Wednesday morning report, March 9

Five things to know this Wednesday morning: 

1.) A proposal to shorten the  public comment period at City Council meetings failed to pass last night. 

Drafted by the city attorney at the request of council members, the proposal would have given the public one opportunity to address the council on non-agenda topics or items on the consent calendar.

This was mainly in response to one particular person who recently made it his life's mission to blather incoherently at every opportunity. 

Councilman Sean Ashton proposed keeping the same public comment rules, but limiting speakers to a maximum of three minutes, down from the current five. Councilman Luis Marquez and Mayor Pro Tem Fernando Vasquez agreed with this. 

"What are we doing here?" asked Mayor Alex Saab. "We're reducing the public's chance and opportunity to speak." 

Councilman Roger Brossmer agreed. 

"While certain individuals make meetings longer than they need to be, that's what we signed up for," he said.

Ashton ultimately changed his mind, and the public's right to address their government representatives -- for five minutes -- was preserved. 

2.) The city council voted 4-1 (with Ashton opposed) to host a July 4 fireworks show and festival at Downey High.

Council members approved the festival with the understanding that a significant portion of the event -- estimated to cost about $61,000 -- will be offset with sponsorships and donations. 

3.) Gangs Out of Downey will host its annual luncheon today at the Rio Hondo Event Center. The lunch, which will feature the presentation of the inaugural Ricky Galvez Scholarship, is sold out. 

4.) Jersey Mike's officially opened to the public yesterday. Thank you Michael Chirco for the photo. 

5.) Parks and Recreation Director Arlene Salazar said yesterday that a limited number of tickets are still available for the "Brunch with Bunny & Spring Extravaganza" event next Saturday, March 19, at Golden Park. 

The event features a breakfast prepared by Boy Scout Troop No. 441, photo opportunities with the Easter Bunny (bring your own camera), carnival games, a portable skate park, information booths, prize walk, and more. 

Breakfast tickets are $8 for Downey residents and $11 for non-residents. They can be purchased online at