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PR- 051-08
February 14, 2008


Report Reflects Continued Strong Performance Early in the Fiscal Year

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today released the Preliminary Mayor's Management Report (PMMR) for Fiscal Year 2008.  The PMMR provides a snapshot of how the City performed four months into the fiscal year, and forecasts expected levels of service based on the City's Preliminary Budget.  The report shows continued strong performance in the delivery of City services, which were largely maintained or improved during the reporting period.  City agencies are projecting performance for FY 2009 to look much the same as in FY 2008.

"The preliminary results contained in this report show further progress in our efforts to serve citizens more effectively and efficiently," said Mayor Bloomberg.  "The Preliminary Mayor's Management Report continues to document the City's ability to deliver, maintain and enhance important services."

In addition to agency performance statistics, the PMMR shows information generated by the 311 Customer Service Center, which has transformed the way City residents interact with government. Calls to 311 rose to nearly 4.8 million, an 8% increase, during the first four months of FY 2008 compared with the same period last year.  While handling this increase, 311 answered 96% of all calls in 30 seconds or less.

The following highlights some of the preliminary results shown in the FY 2008 PMMR.  Unless otherwise noted, the trends described below compare July-October 2007 to July-October 2006.

Public Safety

  • Crime continued to decline:   New York City continues to be the safest large city in the country. Major felony crime decreased 5% during the first four months of FY 2008 compared to the same period of FY 2007. Six felony crime categories decreased during the reporting period, while felonious assault increased 3%.

  • Homicides decreased significantly:   The largest decrease in major felony crime was in murder and non-negligent manslaughter, declining 18%, from 207 in the first four months of FY 2007 to 170 in the same period of FY 2008.

  • Major felony crime decreased in transit and public housing:   During the first four months of FY 2008, there was a 19% reduction in major felony crime within the transit system and a 7%  decrease in major felonies in public housing.

  • Fire response time improved on a citywide basis: Average response time to structural fires citywide fell from 4 minutes 30 seconds to 4 minutes 26 seconds, decreasing in four of the five boroughs.

  • Fire Department response increased slightly citywide for medical emergencies and edged up in Queens for structural fires:   Combined average response time to life-threatening medical emergencies by ambulance and fire units increased by one second, from 5:41 seconds to 5:42 seconds.  Average response time in Queens to structural fires increased by nine seconds, from 4 minutes and 55 seconds to 5 minutes and 4 seconds, due to technical difficulties in the new Queens borough office. The Department took immediate steps to address this problem and is continuing efforts to reduce response times.

  • Civilian fire fatalities increased: Civilian fire fatalities rose from 21 to 30 during the reporting period. As of December 2007 the trend had moderated, with fatalities increasing from 37 to 40.

  • Traffic deaths fell: Traffic fatalities decreased to 112 compared to 115 in the first four months of FY 2007.

  • Violence in the jails continued to fall and is at its lowest levels since this data was reliably tracked: In adult correctional facilities, stabbing and slashing incidents dropped by 70% during the reporting period from 20 to 6 incidents. Assaults on staff decreased by 15% from 159 to 135, while assaults on staff resulting in a hospital visit declined by 61%. Fight/assault infractions dropped by 8%, from 2,352 to 2,174.

Quality of Life

  • Street cleanliness ratings reached a new all-time high:   As a result of the Department's continued emphasis on cleaning, during the first four months of FY 2008, average street ratings reached a new record high of 95.4% acceptably clean. In addition, all of the City's 234 sections received average ratings of 80% acceptably clean or better during the reporting period.

  • Recycling diversion rates and tonnage increased: The total recycling diversion rate increased by 4.8 percent points, from 31.6 % during the FY 2007 reporting period to 36.4 % during the FY 2008 reporting period.  The total recycling tons per day also increased 20.8%, from 5,477 tons per day during the FY 2007 reporting period to 6,620 tons per day during the FY 2008 reporting period due to an increased use of dredge spoil as cover material at the Fresh Kills Landfill. The curbside and containerized recycling rate increased by half a percentage point.

