- The First Inhabitants
- Spain Paid Soldiers with Land
- Day of the "Dons"
- Orange Co. Formed in 1898
- Sugar Beet Crops Promote Dairy
- World War II Brought Changes
- Cypress After World War II
- Cypress After 2000
The First Inhabitants
The first Californians were Native Americans who lived in small villages known as rancherias and it is reasonable to assume that they found the area to be a profitable hunting ground. Native Americans of the area mainly ate grasses, herbs, roots, berries, nuts, or trapped small animals.
As Cypress was a lush grassland fed by numerous artesian wells, one can easily envision roving bands of Gabrielinos, the dominant tribe in the area, foraging for the abundant food found in the region. The shelters of these early inhabitants of Cypress and of the area were made in a conical shape of poles covered by thatched grass or fibers.
The first Californians were as scantily clad as contemporary dwellers of summertime Southern California. The women wore short shirts or petticoats of two pieces. The men usually went naked, although some did wear a breechcloth of bark or skin wrapped around the waist. In cooler weather, both sexes wore robes, usually made of rabbit skin, and they mainly went barefoot, although sandals sometimes were worn.
The only mission in Orange County was at San Juan Capistrano and influenced the lives of only a small percentage of the natives in the area. The dominant Native American group in Cypress were the Gabrielinos. However, recent evidence indicates that other natives did make an intrusion, possibly out of a desire to share the abundant food the area possessed.
In 1965, while excavating for the Cypress Library, (now the Boys and Girls Club), a 400-year old skeleton of a Chumash tribe member was uncovered. Similar findings were made at about the same time in Buena Park and in Long Beach. These Native Americans used plank canoes, waterproofed with brea (tar), to fish along the coast from Santa Barbara southward and among the Channel Islands. These discoveries have prompted experts to theorize that the Chumash may have frequented the old Los Coyotes drainage channel on inland hunting trips.
Spain Paid Soldiers with Land
The Native American way of life was greatly altered by the arrival of Europeans. Spaniards first came into the Cypress area when Gaspar de Portola led an exploratory party into what is now Orange County in July, 1769. These first European visitors were frightened by a series of earthquakes on the banks of the Santa Ana River on July 28.
The first ownership of land in Cypress resulted from Spain's having to give land to soldiers in place of a payment of money. In 1784, Manuel Nieto, an old line officer, was given a 300,000-acre land cession, which included the area that is now the modern city of Cypress.
Nieto retired to his vast holdings, and when he died in 1804, he was the wealthiest man in California. His four sons kept the vast estate intact until 1833, when they petitioned Governor Jose Figueroa to partition and distribute the land between the heirs.
Juan Jose Nieto, the eldest son, received the ranchos of Los Alamitos and Los Coyotes, which included the Cypress area. Rancho Los Alamitos (Little Cottonwoods) was promptly sold to Governor Figueroa for $500, or about two cents per acre.
After the governor's death, Rancho Los Alamitos and its livestock were sold to Able Stearns, a Yankee merchant, for $6,000. This was the first land purchase by Stearns, who would become the wealthiest and largest landowner in Southern California.
Rancho Los Coyotes was sold in 1840 to Juan Baptiste Leandry, a French merchant and mariner, and ultimately also was acquired by Able Stearns. From the 1820s to the 1860s, Southern California was dominated by the ranch life and an economy built on the hide and tallow trade. It was a time when hides became "California bank-notes", and there literally were "cattle on a thousand hills."
"Day of the Dons" Was Short
However, the great "day of the dons" was of but short duration. The boom brought by the 1849 Gold Rush inflated prices, and many ranchers expanded their holdings too rapidly. Cows, which brought five dollars for their hides, suddenly were worth $60 for beef at the mines. Supply quickly caught up with demand, and by 1860 prices began to fall.
A great flood in 1861 drowned many cattle, causing hard times for some ranchers. However, a worse natural disaster came when the rains stopped. A long period of drought ruined many of the ranchers. Money borrowed at high interest rates could not be repaid, as livestock died by the thousands.
Los Alamitos, Stearns' first and most cherished rancho, and perhaps his most valuable, was one of the first to be lost. In 1861 Stearns had mortgaged Los Alamitos to Michael Reese for $20,000; the rancho passed from Stearns' control in 1865.
With Stearns deeply in debt and with back taxes due on most of his property, a group of investors organized the Robinson Trust, which controlled Stearns' land empire. Rancho Los Coyotes was the largest and totaled 177,796 acres, or nearly 278 square miles.
