Keeping residents informed

Dear Downey Family: As your Mayor, I feel that it is important to keep you, our residents, informed about what is going on in our City.

My City Council colleagues agree that our number one priority is to serve our residents and help maintain the great quality of life that we have here in Downey. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I feel honored to be the Mayor of this great City and I take pride in all that we are doing to help make Downey the great City that it is. I grew up here, I have raised my family here, and I work here...I love this town.

I hope that with these monthly articles I am able to provide you with an insight of the great things that help make this community so special.

Let me first start off by thanking a local resident who went above and beyond to help support a worthy cause. Downey resident Manny Rodriguez took it upon himself to go out and collect donations to help purchase military banners for those individuals who were placed on a waiting list due to lack of donations. When Mr. Rodriguez learned that we had approximately 14 people on the waiting list, he was determined to collect as many donations as he could to help pay for their banners. He collected approximately $2,700 and our City was able to order banners for all 14 individuals.

I commend Mr. Rodriguez for his efforts in helping support our local military heroes.

The City's Military Banner Program began in 2009 in an effort to help honor those who are serving our Country. We have over 100 banners currently displayed throughout our City and as individuals return home, we are presenting each of them with their banner. Just this week, we honored three local military personnel at our City Council meeting: Raymond Salazar and husband and wife, Hector & Alexis Gomez. It's great being able to welcome home these exceptional service men and women.

Stay local this 4th of July holiday and enjoy a spectacular fireworks show over at Downey High School. Bring the whole family and help celebrate our Country's Independence Day in a safe and fun environment. I look forward to this celebration and want to thank Calvary Chapel for putting this event together.

A "Bike Parade" will also be taking place around the track of Downey High before the fireworks show begins at 5:30 p.m. Residents are encouraged to decorate their bikes in patriotic colors.

We all know of Downey's rich Aerospace history and in just a few weeks, the original full size shuttle mock-up built here in Downey will come out of hiding and be on display for the public to view. This historic shuttle, built in 1972 by Rockwell, will be displayed in the Downey Studios parking lot under a temporary tent until the City has the funds necessary to construct a permanent building to place it near the Columbia Memorial Space Center. We know this won't be easy, especially in this tough economy, but we hope that with the public's help we will be able to raise funds and keep our "gem" here in Downey. Thousands of children visit our Columbia Memorial Space Center, and how exciting will it be when they get to see this national treasure just a few feet away.

Don't forget, the Great Balls of Fire exhibit is currently on display at the Space Center. If you haven't had a chance to view it, stop by with the whole family and learn about comets, asteroids, and meteors through this interactive exhibit. It will be there until September 16th of this year.

Hometown Hardware and Garden celebrated its grand opening earlier this week. We are glad to have them in town and wish them much success here in our City. With the closing of All American Home Center last year, it is great to have a home improvement store back in town!

I am happy to announce that at this week's City Council meeting, my fellow Council colleagues and I approved a balanced City Budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

Keeping public safety and city services as top priorities, we were able to overcome an $11 million structural deficit and approve a balanced budget for the first time in 3 years.

As your City leaders, we made the decision to no longer rely on the City's reserve funds. We needed to come up with an effective plan to make positive changes that would allow us to remain financially stable. Having said this, the approved balanced budget comes at a cost - employee layoffs, frozen positions, and concessions from all five of our City bargaining units. I want to extend my sincere appreciation to our City staff for working so hard to help fill this huge budget gap and to all of our hard working City of Downey employees - thank you for being our partners in helping address our City's financial issues.

With summer now in full swing, the City has kicked off its popular summer programs such as day camps, swim classes, field trips, summer reading programs at the Library, sports leagues, and coming soon is the popular Twilight Summer Concert Series. The first concert will be held on Wednesday, July 11th. Check out the full list:

July 11 - Mar de Ashe (Salsa/Latin) July 18 - Box Car 7 (Blues/Soul/Classic R&B) July 25 - Mariachi Monumental de America (Mariachi Music & Folkloric Dancers) August 1 - The Wiseguys (Swing) August 8 - Downey Symphony (Classical/Pops) August 15 - The Answer (Classic Rock) August 22 - U.S. Marine Corps (Patriotic)

Concerts will be held at Furman Park beginning at 7 pm. Come enjoy a great time with family and friends. Hope to see you there!

Until next time... Sincerely, Mayor Roger C. Brossmer

********** Published: June 28, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 11