I hope you are all enjoying your summer. Effective and prudent financial management is a top priority and essential to be able to provide quality services to all who live and work in Downey. Without a well executed budget, the City’s vision would not be able to move forward.
Following months of intense development, editing and review, I am pleased to report that we recently passed a sound, balanced budget of $156.7 million for the 2016-2017 year with over $29 million in reserves. While many surrounding city’s struggle, we in Downey are fortunate to have a strong budget and local economy thanks to our staff, committed City Council and our engaged residents.
We recently dedicated the installation of bike lanes on Gardendale Street, a first in Downey. Our investment in today’s eco-friendly bike lanes will pay dividends tomorrow through long-term impacts. Bike lanes help provide a real, healthy option while reducing gas emissions. We want to remind both drivers and bicyclist to be mindful and respectful of each other and to be safe while on the road.
Over the past year, our Public Works Department has made great strides to improve our streets through our Capital Improvement Projects. Our streets are safer, more reliable and provide a better drive for all of us. Much funding for street improving has been provided by federal highway grants. We will continue to aggressively seek state and federal grants to be able to continue our goal of additional street improvements and invest in our city’s infrastructure.
Another way we have been investing in Downey is through technology. Our online Water Bill payment has been a huge success, the Downey App is highly used and has been downloaded by thousands of users since its debut last year, and the Downey Alerts Citizen Notification System provides immediate emergency notifications that may affect your home, workplace, child’s school, parents’ home, or any other locations within Downey. We will continue to move Downey forward.
There are many upcoming events as this summer continues in full force. Our Keep Downey Beautiful team will be having a Smart Gardening Class Workshop tomorrow at 9:30 am at Wilderness Park. All residents are encouraged to conserve water by replacing their existing lawns with drought tolerant landscaping. Examples of drought tolerant landscaping will be available at the workshop. Also tomorrow, we invite you to the Summer Skate Competition at the Meredith Perkins Skate Park at Independence Park. Children from 6th to 12th grade will be competing at 2:00 pm for their chance to win the top skating titles as wells gift cards from local businesses.
There are several ribbon cutting ceremonies planned this month: on Monday, August 8, Golden Corral on Lakewood Blvd. and Gallatin Road be opening. TJ Maxx/HomeGoods at the Promenade will have their ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday, Aug. 18, at 8 a.m. On Aug. 25, GNC at the Promenade will be opening their doors and will be having specials throughout the.
Raising Cane’s (on Woodruff and Firestone) will be having a ceremony on Aug. 30 at 9 am. And Benihana’s will have their formal grand opening on Aug. 30.
The newest and biggest commercial development in Downey, The Promenade at Downey, is almost complete and will be hosting a grand opening event next Saturday, August 13, to celebrate the completion of this exciting project. There will be family oriented activities, interactive exhibits, DJ’s, and gift card giveaways. Festivities are scheduled to start at noon at the Apollo Plaza in front of Cinemark and everyone is welcome.
Also next Saturday evening, the City of Downey will be hosting a free open house from 5:30-6:30 at the Downey Civic Theatre to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the incorporation of Downey. The theatre lobby and restrooms have been recently updated and this promises to be a great event with food, music and many surprises.
Later that evening, there will be a special concert, “We’ve Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered” at the Downey Civic Theatre. Tickets for that show are on sale at the theater box office. It will be a historic evening as we celebrate Downey!
L.A.’s first and only urban rocket festival returns on Saturday, August 20, at 10 a.m. at the Columbia Memorial Space Center. Come fly your own rocket or learn how to build one. This will be a hands-on and fun experience!
Also on Aug. 20, the first Summer Music & Movie event will be held at Golden Park. Bring a blanket and some snacks and enjoy a movie with the whole family. Gangs Out of Downey will be providing backpacks for kids in the neighborhood and talking to kids about the importance of staying away from gangs and staying in school. This promises to be a fun family event.
The first of this summer’s Rooftop Concert Series “Havana Nights” will take place on Aug. 25 at the parking structure at New St. and 2nd St. in Downtown Downey. This is a free event with live music and art. Enjoy a night overlooking the Downey skyline. We will have a live performance by Charanga Cubana and professional salsa dancers. The evening’s master of ceremonies will be radio personality David “Mango” Gonzales and he promises to make this a memorable evening. We hope to see you there!
All young Downey residents are encouraged to enter the “If I Were Mayor” contest and share your ideas with me on how to make our City better. For more information or details on how to enter, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, the City Council welcomes your comments, concerns, or questions. You can reach me at (562) 904-7274.
Until next month,
Mayor Alex Saab