  • Park and playground ratings were generally better: The percent of parks and playgrounds rated in overall good condition rose to 85%.  New maintenance strategies introduced during February 2007 resulted in a five point jump in the percent of play equipment deemed acceptable, with continued improvement expected this fiscal year.  Acceptability ratings for safety surfaces in playgrounds also improved, from 91% to 94%.

  • Repair times improved for traffic light defects: The average time for the Department of Transportation to fix a traffic signal was 28.3 hours, 38% faster than during the same period last year; more than 97% of traffic signal defects were corrected within 48 hours.

  • Response times to sewer backup and leak complaints increased: The number of sewer back up complaints jumped by 23% as a result of heavy rains during July and August, resulting in an increase in response time during those two months.  By September 2007, response times were reduced below the established target of 7 hours.  The time for the Department of Environmental Protection to resolve leak complaints rose from 11.0 to 15.3 days as a result of a significant rise in complaint levels.

  • Housing starts and completions are down, though new construction units are up.   Overall construction starts and completions under the New Housing Marketplace Plan declined by 42% compared to the same period last year.  The trend reflects a shift in annual goals in the preservation and new construction categories. New construction starts and completions increased by 84%.  The Department of Housing Preservation and Department expects to meet its year-end targets.

  • Complaints were down, and City response times improved for non-public housing: The Department of Housing Preservation and Development reduced its response times to emergency and heat/hot water complaints by 5.4 and 12.2 hours, respectively, primarily as a result of an 8% decline in overall complaints. Heat/hot water complaints dropped by more than a third due to higher average temperatures.

  • Response times to emergency and heat complaints in public housing increased: In the summer of 2007, the New York City Housing Authority re-categorized some work requests, such as sink and tub stoppages, as emergency requests in order to meet customer requests for service within 24 hours. This change resulted in triple the number of emergency work requests received, and the average time to respond to the increased number of emergency complaints rose by 129% to 7.8 hours.  The average time to respond to heat complaints rose by 50% but remained within the goal of seven hours.

  • Public library availability improved citywide: Average weekly scheduled hours improved for branch libraries in all three NYC library systems. All branches citywide were open at least six days per week.

  • Taxi complaints are handled more efficiently: The average time to close a consumer complaint about for-hire vehicles dropped to less than 28 days, 61% better than last year's four-month period and 41% better than the year-end average. During FY 2007, the Taxi and Limousine Commission changed how it handles these complaints and also improved its tracking methods, resulting in a more streamlined and efficient process.


  • Class sizes continue to decline: Average class sizes fell in nine out of ten grades (Kindergarten through grade 9), and remained the same in one grade.

  • School safety continues to improve: During the reporting period major felony crime in the City's public schools decreased 30% compared to the same period of FY 2007.

  • Education capital program continues to expand school capacity:   Since State funding for DOE's five-year capital plan was confirmed in Spring 2006, DOE has awarded contracts and started construction on 35 capacity projects that will provide more than 23,000 new seats for students. The School Construction Authority expects to create 10,239 new seats in time for the start of the 2008-09 school year. In the following three years, SCA expects to create 38,337 new seats.

Human Services

  • The number of adult families placed into permanent housing increased:   The number of adult families placed into permanent housing increased by 64% during the reporting period. The Department of Homeless Services is aggressively working with clients at adult family facilities to prepare for placement into permanent housing, including weekly room inspections focusing on health and safety issues, targeted attention on clients with Advantage NY program certification, and increased social service staffing at these facilities.

  • Placements for homeless families with children decline: The number of families with children placed into permanent housing declined by 11% for the reporting period. The decrease was partly due to the phasing out of the Housing Stability Plus rental assistance program, which had become less effective in helping families find permanent living situations. DHS' new program, Advantage NY, represents a basic shift in City policy. With assistance from the Human Resources Administration, Advantage NY not only helps families to secure permanent housing, but also provides incentives to employment, offers financial and legal counseling, assists in asset building, and encourages families to build savings accounts.

