DOWNEY – Several of Downey’s organizations and public leaders gathered at City Hall on Tuesday to honor Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe, who will be terming out later this year.
Supervisor Knabe was elected to the LA County Board of Supervisors in late 1996, and was re-elected four times in 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012.
Tuesday’s ceremony came before the City Council’s bi-weekly meeting.
Many of Downey’s present and former leaders, as well as representatives of many of Downey’s philanthropic organizations and notable citizens, were in attendance, including former mayors Mario Guerra, Kirk Cartozian, Davd Gafin, and Meredith Perkins, Planning Commissioner Louis Morales, and Downey philanthropist Dr. Mary Stauffer.
The ceremony opened with a few brief comments from Mayor Alex Saab and his fellow council members. Following the council’s comments, several of Downey’s notable organizations were allowed to share a few words and make presentations. These included Downey Unified School District, Arc, Downey Chamber of Commerce, Downey Historical Society, Downey Rose Float, Downey Sister Cities Association, Downey Symphonic Society, Gangs out of Downey, Downey Lions Club, both of Downey’s Kiwanis clubs, Rancho Los Amigos Hospital, Rotary Club of Downey, Soroptimist International of Downey, Food Helps, Optimist Club of Downey, and Assistance League.
Several of these organizations also presented Supervisor Knabe with various gifts, or committed donations to Knabe’s Safe Surrender program. Downey Rose Float also offered Knabe a seat on Downey’s 2017 Tournament of Roses entry.
Knabe’s longstanding and outspoken support of Rancho Los Amigos was a hot topic for many of the evening’s speaker.
“What I appreciated most about Don was Rancho, Rancho, Rancho” said Councilmember Roger Brossmer. “…There is nothing he could have done more powerful for his already amazing legacy than ‘Rancho Rising.’”
“When times were tough in the early 2000’s, when all the board was telling Don ‘it’s time to shut it down, it’s time to bring that to a close, it’s served its purpose,’ Don was the one who stood up and said ‘We cannot let this happen’” said Mayor Pro Tem Fernando Vasquez. “…You see the Rancho Los Amigos today not only thriving, but you see it making miracles.”
During Rancho Los Amigos’s time to speak, it was announced that one of the new buildings erected as a part of the Rancho Rising 2020 project will be named in the Supervisor’s honor.
The ceremony closed with the presentation of a special tile to Knabe from the city, and with a few remarks made by the man of the hour.
“I’ve never seen a city like Downey that sort of wraps its arms around each other…” said Knabe. “…To all of you, my heart-felt thanks for your support over the years. It’s meant a great deal to me. Downey has been a key supporter of mine for all these years…It’s been a blessing too and I have enjoyed it.”
Knabe’s term officially comes to a close this November.