Steve Faessel’s Neighborhood and Community Service

I was raised in Anaheim by parents that arrived here in 1941, lived in the Colony area across from Pearson Park. My wife, Susan and I moved to District 5 in 1975.

Attended Horace Mann (Kindergarten), St. Boniface Elementary, Mater Dei High School, CSUF and graduated with a BA Degree in Marketing in 1972.

First recognized for volunteer services by the Women’s Division of the Chamber of Commerce in 1963, at age 13 for helping at the first Carrousel of Anaheim at Pearson Park.

Recognized for volunteering at the Lights-Camera Action show at the Pearson Park Theater in 1966.

I have been a Continuing Education Instructor for the North Orange County Community College District (NOCCCD) in the electrical construction field since September 1975, supporting adult student’s further education, so that they may develop their skills for improved career opportunities.

In 1997, I was appointed to the Orange County Historical Commission to represent the 4th Supervisorial District and served on its Editorial Board for the republishing of the Orange County History, 100 Years of Yesterdays. I served nine years through 2006.

I’m a long-time member of the Anaheim Historical Society, Inc., having served on the Board of Directors for over two decades and serviced as President from 1999-2004.

As a dedicated local history researcher (since the late 1980’s), I have written four illustrated books on Anaheim history and donated copies of each of the soft cover books to every Anaheim City School District Elementary School as well as had a large format (2ft x 4ft) Anaheim map given to each school Library.

Since 2002, I have annually recognized the eight winners of the Anaheim City School District (ACSD), Third Grade History of Anaheim Art Contest with a financial award and certificate, through the Eleanor A. Faessel Memorial Fund, which I administer.

The last five years, I have acted as Master of Ceremonies for Anaheim’s Annual Flag Day Celebration / Tribute To Old Glory stage event held now at Pearson Park.

I regularly speak to school groups and local organizations on Anaheim history and other civic subjects.

A few of my more significant Anaheim civic appointments have been:

  • 1998-2006: Anaheim Public Utility Board. As Chairman, helped guide the Utility through the 1999-2000 California Energy Crisis with only ONE power interruption. Worked to keep Anaheim Electric rates the lowest in Orange County and Water rates as one of the lower in the County.
  • 2001-2004: Anaheim General Plan Advisory Committee that oversaw the update of the City’s General Plan that guides the community’s future growth. The Platinum Triangle Mixed Use Overlay was one of the results.
  • 2006-2013: served on the Anaheim Planning Commission where I worked to protect neighborhoods, provide adequate affordable housing (three significant affordable projects) and insisted that developers build the best projects they could, regardless of its location in Anaheim.
  • 2015-present: Anaheim’s Director to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) that provides about 30% of Anaheim’s water supply while serving supplementary water to 19 million Southern Californians. I have supported the easing of local watering restrictions based upon increased supplies from Northern California.
  • 2013-present: Serving as Chairman of the City’s Budget, Investment and Technology Commission, adding important community input to the $1.73B Budget process.
  • Pushed for fiscal year 2015-2016 One Time Service Enhancements of $4.2M that included $1.012M for Public Safety and $3.212M for   Neighborhoods ($700,000 to streets/sidewalks/curbs; $500,000 to Park Refreshes; $400,000 for improved Park lighting, among others).
  • Supported fiscal year 2016-2017 One Time Service Enhancements of $7.3M that included $4.215M for Public Safety and $3.035M for   Neighborhoods ($575,000 new Library software and tutoring; $460,000 for  Playground replacements and Field renovations; $2M for Street repairs.)

As a community advocate, I supported the building of the Anaheim Coves/Santa Ana River Park & Trail and recently have worked directly with State of California Parks officials to fund the Five Coves Park, located north of Lincoln Ave, as an extension of the Anaheim Coves Park project.

In 2013-2014, I led the local community opposition to a proposed 250MW Power Plant to be built at the Ball Road Basin, at the Santa Ana River, that would have threatened adjoining residential neighborhoods and schools with an industrial facility.

Recently, I was asked by a community leader in the Branford Street neighborhood to intervene with the City to investigate poor street conditions. In cooperation with City staff I was able to successfully move the street rehabilitation forward. Work is now completed.

The streets adjoining the new Goals Academy School north of La Palma Park were very dark and the school administration felt the safety of the School Staff and children attending late classes or events were at risk. A school volunteer asked me to work on their behalf with the City and I helped facilitate the replacement of the existing low power lights with new technology LED high brightness / energy saving fixtures.

The intersection of East Wagner and South Rio Vista Streets has had a long history of traffic accidents, often causing damage to the Calvary Baptist Church at that corner. I recently facilitated a neighborhood community meeting where representatives of the City’s Public Works, Traffic, Community Services and Police attended to cooperate with the neighborhood to find a solution to this ongoing traffic problem. Modified lane markings, flashing road signs and other traffic calming measures are completed.

In 1990 I joined the Board of Trustees of the Anaheim Museum, Inc. and following its reorganization, a Founding Member of the Anaheim MUZEO where I now serve on the Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Since 2003, I have served on the Anaheim Community Foundation that provides funding for many Anaheim children’s recreation, enrichment and after-school programs as well as providing one-time financial grants to local non-profits that serve the Anaheim community.

Since 2003 I have been the Southern California Chairman of the Charitable Foundation of the Native Sons of the Golden West, which raises $250,000 annually for three California Hospitals that serve children born with cleft palate or other craniofacial abnormalities.

My wife Susan and are regular supporters of a number of Anaheim community betterment organizations such as the Anaheim Arts Council, Anaheim Beautiful, Anaheim Boys and Girls Club, Anaheim Family YMCA, Anaheim Performing Arts Center Foundation, Anaheim Public Library Foundation, The Chance Theater, Cypress College Foundation, Kiwanis Club of Greater Anaheim, Orange County Family Justice Center, Orange County Paint Your Heart Out, Orange County Symphony and the Pearson Park Amphitheater Summer Series.

In 2014 Susan and I received the Anaheim Beautiful President’s Award for our continued support of beautification projects in Anaheim.

In 2016, we were both honored by the Cypress College Foundation as Anaheim Citizens of the year at the Foundation’s 41st Annual Americana Awards event for our long history of service to the community.

I have retired from a fifty-year Retail Hardware and Building Materials career helping people, most recently working for the Crown ACE Hardware chain of 16 stores. I began my long career at Anaheim’s original Martenet Hardware in 1966.

I now look forward to serving my community as City Council Member for District 5.