Budget deficit forces tough decisions

Dear Downey residents:

We have had many positive things happening in our City during the last couple of weeks, but unfortunately we've also had some not so good moments.

Earlier this month we made the tough decision of giving lay off notices to several of our City employees. We were forced to make such a difficult decision as a result of our projected budget deficit being significantly higher for Fiscal Year 2012-13 than this year's $4.2 million deficit. Taking this into consideration and after much thought, we needed to take immediate action. Unfortunately, this resulted in job losses for some of our hard working and valuable employees.

We remain hopeful and will continue to look for solutions to help improve our economic situation.

On a brighter note, roadway construction has begun for a much needed and anticipated street improvement project. Construction work is currently in progress for Florence Avenue and Studebaker Road, with an expected completion date in mid June of this year. I am sure many of you have experienced these "bumpy" roads located near this major intersection and I am glad to be able to say that this project is finally underway.

I enjoyed reading some favorite picture books to children and their parents at the Library's "Meet the Mayor" story times last week. These events were part of a National Library Week celebration, sponsored by the Friends of the Downey City Library.

I also attended the 28th Annual Volunteer and Major Donor Recognition event last weekend. The event honored volunteers and major donors for their contributions and it was impressive to learn that our Library volunteers logged-in close to 9,000 hours for the year 2011. We are fortunate to have so many dedicated volunteers in our City and thanks to the Friends of the Downey City Library for hosting this event as well.

The Gangs Out of Downey (GOOD) Luncheon was held on April 18th and was a huge success with special guest speaker Sheriff Lee Baca in attendance. The event served as a fundraiser to help raise money to support gang prevention in our community. GOOD is made up entirely of volunteers who dedicate their time to help fight gang activity in our City. Thanks to all who attended for their generous support.

The 2nd Annual Youth in Government Day was held this past Tuesday at City Hall. Students from our local high schools had the opportunity to see first hand how their local government works and were able to interact with myself, as well as my fellow Council Members and City staff. It was nice to see our youth taking a proactive approach and expressing interest in how government works. I can tell you that we have a great group of future leaders right here in Downey.

Congratulations to students from the Warren High School team, who in collaboration with the Columbia Memorial Space Center, recently competed in the 2012 VEX Robot World Championship held in Anaheim. The VEX Robotics World Championship brought together top robotics teams from around the world to celebrate their accomplishments and compete against each other. Our Warren High School team deserves to be commended for their talent and dedication which led them to compete with the best of the best in high school robotics.

Summer is just around the corner and registration is currently taking place for summer classes. From ballroom dancing, to Indian cooking, to piano lessons and fitness classes, there is sure to be something for everyone. Stop by the Parks & Recreation Department at City Hall or the Barbara J. Riley Community & Senior Center to register. Check out the new Summer Guide for a list of classes now available online on the City's website: downeyca.org. Also included in the guide is the schedule line-up for the 2012 Twilight Summer Concert Series.

The Annual Kids Day is set for May 12 at Furman Park from 10am-4pm. This year marks the 25th Anniversary of this popular community event. Join us in celebrating our youth with a day filled with interactive activities that combine education and entertainment all in one. Don't miss out on the Annual Street Faire taking place this Saturday, April 28. We expect this to be another successful event and a big thank you to the Downey Chamber of Commerce for putting this event together.

I am almost half way through my term as Mayor and I cannot express to you all how much I enjoy representing this wonderful community. I take pride in being Mayor of the City of Downey and am truly grateful for this opportunity. I consider Downey a special place and really believe that it is because of residents' such as yourselves that this City continues to thrive. Until next month!

Sincerely, Mayor Roger Brossmer

********** Published: April 26, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 02