Surgery not slowing down the mayor

Dear Downey Family,Happy New Year to all! I hope 2013 brings much happiness to you and your loved ones. As many of you know I started the year out with an emergency eye surgery. The operation to attach my retina was a success and I am on the road to recovery. With the exception of driving and full vision I am almost completely back. Thank you for all your well wishes and prayers. They were much appreciated.

This new year is definitely going to be an exciting and great one for our City. I can tell you this because we've already started the year right with big news for our Fire Department. At Tuesday's Council meeting I was excited to announce that the City has received over $1.8 Million in grant funding from FEMA. Folks, with this funding we will now be able to bring back Fire Engine 61, which was eliminated during this current fiscal year due to budget cuts. This means that we will be hiring a total of 12 Firefighters to staff this Engine and put it back in service. And the fact that they will all be crossed trained as paramedics will continue to enhance our Fire Department.

Public Safety has always been a top priority for our City and I am glad that we will have our Engine fully operational before July 1st of this year. And thank you to our fine Fire Department for their great efforts in minimizing the impact last year. They did more with less and showed we have one of the best Fire Departments around. I hope this will let everyone know how important it is to have and keep Downey Fire local. I want to sincerely thank Fire Chief Croom for his hard work in securing this grant money. This is wonderful news for our community and the future of Downey Fire.

At this week's Council meeting we approved to move forward with the submission of a $3 million loan application from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to build a new neighborhood center next to the Columbia Memorial Space Center. This new center will help provide a much needed community space for the surrounding neighborhood and will offer programing for this area. In addition, this facility will help to preserve our historic Space Shuttle Mock-Up, Inspiration. This community center is going to be great for the community and will also help us keep our one of kind Shuttle Mock-up.

I invite all of you to join us for a very special event on Friday, February 1st. On this day, we will be commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Columbia Shuttle tragedy. The ceremony will take place at our very own Columbia Memorial Space Center, which in fact serves as the official national memorial to the Columbia Shuttle and its crew STS-107. A tragic event that needs to be remembered . The demolition of Downey Studios is pretty much now complete. It was a bit sad to watch the last of the buildings fall to the ground, but I am excited for what's to come. The Tierra Luna project is expected to begin construction in the coming months and the impact that this 1.5 million square foot development will have to our region is remarkable. Tierra Luna is expected to produce more than $4.2 million dollars in revenue to the City and will help create more than 3,000 permanent jobs, 1,200 of which will be high paying medical jobs.

Another exciting project that is almost nearly complete is the Downey Gateway. If you've driven down Firestone Blvd, across from Porto's, you've probably seen construction underway. Pretty soon we will have a Starfish Sushi, Yogurtland, Round Table Pizza, Waba Grill, Fresh Cutt, Pacific Fish Grill, and a few more restaurants. Downey Gateway is expected to open next month, so stay tuned! More things to come in Downtown Downey and I will be excited to announce next month.

I hope you can join me next Wednesday, January 16th at the Downey High Track for the kick-off of my "Mayor's Walking Wednesdays" series. As part of my Healthy Downey Initiative, I will be walking two Wednesdays a month in an effort to meet my goal towards living a healthy life. These walks will also allow me to meet members of our community and provide them with an opportunity to share their thoughts and concerns about our City. I encourage you to join me. The full schedule is posted on our City website at or you can call 562-904-7274 for more details.

We have a great year ahead of us and I am eager for the many great things to come. As your Mayor, I feel honored and privileged to be serving this great City of ours. This is my community, my home...your home, OUR home...Feel free to call me about our City on my personal cell number 562-706-4114.. Let's continue to work together to keep Downey moving forward. Here's to a great 2013!

All my best, God bless, Dn. Mario A. Guerra Mayor

********** Published: January 10, 2013 - Volume 11 - Issue 39