Garden Grove

“State of City” doggone good

GARDEN GROVE MAYOR Steve Jones (Orange County Tribune photos by Jim Tortolano).

By Jim Tortolano/Orange County Tribune

W.C. Fields was quoted as saying, “Never work with children or animals. They are scene-stealers.”

At the conclusion of Wednesday’s “State of the City” address at the Hyatt Regency hotel, Garden Grove Mayor Steve Jones introduced the lovable “therapy dogs” from the police department, Misha and Nellie.

Soon small throngs gathered around the huggable and hugging canines to underline Fields’ quip.


However, Jones’ remarks were not limited to just the appeal of man’s best friend. The gathering – a joint venture of the Garden Grove Chamber of Commerce and the City of Garden Grove – was the first after two years of hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Doesn’t it feel good to be back together again?” he said. “Over the last year, our city has been on a winding road to recovery. We’ve made significant progress to put the pandemic behind us, but our destination still lies ahead. 

“During this time, Garden Grove’s focus has been on ensuring a safe and sound passage. For us, it’s all about the journey that begins with healing and strengthening our minds and bodies and celebrating our extraordinary spirit of community.”

The mayor did not use the occasion to pull the wraps off any new projects not previously announced, but he did place emphasis on:

  • the city’s response to homelessness
  • the opening of the Sprouts Farmers Market in the new Pavilion Plaza West Center
  • efforts to treat the municipal water supply to eliminate man-made chemicals
  • expansions and improvements of parks
  • the return of the Open Streets event and the annual Strawberry Festival
  • progress in bringing to reality several new hotels on Harbor Boulevard and development at the Brookhurst Triangle and along Valley View Street in West Grove.

The welcome address and closing remarks were by Jon Glant, Chair of the Chamber of Commerce followed by the Pledge of Allegiance led by Mayor Pro Tem Diedre Thu-ha Nguyen. The National Anthem was performed by Sharon Jasmine Terrero of Bethany Evangelical Church.

Michael Johnson of Republic Services made the introductions and invocation was by James Scheller, chaplain for the GGPD.

Dr. True McMahan of Garden Grove Hospital Medical Center introduced the mayor.

Entertainment was provided by the Charade Dance Academy. Smiles were provided by Nellie and Misha, who echoed the upbeat tone of the event which might be translated into Dogspeak as “Wag more. Bark less.”

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