Mayor's Corner: halfway through 2013

Dear Downey family and friends, I hope you are all enjoying your summer. We are halfway through the year now and I can't believe how quickly time flies by.

The City's summer Concerts in the Park series is in full swing and I encourage you to join us Wednesday evenings at Furman Park. Bring the whole family and enjoy great music and great food. The band Stone Soul will be performing next Wednesday playing the sounds of classic rock and Motown. Arrive early at 6 p.m. and join me for my Mayor's Walking Wednesdays, which are taking place at Furman Park during the summer. And feel free to ride your bike there too.

Speaking of my Walking Wednesdays series, this is just one of the many activities that are part of the Healthy Downey initiative. We have wonderful community partners who share the same vision and goal for our city, which is to encourage healthy and active lifestyles. We meet every month to come up with innovative programs and ideas that will help encourage healthy living and positively impact our current and future generations. More to come, stay tuned. I know what a difference it has made on me personally. At my council meeting weigh-in this week, I hit a milestone of losing 70 pounds since being sworn in as your Mayor last December. Healthy Downey can work for us all.

On Tuesday, Aug. 6, we will have the first National Night Out event in our City, which is aimed at bringing the community together to help promote and educate residents on crime prevention, health and resources. There will be free food, children activities, a community walk, City Hall tours, bicycle safety workshop, information booths and much more. It will take place in the Civic Center area beginning at 5:30 p.m. Great community event so hope to see you there!

I am proud to announce that I was elected President of the Independent Cities Association last week and will be sworn in this September. I am honored to lead such a prestigious organization consisting of 53 local independent cities, representing more than 7 million people. Local government working together to represent our communities. From public safety to quality of life, we have and can make an impact on the lives of our residents. I am only the second person ever from Downey to hold this office and I promise to represent our City with the values of Character Counts.

A few weeks ago, our City Council approved a new "plan" for our Civic Center area, which proposes to improve parking and traffic around our downtown. As part of a long term "plan," we hope that this will revitalize our Civic Center and draw more visitors to the area. As the old saying goes, a long journey begins with a first step. We now have a Master Park Plan and are looking at a Master Bike Plan. Our future has started.

Another exciting project on the way is our City's new branding concept. We expect to unveil it this coming October. We look forward to an image of who we are, where we are today, and that our brand will incorporate our amazing past and bright future.

Please save the date for our 4th Annual Taste of Downey event. This year it will take place on Downey Avenue on Thursday, Sept. 19, and will feature local restaurants, an art show, music, and an adult beverage area. Not only does this event help bring our community together, but it helps highlight our local Downey restaurants, and now even our Downtown. And speaking of that, our Downtown Specific Plan is vibrant and working. As I drove around downtown one evening last week, I saw our community alive, busy, active and full of people enjoying one of 15 restaurants within a mile radius. As a City we can of course enhance and promote business, but we as citizens speak with our patronage.

Lastly, our City lost a true dedicated public servant this week. Battalion Chief Brian Wolf passed away last Sunday at the young age of 44. Raised in Downey he made his career serving our community with our Downey Fire Department. He was a special person that truly made a difference to all who knew him. He was a friend to many and will be truly missed. Rest in peace Chief Wolf.

Feel free to call me anytime on my personal cell number, (562) 706-4114, or email at Until next time, all my best, God bless.

Dn. Mario A. Guerra Mayor

********** Published: July 25, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 15

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