Speaking before a sell-out crowd of 400 attendees at today’s State of the City luncheon, Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen pointed to community engagement as the fundamental principle and driving force guiding the City’s future direction.
“This City Council believes that community engagement is at the heart of what needs to happen to move this city forward,” said Mayor Nguyen. He adds, “Informing and educating the community of the policy direction of the City Council and consulting the community as part of a process to develop government policy, are just a couple of ways to build community awareness and understanding.”
Mayor Nguyen expressed plans to work with local businesses and neighborhoods to identify needs and provide resources, saying, “We can’t assume success, until we know it’s a success for everyone.”
Providing an update of the City’s financial climate from 2014, the Mayor noted the county’s unemployment rate at just under 5 percent, as the lowest percentage since 2008. The Mayor pointed to the struggles facing many young families searching for housing in Orange County and discussed how Garden Grove provides a “clear advantage for young, first-time homebuyers…offering larger yards and more square footage than many South County cities.”
The Mayor also reported on the City’s healthy state of building construction, emphasizing that $126.4 million in valued construction permits issued by the City last year represented a 127 percent increase over the year prior.
“Education and investment in our youth are two things that are very near and dear to my heart,” expressed Mayor Nguyen, as he invited his former colleague and personal friend, Garden Grove Unified School District Board President Dr. George West to the podium to speak about the state of the GGUSD. The Mayor followed up by announcing a new marketing campaign between the City and the GGUSD to promote the quality of local schools and the affordability of housing, specifically to young professionals.
Prior to the Mayor’s speech, Kim Schaefer, CEO of Great Wolf Resorts, Inc. made a presentation on the progress of the city’s most anticipated development, the Great Wolf Lodge Southern California. The City’s GG-TV3 news team presented a short video on Re:Imagine Garden Grove – A Downtown Open Streets Event that took place last October. The event was hosted by the Garden Grove Chamber of Commerce.