Farewell message from Mayor Luis Marquez

Dear Downey Family and Friends:  

I am honored and humbled to have served as your Mayor this past year.  As I look back on 2015, I can’t help but to feel proud of what our City has accomplished.  With yet another balanced City budget, we have been able to deliver exceptional services to our residents – something we take great pride in.        

One of my top priorities as Mayor was to continue to make our parks a safe place for our children and our families.  I’m happy to say that we were able to install video surveillance cameras at two of our parks – Brookshire and Golden.  This has helped deter issues such as loitering, graffiti, and other nuisances.  Our City will continue to look into the possibility of installing additional surveillance cameras in the future.   

We completed several, much needed park improvements this year.  Some of these include the construction of new playground equipment and walking trails at Brookshire and Furman Parks, completion of the Apollo Park walking trail, and the replacement of new playgrounds at Temple and Rio San Gabriel Parks.  As you can see, our City has made a commitment to our parks.  We’ve also just recently completed our Parks Master Plan, which will help us address other much needed park improvements in the future.   

Our Parks and Recreation department did an incredible job this year in engaging the community with several special events.  Thousands came out to enjoy the summer Rooftop Concerts, the International Food Festival, Dia De Los Muertos, and Rock N’ Ride Event for Veterans.  The City’s quality of life continues to be enhanced through all of these community events, so thank you all who came out to join us.     

During the Special Olympics Host Town events, many of our residents took the time to come out and volunteer to make sure our vising athletes felt welcomed.  They donated their time, energy and passion toward an important cause.  There was a sense of optimism, hope and excitement in our City.  I was proud to see how our community came together, thank you Downey!

Street improvements continued to be priority this past year. Our Public Works Department worked very hard to continue to improve our streets. Isn’t amazing what we have accomplished with our roads?! Just take a look at Firestone Blvd. and Lakewood Blvd.  These improvement projects have really transformed our City.  Our Residential Street Rehabilitation project has completed 52 street segments, covering a total of 9 miles.  In addition, the Pavement Rehabilitation project will continue to make progress by installing new pavement and bicycle lanes on Gardendale St., between Lakewood Blvd. and Garfield Ave.  Work on Old River School Rd., between Imperial Hwy. and Arnett St., is scheduled to commence in May of 2016 and is expected to be completed by fall 2016.  

In partnership with the City of Norwalk, the $10 million bridge modernization project is finally complete. The new bridge provides for three traffic lanes in each direction, wider sidewalks, a center landscaped median, an emergency shoulder lane in each direction to reduce traffic delays, and decorative columns with multi‐colored LED lights.  The new Firestone Bridge and the “Downey” entry monument sign that has been installed in the median island will serve as a welcoming gateway to our City.

This year our City has also seen tremendous economic growth. As you may have heard, Vallarta Supermarket has leased the former Beaches Market site. They are in the process of completing a small addition to the building and a façade remodel. In addition, the site will include a new Starbucks at the former Baker’s Square location.  This is a much needed development for a property that has been vacant for over five years.  The grand opening is scheduled for January 2016.   

At the former Downey Ford site, the Commons, at Gallatin and Lakewood, will soon be home to new modern architecture buildings with a mix use of restaurants and retail space.  Planet Fitness is a confirmed tenant and more will be announced in the near future. The Commons is anticipated to open by summer of 2016. Additionally, at the former Lincoln‐Mercury dealership site, a new development will feature a mix of retail shops and restaurants and will be called the Downey Crossroads.  A confirmed tenant is the Golden Corral Restaurant and more will be announced soon.  All tenants at this development are anticipated to open by summer 2016.

The Promenade is set to become Downey’s new community gathering spot destination. The 77‐acre complex will merge retail, dining, and entertainment with a one‐of‐a‐kind walk through history. We had our first ribbon cutting for 24 Hour Fitness last weekend and the state of the art CineMark Movie Theatre is having their official grand opening this Friday, December 11. We can’t wait until other businesses begin to open in the coming months – stay tuned! This has been a great year to say the least.  I want to end by acknowledging and thanking my family for all of their love and encouragement.  My wife Alma, children, Diego, Maya and Isabella ‐ thank you for being by my side. Without your patience and support, none of this would have been possible for me. To my parents, thank you Mom and Dad for the sacrifices you have made to make sure that I had the resources needed to succeed in life. I could never thank you enough for what you’ve done for me.   

To my fellow Council colleagues, thank you for supporting me this year as Mayor. I’ve never stopped striving to be a leader who did not let you down and I am grateful for what you have given me in return. City Manager Gilbert Livas, City employees and community groups, thank you all for your support and for helping make Downey the City that it is today.   

Last, but certainly not least, to the citizens of Downey, I would like to thank every single one of you for allowing me to serve as your Mayor.  I have met many of you throughout this past year and I am proud to live in a community with so many dedicated individuals.   

Mayor Luis H. Marquez