Hiring John Stanton as the first and
only policeman to serve in the just-incorporated City of Tustin was
the first action taken by the newly elected City Council in 1927.
Stanton, who became known as Big John, kept the position until 1942
Tustin was slow to incorporate as a city.
Santa Ana completed its incorporation in 1886, followed by Orange in 1888,
but it was 1927 before Tustin asked its citizens to vote on incorporating.
Even then the population didn't seem too
eager to complete the process. Only 248 of Tustin's 900 residents went to
the polls on Sept. 14, 1927. Of these, 138 voted for incorporation and 110
against. Five Board of Trustees members, Byron "Barney" Crawford, Fred L.
Schwendeman, Charles F. Logan, W.M. Huntley and E.L. Kiser, were elected on
the same ballot. Crawford was named president at the first meeting of the
His title was changed to mayor at the second
meeting. Later the board renamed itself the city council. The first city
hall was located in the Knights of Pythias building. Mayor Crawford served
for five years and several of the councilmen served for more than 10 years
continuously. The council's first action was hiring the city's first
policeman. Accepting a firetruck for use by the volunteer fire department –
Sam Tustin's converted Buick touring car, a gift from the Chamber of
Commerce – and resistance to Santa Ana's attempt to annex parts of Tustin's
200 acres were other early accomplishments.
City offices and the fire department moved
into a shared building on Third St. in 1931. Serving on the Tustin City
Council was more title and honor than work during these early years. But it
became more difficult as time passed and Harry Gill was hired as the first
Tustin city administrator in 1965. A building to house city offices, council
chambers, a community room and the police department was built in 1974 in
what would become the Civic Center.
During the 1950s Tustin increased 220 percent
in size with annexations in the immediate area. During the 1960s annexations
expanded into recently subdivided land that had been agricultural property.
The population increased 1,012 percent in these years, going from 2,006 to
22,313. The land area increased from 434.23 acres to 2,214.77, a 410 percent
Several large annexations greatly increased
the city's area between 1971 and 1981. The Marine Corps Air Station property
now being developed as Tustin Legacy was annexed to the city during this
time, adding 2,076 acres to the area of the city. Upon completion Tustin
Legacy is expected to include approximately 4,200 new homes; over 10 million
square feet of nonresidential space including major office, retail and
entertainment space, a business park and educational and community support
facilities. Over 275 acres will be dedicated to parkland and recreational
open spaces featuring a two-mile community linear park with walking spaces,
playgrounds, natural areas and sports facilities.
In 1986, 2,257 acres of Irvine Ranch
agricultural preserve was annexed and developed as Tustin Ranch. This
upscale planned community includes homes and apartments as well as the
Tustin Ranch Golf Course, Tustin Auto Center and Tustin Market Place.
Although the number of people living in
Tustin increased to 71,767 this year with that figure expected to swell to
94,754 by 2020, the City Council has remained at five members. Operating
under a council-manager form of government, the city has 290 full time
employees and a $43 million general fund budget.
Forbes magazine chose the City of Tustin as
one of the 25 best places to live in the United States