March 23, 2007
Dennis Levinson announced today his intentions to seek a third term as the County Executive of Atlantic County. Levinson cited a long list of accomplished and reiterated his commitment to ensuring quality government.
?In the last seven years we have made significant accomplishments in improving the quality of life for our residents. County government is in excellent financial shape. Our spending is well under control. Our county budget increased only 3.58%, less than the rate of inflation and is well below the state average of 7 percent.
We have decreased the county tax rate by 45% during the seven years I have been in office to its lowest point ever. Our bonded indebtedness is $20 million less than it was in 1992 and our bond rating is the highest it has ever been,? Levinson said. ?The county has had seven perfect audits in a row from three different, independent auditing firms. Not many other local governments can make this claim.?
In their final report, the outgoing county auditors praised the county?s practices of maintaining low debt, proactive financial controls and prudent budgetary policies. They also noted that Atlantic County?s fiscal practices are so sound that it is often used as a model for other local governments.?
Levinson noted that during his tenure as County Executive, Atlantic County tripled the amount of open space it has acquired and has established environmental awareness as a major priority. ?Atlantic County is considered to be the ?greenest? county in New Jersey. We were recognized by the National Association of Counties as the winner of its prestigious Sustainable Communities Award. This award is given to the most effective and innovative counties in developing environmentally safe communities. In the coming years I intend to build on our initiatives.?
Levinson also stated that he has shown his commitment to senior citizens programs and cited two new initiatives. ?Our Division of Intergenerational Services was among the first in New Jersey to Implement a pilot program to assist senior citizens in remaining independent and living at home for as long as practical. We also initiated a program to keep interested senior citizens in the workforce longer. Our commitment to providing services to young and old is second to none.?
Levinson stated that his key priorities in the coming years will be to maintain the county?s excellent financial standing and low tax rate, continuing an aggressive program of road and bridge improvements, open space protection and preservation, environmental protection and implementation of alternative energies in county facilities.