Money was very much on the minds of the Garden Grove City Council – and people who addressed it – at Tuesday’s meeting.
The council got an encouraging report on the city budget, and scolding and an invitation from a former city council candidate.
In a staff report delivered at a study session before the regular meeting, the council was told that increases in revenue along with cutbacks and furloughs imposed last year were having the desired effect on the bottom line, and that a small surplus had emerged in the city ledgers.
“The news is good on the budget,” said Councilwoman Dina Nguyen. “I think this may be a sign that people are spending more money in town.”
On the matter of residents making purchases within city limits, Josh McIntosh, who ran unsuccessfully for city council in 2012, spoke on two themes.
“There’s a lot more to be done with the Buy in Garden Grove program,” he said. He volunteered to work on ways to encourage in-town shopping, and spoke about Main Street and its potential.
“We need to get the theaters up and running and tie in downtown with the hotels,” he said. ‘We want to get people to spend their money all across the city and not just on Harbor Boulevard.”
He also criticized announced plans for a Walmart department store at Chapman Avenue and Gilbert Street, claiming that “the average Walmart employee lives below the poverty line” and that “85 percent of its goods are shipped in from China.”
Also Tuesday night the council:
• gave final approval to an amendment to an agreement to expand the Embassy Suites hotel on Harbor Boulevard at Chapman Avenue;
• approved $249,000 for construction drawings for a planned new headquarters fire station on Euclid Street;
• authorized an increase of $3 for each parking violation to make up for money taken by the state fromm those tickets;
• recognized former mayor Bill Dalton for being honored as outstanding Garden Grove citizen by Cypress College at its Americana Awards.
The next city council meeting will be on March 12.