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Orange County Focus

Cypress : Park Is Renamed After City Manager

January 15, 1994|MIMI KO

Darrell Essex, the state's longest-serving city manager, now has a park named for him.

As a tribute to Essex, 61, council members on Monday unanimously voted to rename the Texaco Park at 5131 Ball Road as Darrell Essex Park. Essex has been a city employee for 31 years.

"Darrell is a unique man in the world of city managers," Mayor Richard Partin said. "He holds the record for maintaining his position longer than any other manager in California. . . . And Cypress is all the better because Darrell is at the helm."

Essex, who lives near the four-acre park, was instrumental in purchasing the facility from Texaco Inc. last year at a bargain price, city officials said. The city paid $439,000 for the park, which is valued at about $700,000.

Texaco Inc. had leased the park to the city for $1 a year since 1964, when it was developed next to a Texaco-owned tank farm. The operation was closed last year, however, and the company decided to sell the park, said Marvin C. DeCarlo, director of the city's Recreation and Park District.

Because of Essex's efforts in purchasing the park and because of his work as city manager, the city Parks and Recreation Commission recommended that the park be renamed, said Nancy Trainer, chairwoman of the commission.

"We thought it would be a nice gesture," she said. Essex "is a very well-liked individual, and the people that live here know him, so this is a way of thanking him for his work here."

Essex told Trainer he was pleased about the renaming of the park. It is where he plays volleyball.

Essex and Veterans parks are the only ones among the city's 17 parks that are no longer named for trees.

A formal dedication of the Darrell Essex Park will be held in the spring.

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