On July 14, 2014, then City Clerk Denise Basham swore in new Cypress City Manager Peter Grant.
On July 14, 2022, Peter Grant becomes the second-longest-serving manager in the City’s history. Only Darrell Essex, who oversaw the growth of the City from 4,000 residents to 46,000 residents, served longer — for 34 years beginning in 1962. The former Texaco Chestnut Park on Ball Road, built on land donated by Texaco, was renamed Darrell Essex Park in his honor. Mr. Essex passed away on April 17, 2019.
The patchwork of business park specific plans that he put together to entice large businesses to the only city in Orange County with no direct freeway access is now being updated in a project initiated by Mr. Grant and overseen by Cypress Planning Director Alicia Velasco.
Because of a conservative fiscal policy maintained by the Cypress City Council and managed by Mr. Grant and his staff, the City of Cypress weathered the economic and political turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic in a sturdy fashion, enabling the City to extend support to residents and businesses in need of help through both existing programs and innovative new programs designed and implemented by City Staff.
Two new parks have been built during Mr. Grant’s tenure: Mackay Park on Walker Street north of Lincoln Avenue and Lexington Park on the southeast corner of Cerritos Avenue and Lexington Drive. Additionally, a major renovation of the City’s oldest park, Cypress Arnold Park, is currently underway. A preliminary design was approved on July 11, 2022.
A long-anticipated remodeling of the police department facility was completed, with the renewed facility open for public tours during a revived Police Open House earlier this year.
Peter Grant’s thoughts on the milestone (update)
When asked for his throughts on reaching this significant milestone in the City’s history and his personal career, Mr. Grant replied:
The City has accomplished some remarkable things since 2014. When I think about the biggest or most important achievements, the first thing that comes to mind is how special it is to see the City’s hard work reflected back by the community. Recently that’s been seeing families enjoy Salute to America, Cypress Girls Softball players cheering when the City Council approved the Arnold Cypress Park redesign, and helping a family displaced by a fire rebuild their home.
While government moves at the speed of democracy, we’ve gotten a lot done in eight years:
- We’ve built and invested in facilities. Mackay and Lexington parks are the first new parks in Cypress since the 1990s. We found creative ways to upgrade the Senior Center, modernize the Police station and re-imagine Arnold Cypress Park.
- We’ve increased services to the community while shrinking our workforce by about 15%.
- We’ve won awards for our financial management practices, strengthened the City’s reserves, addressed pension liabilities, and established best practice fiscal policies.
- Back-to-back community surveys (2018 and 2022) have praised the job we do delivering resident services.
- We’ve strengthened relationships with the business community, supported our businesses through the pandemic, and vitalized the Katella Avenue corridor. Shea’s The Square Cypress mixed-used center (just west of Costco) is a project the City started working on in 2008 and next year it’ll be home to Trader Joe’s!
- We’ve made Cypress safer, by bringing back the Police department open house, adding a dedicated School Resource Police Officer, and forming a regional partnership to address homelessness.
- Our Public Engagement Plan, redesigned website, Cypress Central app, and The Progress newsletter have connected us with residents more frequently than ever before.
But my vote for the most significant contribution I’ve made to Cypress is working with the City Council to embrace strategic planning. Our twice a year strategic planning workshops ensure we step back from day-to-day operations and ask where Cypress is headed and what our priorities should be.
I’m honored to have earned the City Council’s confidence and my recent contract extension. I’m inspired by the people I work with. My family and I are committed and engaged in Cypress (Owen will be third grader in Cypress School District next school year) and I’m looking forward to ensuring Cypress continues to succeed!
A new community survey commissioned by the City and released in May showed high levels of satisfaction with the City. Conducted by True North Research of Encinitas, the survey collected responses from 707 randomly selected residents and has a margin of error of ±3.7%. It follows up on a similar community survey conducted by the same company in 2018. A conclusion from the new survey:
Some demographic information from the survey:
|Caucasian / White||38.3||37.6|
|Latino / Hispanic||18.5||18.6|
|Mixed or other||3.4||7.1|
|Prefer not to answer||1.6||7.6|
|Survey Language (QD7)|