Garden Grove

Council isn’t sold on by-district money

SHOULD COUNCIL members in Garden Grove get by-district funds? (Shutterstock).

A proposal to allocate some money to be spent per district was considered by the Garden Grove City Council on Tuesday night, but – so far – the city leaders aren’t quite ready to buy it.

“It’s a great idea,” said Councilmember John O’Neill (District 2). He cited the example of a council person being able to reward community members working on a key project by hosting a barbecue.

But the council in general – while seeing value in the concept – expressed reservations about possible safeguards and issues of “transparency.”

After some discussion, a motion was passed 7-0 to send the concept back to city staff to develop a more complete policy and potential guidelines on the idea.

According to a report, a division of the city’s existing $41,365 council contingency fund would allow for $5000 for each of the six council members and the mayor, with the balance remaining for the entire council.

Councilmember Kim Nguyen (District 6) wanted more “due diligence” in terms of detail and others expressed “qualms” about the possibility that political factors might influence the timing and use of such by-district spending.

Phat Bui, council member from District 4, endorsed more detail but cautioned against making any policy “too strict.”

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the council:

  • approved a resolution establishing a pension funding policy that would including paying down future pension liabilities;
  • heard a report on the pending transition for fire and emergency medical aid from the Garden Grove Fire Department to the Orange County Fire Authority;
  • approved the application for a grant of $437,500 a year for staffing the Magnolia Family Resource Center;
  • authorized the purchase of nine new police vehicles at a total cost of $336,944.97.

The next meeting of the city council is scheduled for Aug. 27.

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