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LET me start by wishing New Yorkers across the five boroughs a very happy 2011.

This is the time of year when many people take stock of what they’ve done in the past, and think about how they can improve on it in the months ahead.

You can be sure that the men and women who work at the top levels of city government — including me — are doing that as well.

Our city accomplished a lot during 2010.

We battled back from the national recession to lead the nation in job growth.

Our schools, once the poster child for what was wrong in public education, are now being hailed by the Obama Administration as a national model.

Many of the innovative job training and social service programs we’ve piloted were awarded Social Innovation grants, so they can be replicated in other cities.

And, PlaNYC, our city’s far-reaching sustainability agenda, won recognition at the national and international levels.

We’ve made a lot of progress over the past 12 months, but unfortunately the year didn’t end on a high note.

The last week of the year was a difficult one for our city.

After we got pounded by one of the toughest blizzards in New York’s history, our transportation network faltered, and the snow clean-up took far longer than it should have.

Clearly, the response to this storm did not meet our standards, or the standards that New Yorkers have come to expect from us.

The long delays in plowing some of the city’s streets should not have happened — and we make no excuses.

For nine years, we have insisted on accountability from all agencies — and from all city employees, from top to bottom.

When something goes wrong, we find out why it went wrong — and then we roll up our sleeves and fix it.

That’s what New Yorkers expect from us — that’s what we have an obligation to deliver — and that’s exactly what we’ll do here.

We also take our emergency life-saving responsibilities very seriously and, as I recently announced, I’ve asked Skip Funk, the leading expert on emergency communication in the country — and now our new Director of Citywide Emergency Communications — to look at how and why the emergency system became overwhelmed.

One of the bright spots of that week was that many New Yorkers continued to do what we always do best: help each other out.

On Staten Island, an organization called “Where to Turn” deployed groups of teenagers to shovel walks and driveways for their older neighbors.

In Marine Park, Brooklyn, I met two families who had spent the week running errands for an older neighbor who’d been effectively snowbound.

And I know that stories such as these — of neighbors helping neighbors — were playing out all across the five boroughs.

I’d like to thank all the New Yorkers who made the best of a bad situation and ended 2010 helping one another.

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