I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a healthy and happy holiday season and an exciting and safe New Year.
As we move forward into the year 2005, we can reflect upon the many accomplishments we have made here in Nassau County. We have balanced every budget, have had surpluses each year, we have paid off over $100 million in debt early and we have received the stamp of approval from every independent analyst for well conducting its financial affairs and we are rapidly achieving our goal of reclaiming our status as the nation's first and best suburban county. Most importantly, we passed our no-tax increase budget for 2005.
It is with profound gratitude that I thank my colleagues in government, county employees, emergency services, our business, civic, labor and academic leaders, and most importantly, committed residents of Nassau County, for devoting their time and energy to serving our residents. I would also like to thank the brave men and women in our County's Police Department, fire departments, Correctional Center and emergency services for continuing to keep Nassau residents safe and secure. Nassau County continues to have one of the lowest crime rates of any municipality with a population over one million people. In fact, the May 2004 edition of Forbes magazine reported our county as the "Best Place" for public safety.
In 2005, we will meet challenges with the same determination. We will continue to implement our five-point plan to bring back fiscal stability to the Nassau University Medical Center; and will continue to improve upon the already-stellar record of low crime and high service by calling for 100 recruits in the Police Academy during the majority of the year for the next several years in addition to the 180 sworn Nassau County Police Officers and 50 civilians hired this year. We will continue our "Nassau County Parks are Making a Comeback" Campaign as well as the Health and Human Services "No-Wrong-Door" policy.
Once again, please accept my wishes for a healthy and happy holiday season and a very prosperous New Year.