Stearns was able to liquidate his debts and amass sizable assets before his death in 1871. The Trust proceeded to retail 120 to 160 acre tracts at prices from $2.50 to $10 per acre.
As the land was mainly fertile and capable of irrigation, sales were brisk. With the influx of people into the state brought by the completion of the transcontinental railroads, this initial effort at subdivision in Southern California was a great success. It was remarkable that Stearns, who had been in California since 1829, should pioneer this modern method of disposing of real estate.
This first Southern California boom was slowed by the panic of 1873. However, the great boom of the 1880s picked up where the earlier one had left off. Before the orgy of real estate speculation had spent itself, it transformed the region.
As one historian put it, "the great boom was the outstanding event in Southern California's history. By bringing in a new population, it forced the region one step further away from the mellow Spanish-Californian culture that had so tinged its early development, and as the third and final step in the breakup of the ranchos, completed the transition from range land to agricultural economy."
Orange County Formed in 1889
Just as the Gold Rush had populated central California, so the boom brought people to Southern California, and thereby reduced the wide discrepancy between the two regions. The boom caused Los Angeles to jump from 12,000 to 100,000 people between 1866 and 1884. Other cities also expanded rapidly. The boom led to the creation of Orange as a separate county in 1889.
A large number of towns were laid out along the railroad lines during the boom. Many of them survived, but most of the new Orange County remained rural, and agriculture was still the dominant activity. The expansion of diversified farming and citrus-growing was greatly aided by the development or irrigation during the 1880s.
Some of those who did so were attracted by the promotional work of the Bixbys. This family (which included the Flints) were sheepmen from Maine. Originally settling in the central part of the state, they were once part owners of the Irvine Ranch.
John Bixby leased the Los Alamitos ranch for sheep-raising in 1878 and purchased it in 1881. In 1888, this famed rancho was divided three ways. The boom of the 1880s had increased land values in Orange County so it was no longer profitable to graze sheep on much of the land.
In addition, sheep-raising had slowly declined in California since its peak in the 1870s. Then too, the Bixbys undoubtedly observed the success of the Robinson Trust in selling small acreage pots to prospective farmers. Therefore, they and others began to subdivide their sheep pastures, and Cypress was influenced by their action. However, much land in Orange County remains to this day in the hands of the descendants of the Bixbys.
The early pioneers in Cypress suffered the same kind of hardships endured by those who first plowed the land elsewhere in the United States. One woman recalled that in the 1890s, one could see for miles, as "There was nothing to break the view. Only two clumps of trees could be seen in the whole country. On rainy nights, when there was a lull in the storm, you could hear the combers breaking on the shore at Seal Beach so plain that I have run out in the backyard, I was so sure they must be on our land."
One of the most distressing things was the sand or dust storms that swirled everywhere when the Santa Ana winds blew. The sand could literally find its way through the walls of the house and covered everything. Some early settlers even told of shoveling it out. A pioneer wife tells of rigging "a sheet around the head of our bed and the kitchen table to try to keep it out of the bed and food."
Man and beast were made most uncomfortable in the sandstorms. Sand drifts often blocked the roads, and the wagons would become so mired that they had to be unloaded before they could be extricated. As bad as the dust was, the roads became a quagmire in the rainy season, bringing virtually all traffic to a standstill. Even under the best of circumstances, the roads were very poor, including the vital one from Cypress to Anaheim.
One pioneer described it as "just a couple of ruts zig zagging this way and that way, not straight like it is now. At some seasons of the year, the sunflowers grew so tall and close to the road they would touch your hat when driving by. It was a half day's drive to Anaheim, and a full day to Santa Ana and back."
Sugar Beet Crops Promote Dairies
Among the leading crops were both white and sweet potatoes, which thrived in the sandy soil of Cypress. In 1896, the Bixby Land Company helped promote the building of a sugar beet plant at Los Alamitos. Later, plants were built at Santa Ana and Anaheim. These facilities ensured that Cypress farmers had a cash crop in sugar beets, but also helped promote dairying, for sugar beet tops and refuse made excellent cattle feed.
Buena Park had become a dairying center. Fresh milk was shipped by rail to Los Angeles, but in 1889 a condensed milk factory provided an additional outlet for local dairymen. Virtually every Cypress farmer had at least a few cows. Hugh LaRue, a Cypress pioneer who arrived in 1892, reported that "I had a fur horse wagon and went around and gathered up everybody's milk and hauled it to the Lily Creamery in Buena Park."
