Mayor’s corner: Investing in infrastructure

Greetings Downey Family! It’s always my pleasure to be able to connect with all of you through my monthly Mayor’s Corner article.  I feel this is a great opportunity for me to connect with you and I value the importance of keeping our residents informed.

I first want to start off by thanking all those who came out to the State of the City event last month.  There was a great turnout with hundreds in attendance and it was great seeing so many of our local businesses and community members come together.  A special thank you to the Downey Chamber of Commerce for putting on such a successful event.

As many of you have experienced while driving around town, there is a lot of construction going on in our City.  Although it may cause headaches for many of us due to traffic delays and congestion, these construction projects are helping improve our City streets and infrastructure.  Our City is experiencing something unique when it comes to devoting funds for capital improvement projects.  For the first time ever, we are committing a great amount of City funds and resources to be able to improve some of our major City corridors, which have been in need of major improvements.

Overall, the City is allocating approximately $9.4 million for major improvements such as the Firestone Boulevard and Lakewood Boulevard projects.  The Firestone Boulevard project, with a total cost of $4.3 Million, is expected to be complete by this September 2014, and the Lakewood Boulevard project, totaling $5.1 Million, will be in construction from June 2014 to September 2014.  Other construction projects also include the replacement of the Firestone Boulevard Bridge, anticipated to be complete by December 2015, and the I-5 Freeway Widening project involving the Florence Avenue Interchange, expected to begin September 2014 and end in late 2016.

Another area that we have always focused on has been Public Safety and our goal is to make sure that our Police Officers and Firefighters have the necessary tools and equipment to perform their job efficiently.  We recently purchased new equipment for our Fire Department, which consisted of replacing the department’s aging ambulance fleet and incident command vehicles.  In addition, our Police Department has installed new dashboard cameras in all patrol vehicles and will be purchasing individual body worn cameras for all of our officers.  The Police Department also recently unveiled their new Force Training Room, which provides on-site training for officers to enhance their decision making and judgment techniques.  As part of this training, officers have the opportunity to refresh their knowledge of current statutory and case laws, and how these apply to use of force situations.

Save the date for the following events: Kids Day will be held next Saturday, May 10th at Apollo Park and will feature a fun run, carnival games, community info booths, live entertainment, rockwall, mobile skate park and much more.  Festivities begin at 10am.  We will hold a special Memorial Day ceremony on Monday, May 26th at City Hall beginning at 1pm.  Our Rock n’ Ride event is scheduled to take place Saturday June 14th and will feature a first ever Tour de Downey Bicycle Ride and Make Music Downey.  This will all take place in the Civic Center and Downtown areas.  Hope you can join us!

Lastly, as some of you know, on May 23rd I will be getting married to my beautiful fiancé Donna Noushkam.  We will be joined by our families and close friends for a very special ceremony and I look forward to beginning this new chapter in my life.  Thank you all for your support and well wishes as Donna and I begin this new journey.

As always, please feel free to reach me by email at or by calling our City Council office at (562) 904-7274.

Until next month,

Mayor Fernando Vasquez



Published: May 1, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 03