DOWNEY - With more than 100 community leaders, city officials and residents in attendance, Fernando Vasquez, who claimed victory in the District 4 campaign last month, was sworn-in as Downey's newest council member Tuesday night.Aided by his two sisters, Vasquez repeated the oath of office in front of the large assembly drawing cheers and praise from the diverse crowd inside the Council Chambers. "I am honored and humbled you elected me," said Vasquez. "I love Downey, I am committed, but I can't do this alone. We need you - it's all about community." In a brief speech following the ceremony, Vasquez presented several goals he hopes to accomplish in his next four years on the Council including tough, new restrictions on illegal street vendors, proactive gang intervention programs, community policing committees, city-wide youth programs and more economic development projects such as the $1 billion Tierra Luna project. Councilman Mario Guerra, who ran unopposed in District 2, also thanked his supporters, pledging to use fiscal responsibility and the tenants of Character Counts as his guiding light over the next four years. "I made a promise to my family," said Guerra. "I made a promise to this city and most importantly I made a promise to me and my God that every vote would be in the best interests of the city and I've done that." Guerra also announced his agenda for the next four years, which includes increases in public safety, street and park improvements, a Downey veterans' memorial, more arts and culture programming, and a continued business-friendly environment at City Hall. Prior to the swearing-in ceremony, city officials also took time to recognize outgoing Councilwoman Anne Bayer who was elected to the City Council in 2002, serving as mayor twice over the course of eight years. "I want to thank the people who elected me twice to the Council - it's been a joy beyond belief serving the people of Downey," Bayer said. "And the fastest eight years of my life." In addition to many city distinctions presented to Bayer Tuesday night, she also received recognition from several community organizations and legislators including the Soroptimist International of Downey, the Chamber of Commerce, the Downey Unified School District, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, County Supervisor Don Knabe, and the cities of Lakewood, Santa Fe Springs, Pico Rivera, Signal Hill and Cerritos.
********** Published: December 9, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 34