Robert Kiefer, a small business owner and member of the Downey Planning Commission, has announced he is running for City Council this November. Kiefer, 51, will run for City Council district 2 which encompasses southwest Downey. He is seeking to replace Councilman Mario Guerra, who is being forced off the council this December due to term limits.
"I feel a need to serve," said Kiefer, who has been on the Planning Commission since 2008 and is currently chair. "We should all feel that way."
Kiefer said he is running on a platform of economic development and job creation; public safety; fiscal responsibility; and community service.
Along with Councilman Alex Saab and realtor Lourdes Cotaya, Kiefer was co-chair of the "No on Measure B" committee that helped to defeat the controversial charter amendment last week.
"One of the things that makes Downey different is that we have our own school district, police department, and fire department," Kiefer said. "I realize we pay extra to have these things but I, and I think many other residents, think it's worth it."
One of his top priorities if elected, Kiefer said, would be to ensure "quality" businesses at the Promenade at Downey, the 77-acre mixed-use development scheduled to be built at the former NASA industrial site.
He also advocated for responsible spending by government with minimal disruption to services. Two years ago, the city shut down a fire engine in south Downey as part of budget cuts.
"Our vital public services should never be compromised during challenging economic times," Kiefer said. "For this reason we must always strive for a balanced budget, with reserves on hand if needed."
Kiefer has been endorsed by Mayor Fernando Vasquez and councilmen Roger Brossmer, Mario Guerra and Alex Saab.
“I am so honored to give my complete support to Robert Kiefer’s run for City Council," said Guerra. "I have known Robert for many years and I am confident that he will continue the work we have done to serve the people of Downey."
The owner of his own print design and management business, Kiefer has lived in Downey 41 years. He attended Maude Price Elementary, Griffiths Middle School and Warren High, before heading to Cal State Fullerton.
Before he was appointed by Guerra to the Planning Commission, Kiefer served on the Downey Traffic Commission. He is a current member of the Rotary Club of Downey, and in the past has been involved with St. Raymond's Catholic Church, West Downey Little League and Downey AYSO.
He and his wife, Sue, have been married 25 years and have a son, Ryan, and daughter, Macy.