Mayor’s corner: News & notes from the mayor

Greetings Downey! I first want to start off by encouraging you all to take the time to make sure you are prepared for when a larger earthquake may take place. I’m sure you all felt the magnitude of last Friday’s earthquake and it serves as a reminder for all of us that we need to do everything we can now to be best prepared for when a big earthquake hits our region.

First aid kits, plenty of water, flashlights, batteries, emergency evacuation plans, are just some of the essentials you will need to be better prepared. Our City website has a full page dedicated to emergency preparedness, which you may visit at:  Please check it out when you can. You can also participate in our Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) handled by our Fire Department personnel. The CERT program educates residents about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills.  Find this information and more on our City website.

On another note, we received some very exciting news regarding Wilderness Park. The City has been awarded a $200,000 grant from the California Department of Parks & Recreation for the restoration of the two ponds located at Wilderness Park. We are very excited for this project to take place and as many of you have seen, the Wilderness Park ponds have been in need of a good clean-up. With this new grant we will be able to install a new lake aeration system to provide better water circulation for our Wilderness ponds.

More exciting news to share is that we now have free Wi-Fi access at both City Hall and the Library. Those visiting these two facilities will now have the convenience of accessing the internet via their personal cell phones, iPads, or laptops, by simply logging into the TWC WiFi network. I have been a big supporter for enhancing our City’s use of technology and this is just another step towards meeting this goal. Downey is moving forward with a high-tech approach and we will be implementing other technology advances in the future.

The Firestone Blvd. Improvement Project continues to move along and we thank you for your patience during this construction period. Another project that is set to begin is the replacement of the Firestone Boulevard Bridge. In fact, we had a joint groundbreaking event with the City of Norwalk this week to mark the official start of the reconstruction of the bridge. This project will impact traffic in the area and we encourage you to use alternate routes while work is being performed on the bridge.

Specifically, the project will involve the replacement of the existing Firestone Blvd. Bridge at the San Gabriel River with a new bridge that will meet current standards and includes wider sidewalks, center medians and shoulders. The same number of travel lanes (six) will be provided on the new bridge

I encourage you to join me this Saturday, April 5, for the 2nd Annual 5K for TLC. All proceeds from this event help benefit Downey Unified School District’s TLC Family Resource Center, which provides much needed assistance to some of our local students and their families.  To register, please visit our website at

The State of the City event is also just around the corner. It will take place on April 17 at the Rio Hondo Event Center and I encourage you to come out and join me. I will be speaking about our City’s financial state, new development projects, upcoming City events and programs, among many other things. This is an opportunity for me to provide an update on City news and share items that impact our community. Please contact the Downey Chamber of Commerce for tickets at (562) 923-2191.

I am still taking nominations for my Mayor’s Healthy Heart Award.  This award recognizes those individuals and organizations that are committed to improving the lives of others in our City.  Those who make differences in others’ lives by improving their emotional, mental and physical health.  Please contact the Council office at (562) 904-7274 or visit our website for an application.

I am always available to hear your thoughts and comments. You can reach me by email at or by calling our City Council office at (562) 904-7274.


Mayor Fernando Vasquez



Published: April 3, 2014 - Volume 12 - Issue 51

Jennifer DeKay