As the year reaches its midpoint, I would like to thank you all for being an amazing community. I hope you are all having a great summer and I wish that the rest of 2018 is a prosperous year.
I would also like to give you an update on the many achievements our city has made which would not have been possible without your interest and support in our civic affairs.
We are six months into a three-year capital improvement plan which will include $50 million of improvements to our city lighting, sidewalk repairs, new traffic signal communication systems and repaving of city and residential streets. The plan is set to impact our entire city and improve traffic safety and ease of travel.
We have also allocated $30,500 from the general fund for the purchase of handheld citation issuance devices for citywide parking enforcement. These devices have server features that will streamline the processing of citations and help reduce errors in parking enforcement situations.
The City of Downey has also joined the ‘Taking Back Our Community Coalition’; a group of over 40 cities dedicated to improving public safety across California through public education and community advocacy. The Coalition plans to bring awareness to the unintended adverse public safety impacts of recent changes to California’s criminal laws and work together to keep our communities safe.
I’d like to also take a moment to thank the citizens of Downey and the Downey Police Department for their commitment to neighborly values and keeping each other and our community safe, as we have continued to see a rise in our Neighborhood Watch Program, 216 neighborhoods are participating in the program currently, with more on the way. A good neighbor is one of the most effective crime prevention tools, and working with our local police we can continue to reduce instances of burglary and other crimes.
The City has continued to make progress on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Self- Evaluation and Transition Plan, including appointing a City ADA Coordinator to better address city-related ADA matters. Our City website also now includes a page describing the Transitional Plan and has information about the City’s grievance policy and procedures, as well as ADA grievance forms in multiple languages.
Funds received through Measure S have enabled a significant increase in Public Safety staffing. The City has added positions for 10 new sworn police officers, a fire training captain, an ambulance coordinator, and six new ambulance operator positions which have already been filled. This is in addition to a $3.25 million upgrade to public safety dispatch systems, of which $1.25 million has already been committed with an expected expenditure of $2 million in the upcoming fiscal year.
This year the Parks & Recreation Department had its first Summer Expo showcasing the variety of youth summer programs we have available! Parents had the opportunity to browse and register their children for day camps, aquatic courses, summer sports leagues and more. If you were not able to attend our Summer Expo but are still interested in signing your children up for summer activities please visit the Parks & Recreation page on our website to view our 2018 Summer Guide to see the classes and activities we have planned.
Also in our city parks: to enhance the looks and safety of our parks, new lighting fixtures have been added to the walking trails at Apollo Park and Furman Park. Dual ribbon-cutting ceremonies in April were held at the parks to commemorate this project.
Speaking of ribbon cuttings, we are proud to say we have had 10 ribbon cuttings for new businesses in the City of Downey this year alone, one being the former World of Decor/Pace/Gemco property at the marquee intersection of the Interstate 5 and 605 freeways. This property is near to my heart, as it is where I met my wife as an employee of Pace, 26 years ago. So seeing this building coming back to life and prospering again is especially meaningful to me not only as a city official but as a Downey resident.
Already much has been accomplished this year as we work to fulfill our promise to continue addressing and improving our City’s quality of life to our residents. We will continue to support a variety of parks projects, infrastructure projects, and the expansion of our public safety initiatives as we move into the future.
Finally, I would like to wish all of the dads a very happy Father’s Day. May your day be filled with family, friends, and great BBQ!
City Council Office: 562-904-7274