Garden Grove

History made with new mayor, council

NEW MAYOR Steve Jones is happy to be sworn in by one-time Garden Grove community development director Susan Emery (OC Tribune photo).

NEW MAYOR Steve Jones is happy to be sworn in by one-time Garden Grove community development director Susan Emery (OC Tribune photo).

By Jim Tortolano

History was made Tuesday night as a new mayor and a new expanded city council for Garden Grove were sworn-in and seated. Before a crowd of several hundred that spilled out into the hallways at the Community Meeting Center, Steve Jones took the gavel as the city’s 15th mayor, presiding over a newly-minted chosen-by-district council of seven.

“As we transition from a five-member to a seven-member city council,” said Jones. “it’s going to be a new Garden Grove, a fresher Garden Grove, a healthier Garden Grove. I could not possibly be more thrilled to be surrounded by these council members. You are in good hands.”

Before the new mayor and council were seated, outgoing Mayor Bao Nguyen and Councilman Chris Phan make their parting remarks.

OUTGOING MAYOR Bao Nguyen making his final remarks Tuesday night (OC Tribune photo).

OUTGOING MAYOR Bao Nguyen making his final remarks Tuesday night (OC Tribune photo).

“I want to express my extreme gratitude to you all,” said Nguyen in a brief 30-second address. Phan praised city employees. “It’s amazing. They make us look good,” he said, and wished good luck to the returning and new council members. “I leave here with sadness, but also a lot of thankfulness for having the opportunity to serve the great city of Garden Grove.”

Sworn in were Jones as mayor, and four new members of the city council, John O’Neill (District 2), Thu-Ha Nguyen (District 3), Stephanie Klopfenstein (District 5) and Kim Nguyen (District 6).

Chosen to be mayor pro tem was Phat Bui.

The evening included some emotion and some humor. O’Neill took the oath of office and was sworn in by his mother. Kim Nguyen, in her long list of “thank yous,” gave special recognition to her dog, and promised many long walks to make up for the time missed while campaigning.

Some other remarks from new council members included:

  • O’Neill: “We’re going to have more police, we’re going to have new fire stations, we’re going to have more code enforcement, we’re going to deal with homelessness … we’re going to have social events … that help bring the small-town feel to a city of almost 200,000 people.”
  • T. Nguyen: “We’re going to work together. We’re going make a good team and make sure Garden Grove is a proud city.”
  • Klopfenstein: “Together we can achieve great things for District 5 and all of Garden Grove.” And “Garden Grove has a bright and exciting future and together we shall work together for the next chapter in this town’s history.”
  • K. Nguyen: “I’m still not convinced this is all real,” she joked. “I have this theory that I passed out in the heat of Nov. 8 and this is all in my head.

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