Incoming mayor lays out goals for next year

DOWNEY - Councilman Roger Brossmer has a wide-ranging list of goals and initiatives he plans to pursue after he is sworn-in as mayor of Downey this Tuesday at 6 p.m.Brossmer offered local media a preview of his presentation this week. Chief among Brossmer's goals is to cut spending and find "long term, systemic solutions" caused by the economic downturn. Bridging the city's annual budget deficit with reserve funds is longer acceptable, he added. "This is our new reality and we need to begin to make the difficult decisions to adjust," Brossmer wrote in his list of priorities. "Ultimately, this will make us leaner, more competitive, and more nimble in delivering quality projects and quality of life measures to our residential and business citizens." Could this mean layoffs for city employees? "I hope not," Brossmer said in a telephone interview. "There's no question we'll have to work with our unions to get through this. We were successful with pension reform for new employees but we still have to negotiate concessions with the unions. But I'm optimistic considering the tone of our negotiations this year." Brossmer recommended the city increase revenues through "technology, energy conservation, business incentives and intelligent planning." The planned Tierra Luna project south of Downey Landing and the Gateway development at Downey Avenue and Firestone Boulevard should increase the city's sales tax base and generate much-needed jobs, Brossmer added. Among Brossmer's other goals: • Advance the city's "branding" effort and "aggressively pursue economic development." • Set up an advisory group comprised of past Downey mayors. "The strength of Downey can be traced back to city staff and great past mayors and city council members," Brossmer said. "I would like to create a forum where I can continue to seek their input about Downey's past, present and future." • Publicly honor returning service members before each council meeting. If the service member is still serving overseas, have their families speak about the person. "We need to put a face on these wonderful individuals who are sacrificing so much for us," Brossmer said. • Organize regular meetings with department heads "to make sure...all possible areas of improved efficiency are looked at, as well as to receive input on future projects." • Provide monthly updates to local newspapers. • Break ground on a veterans memorial at City Hall. • Prepare a smooth transition for the next emergency services manager to replace Mark Sauter, who retires Jan. 1. • Streamline the process of tracking both commercial and residential vacant properties to make sure they are being properly maintained. • Help local art groups obtain grants and other subsidies "to capitalize on the current momentum we have." • Increase utilization of "existing city gems," including the Downey Theatre, Columbia Memorial Space Center, parks and the library. • Focus internal resources on the anticipated influx of released parolees, and involved Gangs Out of Downey. • Improve the city's infrastructure by conducting "major upgrades" to the water and sewer systems, repave the streets at Florence Avenue and Studebaker Road, install medians along Telegraph Road and improve the street signs and landscaping at entrances to the city. "As many of you know, I have family ties dating back to 1947, so I take this position quite humbly," Brossmer said. "At this time, I am both excited about the possibilities of this upcoming year, but also aware of the significant challenges."

********** Published: December 1, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 33