For many years, the Cypress area was synonymous with sorghum. During the fall, the air was filled with the sweet smell of cooking sorghum. In 1889 the McWilliams family came from Texas to settle on North Walker Street in Cypress. They had operated a sorghum mill in Texas and set one up in their new surroundings.
The first year, their homemade contrivance only processed 100 gallons of syrup. However, other farmers began growing sorghum cane, and the business steadily expanded. In 1907 a regular mill was built, and 15,000 gallons of syrup were processed the first year. Much of the popularity of sorghum stemmed from the general belief that it had medicinal qualities that could cure everything from ulcers to diabetes. One old-timer recalls, "You could almost call the sorghum mill the first health food store." The mill was later moved to Lincoln Avenue to be closer to transportation, and also to utilize gas for the cookers.
As more people moved into the community in the 1890s, consideration was given to the organization of a new school district. The children of the early settlers attended either the Centralia School, located on what is today Knott Avenue, or the Bloomfield School on Bloomfield and Crescent avenues. After the regular school term was over in the summer of 1894, a special two-week session was held to see if there were enough students to warrant a new school.
As 25 pupils appeared for this trial term, the Cypress School District was formed on July 1, 1895. Charles Lee Damron donated one acre of land from his 25 acre ranch near Ball Road across from Moody Street (an locally area known as "alkalai flats"), a building was built, and a one-month term launched. Miss Margaret "Daisy" Landell was hired as the school's first teacher to teach grades one through eight at a salary of $60 per month. There were 23 students enrolled, ranging in age from 6 to 19.
As Cypress trees were planted around the schoolyard for a windbreak, the name of Cypress was given to the school, and ultimately to the community. Many pioneers lamented the lack of discipline in the one-room school, with all grades taught by one teacher, or others recalled the absenteeism by farm children needed at home and questioned the amount of learning that took place under such circumstances. However, it is reasonable to assume that the Cypress School was no better or no worse than similar rural schools across the country at the time.
In 1906, the Pacific Electric built a rail line to the area to connect Los Angeles to Santa Ana. As a result the town began to develop around the rail station at what is now the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Walker Street. In order to avoid confusion, it was decided to name the new rail station "Cypress" rather than "Waterville" so as to conform with the name of the school district. As the town began to develop around the rail station, the school building built in 1896 was moved to a site on the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Grindlay Street to be closer to the rail station.
In 1924, that school was torn down and a new school was built with two rooms separated by an auditorium. This became the site of the social life of the community. Dances, suppers by various organizations, and regular meetings by fraternal groups were held there. During the 1920s, attendance grew to an extent where several additions to the buildings had to be made. By 1927, the staff had increased to four teachers.
Such expansion was aided by the construction of the Texaco Tank Farm in 1929. This facility increased the assessed valuation of the school district from $800,000 to more than $3 million. The additional funds received from taxes on this development provided for the addition of four classrooms. This would greatly assist the district in withstanding the difficulties of the depression years.
The decade of the 1930s was a troubled period for Cypress, just as it was for the rest of the nation. In addition to the travail of the economic depression was added the major earthquake that hit Orange County on March 10, 1933. The Cypress school was severely damaged at a time when funds were unavailable for rebuilding or repair. Much damage also was done to business establishments and private homes.
With the exception of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, the Long Beach-Orange County earthquake of 1933 was the most destructive in the nation's history. Near the end of the decade, Mother Nature struck again. From late February to early March, 1938, a series of storms brought the Santa Ana River to flood stage.
Shortly after midnight on March 3, a wall of water raced from the Santa Ana Canyon and swept across the county, inundating the entire area, along what is today the Riverside-Artesia Freeway. Nineteen persons drowned and millions of dollars in property damage were suffered in the county. Most of the Cypress area was under two to three feet of water, but the damage was largely physical.
This flood led to the building of the Prado Dam, which has reduced the danger of another major disaster, but through the years Cypress has been flooded many times. Rural communities like Cypress suffered less from the depression than did urban manufacturing centers. Yet there were unemployed and even hungry people in the community; as they were mainly among the transient farm workers, it is not possible to document their numbers.
A variety of federal relief programs assisted the needy on the county level. Within Cypress, the need was most noticeable in the schools where free hot lunches were often the only meal some the children received. Ostensibly, they were supposed to pay five cents for the meal, but local charitable groups made up the difference for the children who lacked this modest sum.
