January 4, 2021
Honorable Mayor and City Council Members:
I am pleased to present the City of Garden Grove’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2019-20 Performance Report. This report highlights the most notable accomplishments of each City department during the last fiscal year. The report is intended to assist in the evaluation of the City’s short and long-term goals, and to demonstrate our commitment to providing the highest quality of service as efficiently and effectively as possible.
On an organization-wide basis, the City maintained its focus on implementing the Community Vision and made great strides in strengthening the City’s financial position, providing quality services, completing projects outlined in the City’s FY 2019-20 Action Plan and responding to the unanticipated COVID-19 pandemic. Primary areas of emphasis centered on financial sustainability, public safety, economic development to preserve and grow City revenues, community engagement, and effective and transparent government.
In November 2018, Garden Grove voters passed Measure O – Garden Grove Public Safety/9-1-1 and Vital City Services Measure providing a reliable source of locally-controlled revenue for Garden Grove’s public safety and quality-of-life services. This allowed for the expansion of the Police Department’s ranks by adding 11 new police officers and three new school resource officers. The new positions increased the department’s sworn authorized strength to 182 officers. In addition, Measure O allowed for the hiring of five additional full-time non-sworn positions to help with dispatch and records. At the conclusion of FY 2019-20, all of the new Measure O positions were filled. The additional staffing has allowed the Department to keep up with the growing needs of the City’s nearly 180,000 residents and to be more effective with confronting increased crime and addressing the City’s homeless population.
In August 2019, Public Safety was further enhanced with the successful transition of the Garden Grove Fire Department to the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA). As part of the transition, sworn Fire personnel were trained in OCFA’s standard operating procedures and essential equipment and vehicles were transferred to OCFA. OCFA is now providing efficient, top-quality fire and paramedic services to the residents, businesses and visitors of Garden Grove.
In the first half of the fiscal year, the City experienced substantial economic progress. SteelCraft celebrated its Grand Opening; the first new hotel south of the freeway—Home2Suites—broke ground; Christ Cathedral completed its $72 million renovation and new businesses opened including Nova Kitchen & Bar, Kia, and Taco Bell. Several new development projects that will strengthen Garden Grove’s economic base also continued to progress, including Garden Brook Senior Village, Site C Hotel, and Valley View theater and retail improvements. However, in the second half of the fiscal year, COVID-19 began to sweep across the nation and world, severely affecting the national and global economies. Local development and business activity began to slow and the City took immediate steps to contain costs, promote public safety, pursue federal aid funding, and begin to assist Garden Grove businesses and community members. To date, the City has received $6.7 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding to help impacted businesses and community members, and reimburse the City for direct costs.
A cash rebate from Southern California Edison allowed the Public Works Department to complete the retrofit of all Edison owned streetlights from High Pressure Sodium (HPS) to Light Emitting Diode (LED) and convert all of the City’s remaining City-owned streetlights and intersection safety lights from HPS to LED. Additionally, several state and federal grants provided funding to implement important traffic signal and pedestrian safety improvements throughout the City. Traffic signal upgrades were made at Garden Grove Boulevard and 9th Street, Magnolia Street and Orangewood Avenue, and Haster Street and Lampson Avenue. Six hundred and twelve pedestrian countdown signal heads were also installed at 99 signalized intersections citywide greatly enhancing pedestrian safety. Another noteworthy accomplishment was the completion of the Congressional Medal of Honor Bike and Pedestrian Trail. This $1.8 million grant project extended the existing trail from Nelson Street to Brookhurst Street, creating a one-mile 12-foot wide, bi-directional bicycle and pedestrian path for active recreation and transportation.
Finally, the Community Services Department continued to provide Garden Grove residents with over 200 wonderful recreation classes and programs including cartooning for kids, ballet, tumbling, tennis, multi-sports, martial arts, summer concerts, movies in the park and special holiday events. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, new programming and a webpage were created featuring virtual and at-home activities for the community to enjoy while inside. In December, Garden Grove residents were treated to a winter wonderland at Village Green Park. Garden Grove’s Community Services Department, with the help of some creative elves, turned the park into a safe, socially distanced drive-through holiday party. The sold-out event was a hit with the kids and kept the Winter in the Grove tradition alive in the City during this very different holiday season.
The accomplishments highlighted in this report demonstrate both the City Council’s and staff’s strong commitment to the City’s mission and vision. The leadership of the City Council and the creativity and dedication of our employees continue to enrich the quality of life for the residents of Garden Grove.
Scott C. Stiles