Determined to avoid the higher property taxes annexation to any neighboring city might bring, a hardy band of residents and business leaders set out in 1959 to incorporate the City of Commerce as the 67th city in Los Angeles County. On the low hills to the east of downtown Los Angeles, these volunteers proclaimed their intention to establish a "Model City" with unique advantages for industry and residents alike.
Residents who wanted a swimming pool saw the two-pool, all-year Aquatorium facility (now the Rosewood Park Community Center and Aquatorium) rise at Rosewood Park. Citizens who had worried that the county library branch would close saw four municipal libraries open. Residents who had to clear their own first baseball field attended games featuring professional players, college teams, and even astronauts, at the new Veterans Park Stadium. And they could ride there on the city's free buses — the nation's first free municipal transportation system.
Business people found a low-tax, pro-business environment with no municipal property tax and no utility tax. A high level of fire and police service continued (and continues today) provided by agencies under contract.
Today, (four decades after incorporation) Commerce is a dynamic city, which has effectively recycled old heavy industrial sites with high technology, office, warehouse and retail use. The city has exceptional recreation and social service programs and provides superior-quality public safety, transportation, and community development services to all residents and businesses located in the city while cultivating a unique small town ambiance enjoyed by all of its citizens.