Guerra lays out goals as mayor of Downey

DOWNEY - With more than a hundred community leaders, city officials and residents in attendance, Councilman Mario Guerra, now serving his second and final term on the city council, was sworn-in as Downey's new mayor Tuesday night. As his wife and children stood close by, Guerra was administered the oath of office by Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe, who thanked Guerra for his friendship and tireless work on the council.

Guerra, who ran unopposed in District 2 and easily reclaimed his seat on the council in 2010, thanked the community before unrolling a new "Healthy Downey" initiative, which will focus on revitalizing the city both physically and economically.

"Goals are just goals unless you have a plan, let's start moving towards a healthy Downey," said Guerra who admitted his own desire to lose weight in the coming year. Guerra said his top priorities in 2013 will revolve around efficiency and adaptability, fiscal responsibility, economic vibrancy, quality of life, and public engagement.

He introduced "Mayor's Walking Wednesdays" and city council weigh-ins as an effort to increase public health and inspire social engagement. With the help of Kaiser, Applecare Medical Group, Coca-Cola Bottling Co., and the Downey YMCA, Guerra also hopes to offer periodic healthy lifestyle workshops for residents.

In addition to delivering a balanced budget, Guerra also committed to preserve funding for the city's public safety agencies.

"Our city is special because we have our own police department, our city is special because we have the Downey Unified School District," he said. "Our city is special because we have our own fire department, and as long as I'm on the city council, I will never vote to disband our fire department."

Outgoing Mayor Roger Brossmer praised Guerra as the biggest cheerleader for the city of Downey.

"Here's the deal - he's going to outwork you," said Brossmer with a laugh. "He's here 40 hours a week at City Hall. Whatever you ask him to do - he gets it done so I'm excited for what's coming next year." Often tearing up as he addressed the crowd, Guerra vowed to adhere to the tenants of Character Counts as his guiding light.

"I'm honored to serve as the 46th mayor of Downey," said Guerra. "We're going to work together because it's the right thing to do. We're going to get healthier physically, financially, and economically."

Prior to Guerra's swearing-in ceremony, city officials and community leaders honored Brossmer for his service and leadership as mayor throughout 2012.

From helping spearhead the first balanced city budget in nearly three years to the relocation of the space shuttle mock-up Inspiration, Brossmer credited city staff for making his job easier.

"It's been an honor to serve as your mayor, I will not be mayor again due to the rotation," he said. "I didn't sign up for this to have fun, but I signed up to do what's best for our residents and hopefully, you thought I did."

Brossmer received several distinctions from the city of Downey on Tuesday night, but he also received recognition from several community organizations and legislators including the Downey Rotary Club, Downey Rose Float Association, Stay Gallery, Downey Relay for Life, the Downey Chamber of Commerce, the Downey Unified School District, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, County Supervisor Knabe, and the cities of Commerce and Bellflower.

********** Published: December 13, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 35