Using a federal grant to help expand a homeless shelter in Midway City was approved by the Westminster City Council Wednesday night.
After a public hearing, the council voted 5-0 to support the use of $700,000 in community development block grants to improve the second floor of the Potter’s Lane project at 15172 Jackson Lane to increase the number of rooms.
Westminster is partnering with the City of Huntington Beach and American Family Home to support the “navigation center,” which currently has housing for 16 people.
The first part of the meeting was taken up with what has become a regular event, in which the oral communications segment saw numerous speakers comment – sometimes heatedly – on controversies swirling around city council members.
Most speakers criticized the council majority, especially relating to a proposed code of ethics and conduct. The council appears split between Mayor Tri Ta and councilmembers Charlie Nguyen and Kimberly Ho on one side and councilmembers Tai Do and Sergio Contreras on the other, with the majority generally opposed to the proposed code.
Another point of contention is the appointment by council members to city commissions of adult children of other members of the council.
The public comments included accusations of nepotism and corruption on one side, and the suggestion on the other that the controversy was generated by people who were “jealous of the success of the Vietnamese people.”
At the council member comments segment, Ho defended her son’s role as a commissioner, calling him qualified and independent of his parents. Councilman Charlie Nguyen said, “I am not ashamed of the people I have appointed.”
Consideration of the code of ethics and conduct has been twice postponed, but scheduled to be on the agenda of the May 22 meeting,