World War II Brought Changes
World War II brought many changes to Cypress, just as it did to most of Orange County. Even before the war began, the United States Naval Air Station was moved from Long Beach to Los Alamitos adjacent to Cypress. Only a short distance away, the Navy also built the Seal Beach Ammunition Depot on 5,000 acres of land.
Santa Ana was the site of the United States Naval Air Station, whose hangars housed the blimps that patrolled the California coastline. The Santa Ana Army Air Base was the west coast cadet reception center, where Air Force inductees received their preliminary training. At El Toro, the Marine Corps prepared its men for the rigors of the air war.
Even Irvine Park was taken over as an Army infantry training camp. Many from the Cypress area worked at these military establishments while others commuted to Long Beach or Santa Monica to work in aircraft plants or shipyards.
The community also saw a large number of its young men go into the armed forces. The result was an acute shortage of labor in the fields. The situation was alleviated by the introduction of braceros (workers brought from Mexico through treaty arrangements).
Even German prisoners of war were employed to assist in harvesting the crops. A main prisoner of war camp was in Chino, but a temporary one was established for a brief period of time at Garden Grove.
In 1910, a local farmer named George Miller formed the Southern California Dairy Association, and by the 1940's, dairies emerged as the community's leading industry. Back then the area was referred to as "Moo Valley" as there were some 1,000 residents and 13,000 cows, and this was the third largest dairy district in the United States. In the early 1950's, an increase in residential development occurred and many areas surrounding "Moo Valley" began to incorporate and to expand.
Cypress After World War II
After World War II, many farmers were forced out of Long Beach, because a great number of GI's wanted to live there; the farmers then relocated to Cypress. The Cypress School District had a summer playground program, an art teacher and a music teacher.
In the late 1940s, Cypress was the third largest dairy district in the United States. In 1944, the School District started the first kindergarten. Miss Dickerson was elected Superintendent of Schools. On August 3, 1947, Frank Vessels, Sr. held a race at his farm on Katella with 2,000 paid observers. They watched six races with purses of $50 and $100. Modern purses range as high as $250,000 at the same track.
In 1949 the Cypress Recreation and Park District was formed. In the 1950s, Dairy City (Cypress), Dairyland (La Palma) and Dairy Valley (Cerritos) were known as Moo Valley. In 1952, the School District hired a full-time nurse.
In 1956, the school district hired a psychologist and the population of the city was 1,616 people, 24,000 cows. On July 24, 1956, Cypress was incorporated and named Dairy City. The first City Council consisted of: Alfred E. Arnold (Mayor Pro Tem), Walter J. Arrowood, Thomas A. Baroldi, Jacob Van Dyke, (Mayor) and Jacob Van Leeuweer, Jr.
At the first City Council meeting, H. Rodger Howell and M. S. Bernard were appointed City Attorneys; Nat H. Neff was appointed City Engineer, and Martin Olsthoorn was appointed City Clerk. The City's first Chief of Police, Ralph R. Ellsworth, and first City Manager, Burton Wesenberg, were appointed at the second City Council meeting.
Based on a straw vote of the residents on August 6, 1957, the City's name was changed to "Cypress". The ballot result was 208 votes in favor of "Cypress" and and 41 votes against change.
City Engineer Nat H. Neff was also appointed Planning Director. J. A. Scherman, County Fire Warden, was appointed Fire Chief for the City of Cypress, and M. W. Hansen was appointed as the new Chief of Police. The firm of Diehl Evans and Company, was retained to handle the City's Accounting and Auditing.
The City proceeded under the Annexation of Uninhabited Territory Act of 1938 to annex territories known as the Oosten Annexation, Vessels Annexation, Arnold Annexation, Correia Annexation and Schipper Annexation, based on the property owner's names.
A general election was held April 8, 1958, whereby three City Council positions were up for election. As a result of the election, Walter Arrowood and Thomas Baroldi were reelected and Martin G. McCarney replaced Jacob Van Leeuwen, Jr., as Council Member.
In 1959, the School District built a second school, named after Dan Mackay for his 28 years on the school board. The City continued to annex territory known as the Lawrence, De Potter and Dillon annexations. By the end of the year, a Master Plan of Arterial Highways was approved.
In 1960, Fred D. Harber replaced Burton Wesenberg as the City's second City Manager, and a Building Department was established for the City. During the decade of the 60s, the City Council voted the dairies out of town within 10 years to make room for residents. The first major housing tract was approved with 600 acres sold at $6,500/acre by the Standard Development Corp. Zoning was changed on 400 of those acres by a 3-2 vote.
