DOWNEY - An emotional Roger Brossmer was sworn-in as mayor of Downey in a jubilant celebration at City Hall Tuesday night.Former mayor Kirk Cartozian administered the oath of office. Brossmer, an administrator with the Downey Unified School District, replaces outgoing mayor Luis Marquez, who was feted Tuesday by local and state politicians. In a PowerPoint presentation, Brossmer reiterated much of the goals he publicly announced last week, including balancing the budget without the use of reserves and focusing on economic redevelopment projects. The proposed Tierra Luna development at Downey Studios will include big box retailers, a hotel, movie theater, office space and more, Brossmer said, adding that more details will be revealed when the project is put before the Planning Commission later this month. Brossmer also listed goals for his first 100 days in office, including the creation of an advisory board comprised of past Downey mayors; honoring service members and their families before City Council meetings; breaking ground on a veterans memorial at City Hall; publishing monthly updates through local media; increase partnership with the Downey Chamber of Commerce; streamlining ways to track vacant residential and commercial properties; continuing water barrel distributions and flu vaccinations despite the looming retirement of the emergency preparedness coordinator; and more. "We've got a Republican at the helm," Brossmer quipped as he took his seat as mayor. "Everything will be OK." Brossmer's first act as mayor was to swear-in new city manager Gilbert Livas to replace Gerald Caton, who is retiring Jan. 1 after 22 years as Downey's top employee. Livas, the seventh of 10 children, said he "felt like I hit the jackpot" by becoming the seventh city manager in Downey's history. "A lot of people ask me if now is a good time to be a city manager, and I think it is considering the people we have here," Livas said. "Downey is fortunate to have really committed council members and a great staff. A lot of our department heads could be working elsewhere but they chose Downey because it's one of the top cities to work for." The night also belonged to Marquez, who was presented with plaques and commendations from local politicians and their representatives. Sen. Alan Lowenthal - Marquez's employer - showed up to publicly congratulate Marquez for his year as mayor, along with council members from Cerritos, South Gate, Cudahy and other neighboring cities. In his outgoing speech, Marquez recalled his major initiatives from throughout the year, including his emphasis on "one Downey" and building cohesiveness throughout the community. "I'm not going anywhere," Marquez said. "I'm only moving over one seat. I remain committed to this city." David Gafin, in his final year on City Council, was elected mayor pro tem. Councilman Mario Guerra is scheduled to become mayor next year, followed by Councilman Fernando Vasquez.
********** Published: December 8, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 34