With the end of the year approaching, it is a time to reflect on the amazing year we have had in our city. Our city has many accomplishments for which to be proud.
My wife and I have had the greatest gift and accomplishment of all: the birth of our beautiful son, Ethan Omid Vasquez. As I venture into parenthood, I see the world with new eyes, and I am prouder than ever to live in the City of Downey and raise my family here.
At the beginning of the year, the city council met with city staff to lay the foundation and strategize on how to reach the city’s goals. The goals are based on the five overarching principles of Fiscal Responsibility; Efficiency and Adaptability; Economic Vibrancy; Quality of Life; Safety and Infrastructure; and Public Engagement.
Thanks to our city staff’s diligent work, our budget remains responsible and fiscally conservative while still addressing our promise for economic vibrancy. Included in the budget were funds to conduct an Imperial Highway Economic Study to learn how we could revitalize the Imperial Highway Corridor.
The city also made significant changes in its overall compensation, retirement and healthcare structure. It has sought federal, state, local and private funding for projects to support our parks, library, police, fire, water and community development needs; and supported state and federal legislation to increase funding for infrastructure projects.
This was all in an effort to continue to maintain the quality of life residents have come to expect. Our city as a whole is growing and buzzing with excitement. As its motto states, the Future is truly Unlimited.
Public safety will always be our top priority. The Downey Police Department has added new staff and officers to its force. To date, we have 121 sworn officers. Earlier this year, I along with my council colleagues approved the passage of the Downey Police Civilian Volunteer Patrol Program. Residents have been trained to help patrol our streets and have served as an added set of eyes and ears for the Police Department.
Another program approved this year was the Park Ranger program. The dedicated Downey Park Rangers solely patrol our parks to ensure the safety of all.
The Downey Fire Department rolled out the Smart911 System. Smart911 is a free service for all residents that allows users to provide information about themselves and their family when calling 911. This will allow police and fire personnel to get up to date emergency information when responding to situations where seconds can save lives.
As I approach my last year on the Downey City Council, I want to thank the past and present council members, city staff and the community for the trust you have placed in me and for every piece of support I have had the pleasure to receive in the past seven years.
I would like to thank my family; my parents for all the sacrifices they have made to help me get to this point; my sisters for their commitment and the laughs along the way, and a special thanks to my wife, Donna, for always being supportive of me throughout this entire process. I am eternally grateful to you all.
It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the residents of the City of Downey.