The Los Alamitos Race Track was made a part of Cypress because of a less-tax promise the City made. It's still a major income producer for the City.
Forest Lawn came into the City and the residents voted to change the zoning for the cemetery, and close Denni, north of Lincoln. At the April 12, 1960, general election, Jacob Van Dyke was reelected and John J. Denni, Jr. was elected to replace Alfred E. Arnold.
In 1961, the city's population was 4,100. A Street Lighting District was established to install and maintain a street lighting system. The City Council approved a Master Plan for Drainage. Robert K. Rogers was appointed as the third City Manager.
In 1962, Elizabeth Dickerson School opened. John M. Toups was appointed Acting City Manager. At the general election, Peter D. Gorzeman, Frank P. Noe, and Mark L. Wright were elected to the City Council. On July 1, 1962, Darrell Essex was appointed the fourth City Manager, a position he would hold for 34 years.
In 1963, Lee Damron and Clara J. King schools opened. The City Council established the City's Personnel Rules and Regulations. Juliet Morris and Robert C. Cawthon schools opened in 1964, and Frank Vessels, Sr. School opened in 1965.
Cypress College opened in 1966, on a former dairy pasture. Margaret Landell School also opened that year. In 1967, Christine Swain School opened and the Cypress Civic Center, at 5275 Orange Avenue, was dedicated. Prior to 1967, city hall, the police department and the jail were located in a small red house, on what is now the corner of Lindsey Lane and Walker Street.
In 1968, A.E. Arnold School and Steve Luther schools and the District Offices opened. Cypress was the first district in the county to send the sixth graders to Outdoor Camp.
In 1970, the city's population was 31,026.
The City of Cypress and the Recreation and Park District continued to grow and, in March of 1973, the Cypress City Council unanimously adopted a resolution calling for a bond election to provide $2,750,000 for the District’s development plans. Voters passed the issue by a 73% affirmative vote.
Almost a quarter of the bond proceeds were used to construct a Community Center (completed in 1974) that serves the recreational needs of residents and organized groups from the entire District. The remainder of the proceeds were used to acquire 18.2 acres of new open space in addition to developing community park facilities, a nature park, eight neighborhood parks, and five local school/park areas.
The County library was moved from the building in Cedar Glen Park, which became the Boys and Girls Club, to its present location at 5331 Orange Avenue in 1976.
The 1980 census showed that Cypress had a population of 40,391.
The Cultural Arts Commission was established in 1985.
The Cypress Recreation and Park District celebrated its 40th birthday in 1989.
The 1990 census showed that Cypress had a population of 42,694.
The School District celebrated its centennial in 1995.
On July 1, 1996, Mark Ochenduszko became the City's fifth City Manager.
In 1997, 30 years after City Hall’s grand opening in 1967, the original interior carpeting, paint, overhead lighting, countertops, exterior doors, waiting area furniture and wallpaper, were replaced with updated equipment, materials and colors.
As part of this upgrade, the room which served as a print shop in City Hall was transformed into The Executive Board Room and the print shop was relocated to a larger facility at the Maintenance Yard.
In late 1998, construction was begun to revitalize the appearance and function of Lincoln Avenue. As the primary commercial corridor within Cypress, Lincoln Avenue is integral to the City's well-being. From the bridge at Bloomfield Street to the intersection at Valley View Street, the entire length of the street was redesigned to enhance its economic vitality and potential as well as its visual image. The "new" corridor was rededicated in August of 1999 with new landscaping, lighting, a clock tower on Walker Street, and entry monuments at both entrances to Cypress.
The preceding history is from the News-Enterprise Archives, written by Eileen Wheeler and Dr. Warren Beck. It is reprinted here with permission.
Cypress After 2000
On May 22, 2000, Patrick Importuna became the City's sixth City Manager. The 2000 census revealed that Cypress had approximately 48,000 residents. The City celebrated its 45th birthday in 2001.
In the fall of 2003, both Costco Wholesale and Cottonwood Christian Center formally filed their respective plans to develop sites within the Los Alamitos Race Track and Golf Course Redevelopment Project Area-Costco on the northeast corner of Katella Avenue and Walker Street, and Cottonwood Christian Center on the northwest corner of Katella Avenue and Lexington Street. These projects anchor the two corners of the Katella Avenue frontage and compliment the existing Race Track and Residence Inn developments. Costco's plans for a 150,000 square foot store on an 18-acre site plans include a tire center, pharmacy, photo lab, food concession area and a free standing fueling station. The groundbreaking ceremony was held on September 28, 2004. The Cottonwood Christian Center plans call for a seven building campus with approximately 490,000 sq. ft. in 28 acres. The architecture is designed to compliment that of the existing Business Park uses to the east. Completion of these projects formed the foundation of a new economic era for the community.