  • Response time to child abuse reports is the fastest since FY 2001:   The percentage of abuse and neglect reports responded to within 24 hours increased from 94.5% to 97.0% and is the highest reported in the Mayor's Management Report since FY 2001.

  • Repeat child abuse reports are down: During the reporting period, the percent of children in completed investigations with repeat investigations within a year fell from 21.5% to 20.6%, and the percent of children with substantiated reports followed by a second substantiated report within one year decreased from 14.5% to 14.0%. These trends show the effects of improved case management, largely as the result of ChildStat, the Administration for Children's Services' weekly data and case review process.

  • Reports of child abuse and neglect in foster care and child care increased:   The number of abuse/neglect reports for children in foster care increased from 401 to 453. For children in child care, the number of reports increased from 128 to 140. In both cases the proportion of substantiated reports also increased. Beginning in Spring 2007, new strategies were implemented to improve reporting of potential abuse/neglect in foster care and child care settings, through interagency collaboration and provider training.

  • The number of people receiving public assistance declined:   The number of persons receiving cash assistance decreased by 8.1%. The public assistance caseload as of October 2007 represents the lowest number of cash assistance recipients since January 1964. This decrease has been due to the Human Resources Administration's continued welfare reform efforts designed to engage recipients in work and work-related activities, in order to enhance their ability to obtain employment and reach their maximum level of self-sufficiency.

  • The number of persons receiving food stamps increased: The number of persons receiving food stamps increased by 3.3%. Among these recipients, the number of non-cash assistance persons receiving food stamps increased 12.4%.


  • Asthma patients needed fewer emergency room visits in public hospitals: The rate of emergency room revisits within seven days of discharges for adult asthma patients decreased from 7.3% to 7.0%, and the revisit rate for pediatric asthma patients fell from 4.1% to 3.8%.  The Health and Hospitals Corporation's Asthma Initiative, combined with facility-specific asthma programs, emphasize close monitoring of asthma patients.

  • Lead poisoning cases continue to decline: The number of new cases among children less than 18 years requiring environmental intervention for lead poisoning decreased by 17%. Other indicators of lead poisoning cases show similar improvement and illustrate the continued success of the Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.

  • Restaurant inspections declined:   The percent of restaurants inspected decreased by 6.8 percentage points.  Inspection duration times have increased, reflecting efforts to better assess pest infestation concerns and to conduct other risk prevention activities during inspections.

  • The number of syphilis cases increased: The number of syphilis cases rose by 56%, reflecting national trends. In addition to provider training, community outreach, electronic and print communications, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has developed protocols for Internet-based partner notification, including sponsoring a website where patients can notify Internet partners themselves, either anonymously or confidentially.

  • Health Department increases exterminations. The number of pest control exterminations increased by 17%. The hiring of additional exterminators has increased the Department's capacity to conduct exterminations.


  • Private building activity steady or climbing:   Total job filings with the Department of Buildings grew by more than 7%, with decreases in applications for new buildings and major renovations more than offset by the increase in applications for minor renovations.  Actions taken on permit applications by the Landmarks Preservation Commission increased by one-third, partly due to a 12% increase in the number of applications received.

  • Consumer complaints processing time improved:   Complaint processing times improved dramatically even with a significant increase in the volume of complaints received. The number of complaints processed in 20 days or less more than doubled, from 7% to 19%, as did the number of complaints processed within 21 to 50 days, from 14% to 33%. This marked improvement is attributable to operational changes introduced in FY 2007.

  • Economic development project activity was down when compared to last year's stadium deals:   The Industrial Development Agency closed contracts for economic development on five projects, including a Liberty Bond transaction for the development of a hotel in downtown Manhattan. Overall these projects are expected to create and retain 321 jobs in the City, and generate more than $36 million in total City tax revenues over the course of their term. When compared to the same period last year, IDA activity was significantly lower, because FY 2007 included a few very large projects, such as the two major league baseball stadiums.


Stu Loeser/ John Gallagher   (212) 788-2958

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