By Katrina Van Duzee/Garden Grove Journal
With the recession fresh in our minds and a sluggish economy still the reality, Garden Grove in 2010 looked very similar to how it did in 2009.
Stories of the Crystal Cathedral’s downward spiral into bankruptcy, along with the city council’s agreement to let the state take almost $8 million from Garden Grove to make-up for budget shortfalls, made headlines and reinforced the reality that economic woes were far from mended.
Although tough times seemed to be a theme throughout each month this year, the city managed to push through several building and beautification projects, showing signs of hope for more development to come in 2011.
The International West resort concept for Garden Grove’s Harbor Boulevard took a big step forward in June when Great Wolf Resorts, Inc. announced its agreement to develop a water park resort in the city. The project is expected to create up to 600 construction and other jobs in Garden Grove, and perhaps $8 million per year to the city. Construction is set to begin in 2011 and finish in 2013.
Also on the agenda this year was a proposal to build a 53-unit townhouse development in the Century Triangle of Garden Grove. Despite criticism from some community members concerned about a possible traffic increase in the area, the developer began construction on the three-story townhouses this Dec. 4
The 2010 summer breeze blew in not only sunny days, but also 225,000 people to the 52nd annual Strawberry Festival. Roger Williams, the famed pianist with 18 gold and platinum records to his credit, was the grand marshal who led the festival of food booths, local vendors and games.
Towards the end of summer the Main Street farmers market brought back locally-grown vegetables and homemade goods after a year-long hiatus.
In the fall we started seeing projects such as the construction of a skate site in Garden Grove Park and the establishment of a Garden Grove Tourism Improvement District come to fruition, but most of the news was centered on the 2010 elections.
Although there wasn’t much opposition for the incumbents on the city council, Rep. Loretta Sanchez and Assemblyman Van Tran battled each other in a tight congressional race resulting in personal jabs and tacky political ads.
The results came in and all incumbents prevailed on the local and national level. Mayor Bill Dalton, Councilmembers Bruce Broadwater and Dina Nguyen were re-elected for Garden Grove and Sanchez was sworn in as congresswoman for another term.
Also in the fall, Police Chief Joesph Polisar announced his retirement and his successor Deputy Police Chief Kevin Raney was named.
After the election frenzy, the year ended on a high note with Garden Grove High School winning its first CIF football title. The Argos won 31-30 over Beckman High and grabbed the first crown in the school’s 89-year history (see more coverage, pages three and 12).
This December the city began implementing the GGTID by added a tax of 2.5 percent per night to hotels in tier one, north of Lampson Avenue, in effort to bring more tourist dollars to Garden Grove.