On November 10, 2003, the City Council approved plans for the development of a new 74,100 square foot retail commercial center at the northwest corner of Katella Avenue and Siboney Street- between the entrance to the Los Alamitos Race Track and the Residence Inn. For years Cypress residents and businesses have been asking for more restaurants, shopping and quality of life amenities within the community. Among the companies located in this center are Office Depot and 24 Hour Fitness.
In January 2004, the Cypress City Council approved a contract to undergo a significant remodel to the Council Chamber. This facility had not been renovated since its construction in 1967. Upgrades included federally mandated requirements for accessibility by the Americans with Disability Act and improved lighting for use by those in the room as well as to enhance picture quality for those watching City Council meetings at home. Improved aesthetics, pathways and seating for the comfort of the public in the audience were also provided. A rededication ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Wednesday, September 29, 2004.
Having been abandoned for several years, removal of the railroad tracks around which Cypress was originally built was completed in 2004.
The spring of 2005 saw the Civic Center expansion and renovation project continue. The project created six new tennis courts and much needed improvements to the parking lots at the Civic Center and Library. Extensive remodeling to the Civic Center building itself began at the end of 2005 and was completed in April of 2006.
The long awaited Costco Wholesale retail center, at the northwest corner of Katella Avenue and Walker Street, opened on July 14, 2005.
On August 1, 2005, Dave Norman became the City's seventh City Manager.
2006 marked Cypress' 50th Anniversary. An Oral History project began the year with interviews of many long-time residents conducted by City staff and televised on City Channel 36. "Flight" sculpture by Kirsten Kokkin was placed in front of the Council Chamber and dedicated on April 15. June 17 kicked off the Summer Concerts on the Green Series with an exceptional performance of the Cypress Pops Orchestra featuring the Southern California Mormon Choir. A well attended reunion of former City Council Members and City Officials was held on the day of the Community Festival, July 22. On July 24, the official "birthday" of Cypress, many long-time residents and business owners were honored at a special City Council meeting.
On February 14, 2007, John B. Bahorski began work as Cypress' eighth City Manager.
Beginning in October of 2006, the Cypress Community Center underwent an extensive, modernization, expansion and renovation. Originally built in 1974, the needs of the community had outgrown the aging facility. The modernized Community Center had a grand reopening celebration on July 24, 2007.
"American Pride" Art in Public Places sculpture by Dave Chapple was dedicated on April 29, 2008. It was placed on the north side of the Cypress City Council Chamber.
The City of Cypress and the Orange County Business Service Center joined forces for the 2010 Cypress Job Fair held on Thursday, October 14, 2010 at the Cypress Community Center. The Job Fair provided opportunities for job seekers to speak with major employers that are currently recruiting. Over 1,800 job seekers attended the Job Fair, far exceeding the organizers' and the employers expectations. 34 employers took part in the successful event.
The City of Cypress and the Orange County Business Service Center joined forces once again for the 2011 Cypress Job Fair held on Thursday, October 13, 2011 at the Cypress Community Center. 36 employers took part in the event. Over 260 job seekers had their first interview with the employers, and many had second interviews scheduled. Over 1,600 job seekers attended the Job Fair, mirroring the success of the City's first job fair held in 2010. Also available were free job seeker workshops, covering topics such as interview skills and résumé writing. Business professionals were on hand to offer free résumé critique for the job seekers.
On July 7, 2014, Peter Grant became the City's ninth City Manager. Mr. Grant previously served as the Assistant City Manager in the City of Redondo Beach where he was responsible for the city's economic development initiatives, labor relations, special projects and capital improvement budget. Prior to working in Redondo Beach, Mr. Grant worked for the cities of Burbank, Manhattan Beach, Huntington Beach and Irvine. He also spent five years working in the private sector for LINC Housing, in Long Beach, and The Olson Company, in Seal Beach, partnering with cities to create in fill and affordable housing developments. Mr. Grant graduated cum laude from the University of California, Riverside, and was honored as a Harry Hufford Fellow while earning his Master's in Public Administration at the University of Southern California.