I hope you all had a wonderful time with your family this holiday season. 2018 is set to be a fantastic year. As I embark on my tenure as your mayor, I wanted to let you all know how incredibly grateful I am to have the opportunity to serve my city. I don’t take this position lightly and will always do what is best for Downey and its residents. That being said I will briefly share some of my goals I have for the upcoming year.
When I ran for city council, my focus was and continues to be to improve our city streets. With the city’s growth and prosperity it has also brought about extra strain to our roads. A growing population and cuts to federal funding have slowed the progression to fixing our roads. Even so our city staff continues to aggressively apply for grants and other funding methods to improve our streets.
This year nearly $5 million more from last year’s budget will be invested in capital improvement projects thanks to increased funding from County Measure M, State SB 1 transportation funds and other capital improvement funding sources. At the regional level, the voters in Los Angeles County approved an additional half-cent sales tax (Measure M) that will fund transportation projects. This spring, the state legislature and the governor passed and signed a landmark transportation funding package, SB 1, that will address longstanding state and local roadway repairs. Our goal is to improve 12 miles of our city’s residential streets this year with these and other budgeted funds.
Measure S, an increase of half-cent to the transactions and use tax, was approved by 63% of Downey voters in November 2016 and went into effect on April 1, 2017. The funds received from this measure will protect and enhance the quality of services to the community. The Police Department has already been able to use these funds to hire 10 new police officers. Maintaining a city-run Police Department and Fire Department ensures quick response times to Downey emergencies, saving lives and keeping our community safe.
The funds from Measure S will help us to update our aging fire stations. Proposed projects include updating dormitories, adding office space, modernized kitchens, dining and dayroom areas as well accessible front offices. Replacement of HVAC systems, roof and ADA upgrades are also planned.
Our parks and local golf course continue to see a rise in usage. Our residents are used to a high quality of life and with that means we will continue to upgrade our city parks and facilities. Current improvements continue at the Rio Hondo Golf Clubhouse.
The clubhouse, Hackers restaurant, and the lobby will be closed from January 2 to January 22 for improvements. Renovations will include new flooring that consists of tile in most areas with carpet in the banquet rooms, new paint, and other improvements that will brighten up the space and bring back the beauty of the clubhouse. We appreciate the community’s patience as the much-needed enhancements are made.
This year we will again be offering the “If I Were Mayor” Student Contest. All students kindergarten to 12th grade who live or attend schools in the City of Downey will have the chance to submit their ideas on how to make our city a better place to live. Entries may be an essay, artwork or a photograph. Winners will be recognized with an official city certificate by the Mayor and the City Council at a City Council meeting.
Also I would like to request nominations for the Mayor’s Downey DNA Award. The Mayor's Downey DNA Award recognizes individuals and businesses which through their actions, have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and exceptional service in an effort to make our community and world a better place. Winners will receive special recognition at a City Council meeting. For more information please contact the council office.
As always, I am available for any questions, ideas or concerns you may have, or feel free to join me at the next Keep Downey Beautiful Clean Up on Saturday, Jan. 20, at 9 am. We will be meeting in the parking lot at Classical Graphix at 12152 Woodruff Ave.
Thank you for entrusting me as your mayor. I am looking forwarding to serving our City.
City Council Office: 562-904-7274