Message from the mayor

I hope this finds you all well. I wanted to bring you up to date on a few items that we are very excited about and some updates on Downey happenings.We were recently informed that we are one of six finalist for "Most Business Friendly City" from the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. for cities over 60,000 population ( by the way, Downey has approximately 115,000 residents and is the 12th largest city by population out of the 88 in L.A. County). This is a great honor to be nominated and I know our staff has worked very hard to earn this title. Our current and past councils have also worked to instill this attitude and workings but our staff deserves so much of the credit. We continue to make great progress in this area. I also wanted to invite you to my annual Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, Oct. 15 at Apollo Park at 6:30 p.m. We have always had great turnouts and I am very excited to be able to share some of the details of what is happening in our fine city and get feedback on what our residents think and want. We have actually implemented many of the things that citizens have brought up in past years and I love listening and sharing ideas about how to make our city even better. Feel free to pass this information along. A recent article was just published Tuesday in the Long Beach Post about Tesla Motors and Downey vs. Long Beach. I love Long Beach and they are a great city, but Tesla belongs in Downey and we are doing all we can to make that a reality. We continue to be very optimistic and excited about Tesla coming to Downey. We have had several meetings with them and their top officers recently and that is all I can say at this time. Stay tuned. There are many openings and new adventures in Downey for October. Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. ( did I say 7 a.m? Yes, 7 a.m. ) we cut the ribbon for our new Kohl's store at Stonewood Shopping Center. Also coming up in October, the Soroptimist 1st Annual Chili Cook-off this Sunday the 4th. They have asked me to be one of the judges. Can you believe it? I still do not know how I feel about that….ha. Happening and/or openings are: Bob's Big Boy (formerly known as Johnies Broiler), The Palms Restaurant opening next week on Florence Avenue, Downtown Barbecue on Downey Avenue, and Columbia Memorial Learning Center on Oct. 24 to the public, and the Rotary pancake breakfast with the proceeds going to our Downey YMCA will be on Oct. 17 at Warren High this year. Our Chamber is also hosting a Business Mixer at the Embassy Suites on Oct. 29. I have been scheduled for many speaking engagements throughout the month and too many to mention but I did want to say how happy I am when I go to clubs or organizations in our city and how they feel about being a Downey resident. I know I have that same feeling and it is good to know we live in a community that genuinely cares. I recently attended meetings in September, including five neighborhood watch meetings, Sanitation Board meeting, Contract Cities legislative committee, Contract Cities workshop, Independent Cities board, Southern Cal Area of Government Transportation committee, Keep Downey Beautiful, YMCA board, Chamber Business Watch, Metropolitan Lodge honoring our fine men and women from our school district, police and fire, Green Garden workshop co-sponsored by Green Task Force and Water board along with Southern California Edison, Gas Co. and Coke, Blue Mass for our public safety by OLPH, and their 100 year anniversary Mass, Unity in the Community, and a Sister Cities meeting about our 50 year relationship with Guadalajara…Busy but fun. I was out the first two weeks and only part time. Almost back to full speed now. Some other items I want to mention or let you know about : Seasonal Flu-Shot Clinic and Emergency Preparedness Fair: A free seasonal flu-shot clinic was conducted Saturday at the Downey Theater. An Emergency Preparedness fair was held in the same location to get the Emergency Preparedness "word" out to the large number of people attending the clinic. Nearly 1,200 vaccinations were given to community members during the four hour event. The event went smoothly and benefitted from a number of planning meetings held with members of the City staff and several public and private groups. The local hospitals (Downey Regional Medical Center and Kaiser) were very helpful in staffing the vaccination stations. The L.A. County Department of Public Health provided the vaccine and the L.A. County Department of Mental Health assisted with the event. City departments involved with the event were Community Services, Fire Department, Downey Theater, Police, Physical Services and the Building Department. Several Downey volunteer groups worked hard to ensure the success of the event. There were representatives from the Emergency Preparedness Committee, the Downey CERT team, the Red Cross, Police Explorers, Fire Explorers and Fire Auxiliaries. The next free flu-shot clinic will provide the vaccine for the H1N1 virus and will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 27 from 1 p.m. - 9 p.m. City staff are currently planning for the event. Our Loved Library: The Downey City Library is inviting the public to attend the 50th birthday celebration on Saturday, Oct. 3rd from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The library rededication and ribbon-cutting ceremony with City Council members will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. in front of the library. The free celebration with music and refreshments will include a scavenger hunt, book giveaways, a juggler, birthday pi?±atas for children, book raffles and a cake decorating demonstration for adults with Hector Navarro from Cakeland. Commemorative gold library cards will be available on Saturday to mark this special anniversary. And speaking of space, space flight historian, Dr. Jim Busby, will present "Sputnik I and Explorer I" on Oct. 4 at the library. When Russia launched Sputnik I on October 4, 1957, the Earth got its first artificial satellite and the space race was born. A small group of scientists from Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory built America's first successful artificial satellite, Explorer I, launched on January 31, 1958. Dr. Busby will discuss these milestones in the early days of the space race and their legacy 50 years later. This event is offered as part of the library's "One Book, One Community" reading project featuring the book "Rocket Boys" by Homer Hickam. Keep Downey Beautiful (KDB): The Keep Downey Beautiful (KDB) cleanup on Saturday, Sept. 19, was one of the most successful cleanups in KDB history. This is the fifth year KDB has partnered with Heal the Bay for their annual Coastal Cleanup Day. The campaign for the cleanup actually began on Sunday, Sept. 13 with a Heal the Bay television special that aired on Channels 2 and 9. This special program was filmed last year and featured the City of Downey and other participating agencies. National Public Radio KPCC-FM continued to broadcast the Coastal Cleanup all week, directing volunteers to their nearest cleanup site. The City of Downey, being recognized as an inland site, had volunteers from Los Angeles, Diamond Bar, Montebello and Compton, all eager to participate in Coastal Cleanup Day. The 91 volunteers removed 1,860 pounds of trash from the Rio San Gabriel Riverbed. Everyone enjoyed themselves, but left very tired. I was very happy to be there and picked up a few bags and left knowing we have a great community. Remember, keep Downey Beautiful cleans up every month here in Downey. Great opportunity to volunteer or have your group volunteer. Recycling / Green: •The Recycling Office will be hosting a Used Oil Collection and Free Oil Filter Exchange event on Saturday, Oct. 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Pep Boys, located at 10231 Lakewood Blvd. Residents are encouraged to bring in used motor oil and oil filters for recycling. The used oil filter will be exchanged for a new one - free! (Limit one new filter per customer). Used motor oil recycling containers, funnels, and other give-always, will be distributed to those in attendance. •The public is invited to a free "Smart Gardening" workshop on Saturday, Oct. 24 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., hosted by the City's Recycling Office and presented by the County of Los Angeles. The event will be held at Wilderness Park at the Smart Gardening Information Center. Participants will receive instruction on composting grass, leaves, and yard clippings. Also covered will be Worm Composting, Grass Cycling and Water-Wise Gardening techniques. Participants will learn how to improve their yard and garden, recycle yard waste and kitchen scraps, and create water-wise landscapes. •Stay tuned for upcoming Green Task Force items. I hope this wasn't too long but I wanted to give you all a few important informational items and to also remind us all what a great city we have. From our staff to our council to all our residents and volunteer groups, we are so blessed here in our city. From our fine school district and schools to our Police and Fire which keep us safe, we live in Downey because it all matters. As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments. mguerra@downeyca.org

********** Published: October 2, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 24