YONKERS, N.Y. – Last week I delivered our State of the City Address, which is really an exercise in answering some very basic questions. What have we accomplished in the last year? What are our plans for the future? Did our City get safer? Are we bringing more jobs to Yonkers, improving education and keeping taxes down? Those are the questions we set out to answer.
Since being elected Mayor, each of our budgets have stayed within the state property tax cap, and I intend to continue that tradition this year. That’s why when I submit the proposed budget to the City Council in a few weeks, I will again propose staying within the property tax cap for a fourth consecutive year.
Yonkers has long had a reputation as a safe city, and it is becoming even safer. Crime has dropped 30% during the past three years; it’s down 13% since last year. And the homicide rate is the lowest in recorded history. Our Fire Department is ranked among the nation’s best in its ability to protect your family and your property, and they were among the first in the country to invest in a new life-saving CPR device.
We’ve adopted a three part strategy to bring business and jobs to Yonkers, and it is working. First, we are getting our message out to investors that Yonkers is the place to be through our Generation Yonkers campaign. Second, our staff provides personalized service to every investor who wants to do business in Yonkers. And third, our IDA provides targeted incentives in cases where they can make the difference between bringing jobs to Yonkers or losing them to someplace else.
Our strategy is paying off. In the last week alone, we announced two exciting new projects. National Resources is planning to build 100 micro apartments in downtown Yonkers, transforming one of the former Otis Elevator buildings into lofts. And in June, Simone Development will break ground on the Boyce Thompson building, converting the long-vacant structure into medical offices and retail space.
We know that an early start is essential to a student’s success. That’s why, working with our federal and state partners, we will provide full day Pre-K for every child beginning in September. Also, working with the Board of Education, we plan to use Yonkers’ share of the recently-passed state education bond act to end the digital divide and bring Wi-Fi internet access to every learner in Yonkers by 2018.
We’ve come a long way in the past year, and though we still face many challenges, I can confidently say that the state of our city is strong, our future is bright and our best days stand before us.
To read the full State of the City Address, visit www.yonkersny.gov/sotc2015.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.