmental intervention for lead poisoning remained essentially unchanged over the past fiscal year but has declined by 37%, since FY 2000.

  • Rodent complaints rise: Rodent complaints were up 8% in Fiscal 2004, to 22,600.  Intensified outreach and the ability to easily lodge a complaint through the 311 Citizen Service Center contributed to this increase. The Citywide Rodent Initiative, launched in August of 2003, targets three of the City's most infested areas in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan.

  • Emergency room visits decrease in public hospitals:  The Health and Hospital Corporation saw a decrease in emergency room visits, from approximately 852,900 in FY 2003 to 849,700 in FY 2004.

  • AIDS cases show a moderate increase: An estimated 5,124 new cases of AIDS were diagnosed in Calendar 2003, 960 more than the previous year, but slightly lower than the figure seen in Calendar 2001 and nearly a thousand fewer than in Calendar 2000.

  • Fewer New Yorkers are smoking: Since enactment of a law banning smoking in virtually all establishments and businesses with employees, as well as increased taxes on cigarettes, the percentage of adult New Yorkers who smoke fell from 21.5% in Calendar 2002 to 19.2% in 2003 - resulting in about 130,000 fewer smokers.

  • Noise complaints surge.  Despite a 92% increase in noise complaints, from 14,546 to 27,987, attributable to the convenience and efficiency of 311, the Department of Environmental Protection responded to 85% of complaints not requiring property access within five days. 

  • 311 calls are increasing. In Fiscal 2004 the 311 Citizen Service Center logged over 8 million calls. 311 received an average of over 678,400 calls per month this year, more than twice the 301,100 calls per month received at the end of Fiscal 2003. Increases were seen in requests for agency services such as sanitation, pothole and noise complaints. The average time to speak to a live operator was approximately eight seconds, and an average of 90% of calls were answered within 30 seconds.

"Not only are we providing a high level of service to our citizens, the MMR shows that our priorities - better schools, safer streets, better health care, and more affordable housing - are benefiting from initiatives our administration has launched," concluded Mayor Bloomberg.  "Everyday, we will strive to continue this improvement for the people of New York City."


Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz   (212) 788-2958

More Resources
Mayor's Management Report
My Neighborhood Statistics