Dear Downey Neighbors, I find it hard to believe another year has come and gone.As Mayor and on behalf of the entire City Council, I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a holiday season full of hope and joy for the future. As this year draws to a close, I want to express my personal thanks to the thousands of volunteers that make each holiday season so special to so many. Their generosities, year after year, brighten smiles and lift the hearts of our community. Even with many families struggling to get through this current dip in the economy, the unselfish giving has once again proven the true spirit of the season is alive and well in Downey. We are so blessed as a city to be so well positioned during this time. Special thanks to Downey's management team for their commitment to fiscal conservatism, which has resulted in substantial saving over the past decade. This commitment has resulted in substantial increases in the city's reserves, which today allow for cautious optimism instead of deep concern. I personally want to thank our soon to retire Assistant City Manager, Lee Powell, for his decades of service to our city. Lee has overseen the city's finances in an outstanding manner and has always kept the long term financial health of Downey as his number one priority. The results of this philosophy are now paying off. Thank you, Lee, you will be missed. 2009 was an outstanding year in terms of progress and improvements to our wonderful city. Programs like neighborhood watch, the annual holiday tree lighting, and concerts in the park continue to draw record participation. The infrastructure improvements completed along Lakewood Boulevard, specifically at the Firestone and Imperial intersections, eliminated two of the worst traffic headaches in our city. The weekly farmers market and the newly installed military banners bring the small town feel to Downey. As residents, we have many reasons to be thankful this holiday season. I commend my colleagues and our city staff for the outstanding job in 2009. Downey stands ready to become the destination to live, work, shop, and play in southeast Los Angeles County. So as we celebrate this holiday season, I hope you find even more time to spend not just with your family, but with those very special friends and neighbors in this great town. Let us all use this time to reflect and count our blessings. For God has truly shined a special light over Downey. Remember His love and remember the true meaning of the season. To our family and friends who can't make it home to Downey this year but who may be reading this message over the internet, as Mayor of Downey, I extend our most heartfelt Christmas greetings, wishes and prayers to you. And to everyone here in Downey, I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous, healthy and Happy New Year in 2010. God Bless you all.
********** Published: December 25, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 35