The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report consists of management’s representations concerning the finances of the City of Hickory. Consequently, management assumes full responsibility for the completeness and reliability of all of the information presented in this report. To provide a reasonable basis for making these representations, management of the City of Hickory has established a comprehensive internal control framework that is designed to protect the government’s assets from loss, theft, or misuse and to compile reliable information for the preparation of the City of Hickory’s financial statements in conformity with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). The cost of internal controls should not outweigh their benefits. The City of Hickory’s internal controls have been designed to provide reasonable, rather than absolute assurance that the financial statements will be free from material misstatement. To the best of our knowledge and belief, this financial report is complete and reliable in all material respects.