June 13, 2020
At the Paramount City Council meeting on April 7, the winners of the March 3, 2020, municipal election were given the oath of office to assume their roles as councilmembers. Incumbent Brenda Olmos and newly elected Isabel Aguayo and Vilma Cuellar Stallings will each serve a four-year term.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the public could not attend the meeting in person. While some city staff were present in the council chambers, councilmembers all participated by teleconference.
With the election of Aguayo and Cuellar Stallings—who join myself, Olmos, and Councilmember Laurie Guillen—Paramount becomes the only city in Los Angeles County with an all-female city council.
It also marked the end of two dedicated careers in Paramount public service. Daryl Hofmeyer and Tom Hansen both retired from the city council after serving for 17 and 13 years, respectively, in addition to having been on city commissions prior to that. They served the community with dignity and professionalism, and their work in Paramount over the years has improved the city and is greatly appreciated.
At the meeting, the city council voted for myself to become mayor and Olmos to be vice mayor. We will each serve a one-year term.
This will be my sixth term as your mayor since joining the City Council in 1997, and I am honored once again to have the privilege of representing our residents in this position.
A Message for Our Community
As we live through these challenging times, the City wants to thank all our residents who have been staying “Safer at Home” and following social distancing and other guidelines to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
The City also expresses its heartfelt wishes of support to those in our community and their families who have contracted the coronavirus. We trust that everyone is on their way toward a full recovery, if they haven’t already reached it.
As your mayor, I want you to know that the city has been doing everything possible to maintain a sense of normalcy amid the pandemic. Our employees continue to provide the community with essential services, and we have produced a steady stream of public information through our website and social media outlets.
Here is a list of some of the city’s efforts over the last month:
• Masks—Free distribution of 30,000 cloth masks to residents.
• Delinquent Water Accounts—Suspended delinquent fees and water-service shut-offs for failure to pay a water bill.
• Street Sweeping Citations—Suspended street sweeping citations.
• For our seniors—Home delivery of meals; welfare checks by phone; pharmacy pickups; and at-home birthday celebrations.
• STAR After School Program—Making wellness calls to 1,200 families to see how students are doing and to let them know they are missed.
• Rental Assistance—Persuaded the County to reallocate funds and expand existing grant-funded assistance program to help residents unable to pay rent due to COVID-19.
• Unemployment Services—Promoted local workforce board’s efforts to help residents filing for unemployment and essential businesses in need of workers.
• Public Information—Created COVID-19 webpage on paramountcity.com with a wealth of information and resources, updated daily.
• City COVID-19 Hotline—Created dedicated English and Spanish hotline, seven days a week:
call 562- 220-2242.
• Electronic Message Boards—Rented and placed four boards on major boulevards with a new message each week with COVID reminders.
• Local Resource Sharing Page—Connecting businesses who can provide useful products or services to residents.
• Public Safety—Deputies conduct patrol checks of grocery stores, banks, Home Depot, distribution centers to insure safety of residents.
• Grocery Worker “Thank You”—Large “Thank You” posters signed by the city council and city staff were given to grocery store employees to express appreciation for their helping our community.
• Local Restaurants—Sending emails with an attached video informing restaurants selling groceries about county rules.
We are all in this together. We will get through it and come out the other side as the same strong, vibrant community we have always been. Be safe—and thank you again for helping to overcome COVID-19.
Remember, too, that the city is here for you, and can be reached at 562-220-2000 or by email at paramountcity.com/how-do-i/contact.
Free Legal Aid Services
Community Legal Aid SoCal provides free support and services to help low-income people who are struggling with civil legal issues in the Paramount community.
They can address a variety of legal challenges, including COVID-19-related issues such as housing, custody, and employment. Other areas of help include immigration, public benefits, elder abuse, domestic violence, health and more.
Their hotline is 800-834-5001.
Keeping City Workers Safe
Here is an example of social distancing in action: The two iconic Paramount water fountains—the Welcome Wall at Flower Street and Downey Avenue and the one on Lakewood Boulevard by Walmart—are currently not operating due to parts that need to be replaced.
This repair work requires that multiple people be in closed spaces, so practicing social distancing is not possible. Therefore, we have opted to wait on making these repairs until after the COVID-19 social distancing requirements are lifted and we can maintain healthy conditions for our workforce. So please keep that in mind if you’re wondering why there is no water flowing right now—it will return.