In the last three years, my administration has reduced the size of city government by approximately 21,000 city-funded employees, which is nearly a 10 percent reduction, and a cumulative $8.9 billion has been removed from the projected expenditures of the City's Financial Plan.
The Mayor's Management Report indicates that even as we've applied fiscal discipline to our City government, we've still been able to improve the quality of life for our citizens.
In the area of public safety, the FBI index of crime complaints for our city is at its lowest level since 1968, and our reduction in index crimes is 3.5 times the national average.
Last year, we completed the successful merger of our Fire Department with the Emergency Medical Services. This merger saved the city money, but much more importantly, the merger has saved lives by helping us reduce response times to serious medical emergencies.
And the Fire Department of New York City is doing an excellent job fighting and preventing fires, as well. Last year, we had the lowest number of civilian fire fatalities in more than 20 years. And there were also fewer injuries, thank goodness, in our city, for firefighters.
Our parks have the highest cleanliness ratings ever, and increased productivity in the Department of Sanitation is keeping our streets cleaner than ever before.
Our city is safer, it is cleaner, with an improved quality of life. There's more, much more, that we need to do. We're doing more to protect and educate our children and to provide for our elderly. At the same time, we've reduced the tax burden on New Yorkers and reduced the size of City government.
I believe this report shows that New York City can be governed, that we can behave in a fiscally responsible manner, and still meet the important needs of our citizens.
It's hard sometimes to get the press and media to give equal emphasis to the positive as they do sometimes to the negative. That's understandable, but New York City and its citizens need to know that they're doing well, very well, in facing their problems and doing more to solve them than most other places in America.
Once again, New York City is on top. It's number one. It's number one in crime reduction, it's number one in tourism, it's number one in welfare reform, it's number one in job creation in this region.
Let's all work together to ensure that New York City will remain on top and continue to be number one.
From Gracie Mansion, this is Mayor Rudy Giuliani.