I became mayor at a very difficult time for our City. Our newly elected mayor had been arrested for taking bribes just 21 days into his term. We were subject to state fiscal supervision. Our public Hospital, backed by a $52 million taxpayer Bond guarantee, was failing. And we had just endured a nearly 80 percent municipal tax increase. It was my job, together with my team, to right the ship, restore our citizens' shattered confidence in their government, and get our City back on the right track. This was, to say the least, not an easy job. But I am extremely proud that over the past four years, we have gotten that job done.
We saved our Hospital, getting the City off the hook for the $52 million bond guarantee. We cut City taxes by nearly 12 percent. We renovated almost all of our parks and opened two new ones. We brought great concerts to Pier A like Mumford & Sons, Bob Dylan and the New Jersey Philharmonic. And we all came together as a community to emerge from Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy stronger than ever.
We are now back on the right path and ready to move forward to a very bright future. The decisions made over the next four years will define our City going forward. We must protect our City from flooding and skyrocketing insurance costs. And I will do that by implementing my comprehensive Resiliency and Readiness Plan.
We must make sure redevelopment strengthens our infrastructure rather than burdens it, enhances rather than overcrowds our neighborhoods, and protects the incredible character of our City.
Finally, we must continue to make the tough fiscal decisions needed to keep our finances sound for the long term. We simply cannot go back to the failed practices of the past.
I love this City, and I love serving as your mayor. I ask for your support on November 5, for me and my City Council team of Councilman David Mello, Councilman Ravi Bhalla, and Council candidate James Doyle, so we can continue leading our great City forward.
Mayor Dawn Zimmer