William “Bill” Dalton, who served as Garden Grove’s mayor for four terms and two more on the city council, died Monday morning. He was 78 years old.
According to the current mayor, Steve Jones, Dalton passed away around 10 a.m. after a lengthy illness.
“He was such a wonderful man and a true community servant in Garden Grove,” said Jones. “He was a dear friend and mentor for me for many years.”
Born in San Francisco, Dalton moved to Garden Grove in 1967. He joined the police force as a volunteer in 1972 and was hired the following year.
During his 26 years of service in the GGPD he rose to the position of lieutenant and was honored with a Medal of Valor for his role in stopping an armed robbery.
After his retirement from law enforcement, he entered politics and served on the city council from 1998 to 2004. Dalton won election to the mayor’s post in 2004 and was re-elected to the top job again in 2006, 2008 and 2010.
Dalton emphasized the importance of leveraging the potential of tourism as a way of cleaning up some of the city’s rougher areas as well as bringing in revenue to municipal coffers.
“Harbor [Boulevard] and its proximity to Disneyland was something we really needed to capitalize on,” he said in an interview in 2012. Today the “Grove District” of the Anaheim Resort has a dozen hotels, with more in the planning stages. Until the coronavirus pandemic hit, the hotels provided a large chunk of the city’s operating funds through “bed tax” paid by visitors staying in their rooms.
Dalton was also a devoted family man. He and his wife, Sandy, had six children, 14 grandchildren and 17 great- grandchildren.
A viewing and rosary are scheduled at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 30 at St. Columban Catholic Church in Garden Grove. The funeral mass will be at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 31, also at St. Columban.
Categories: Garden Grove