Opinion

Drastic measure required for “bad actor”

WESTMINSTER CITY COUNCIL hearing public comments (OC Tribune).

Editor,

Westminster’s recent adoption of procedure requiring majority’s support of any measure to be placed on the agenda is nothing new in city hall practices. In Orange County, such procedures are used in Anaheim, Fountain Valley, Cypress, Fullerton, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, San Clemente, Mission Viejo or Garden Grove. This new measure in Westminster is needed to limit any member from hijacking city council’s agenda for his own grandstanding.

The measure is intended to prevent any member from abusing his or her privilege to manipulate city council’s meetings for grandstanding. In any governance body, disagreement among members is common. However, members should work with other members toward a consensus to introduce or discuss any measure. A democratic process does not allow minority members from imposing their own views against the will of the people as represented collectively by other members on the council.

As seen in the City of Westminster, a newly elected councilmember Tai Do has repeatedly presented a series of frivolous actions which almost paralyzed city businesses. Why would the city spend significant amount of time to discuss a proposed code of conduct which was already adopted by the City Council just months before but only because it’s not yet posted on the city’s web site? Why would the city consider an agenda item to allow a member to change his vote some six months ago only to find out at the hearing that it cannot be done legally?

Why would the city spend its limited time and resources to discuss the 16-page code of ethics but a one page and half document adopted by a neighboring city in Huntington Beach would do? Also, why would the presentation of commendation to a Vietnamese actress for her works on a new movie being shown in Westminster require considerable amount of city council meeting to hear comments from residents from all contradictory sides at multiple meetings with comments

like whether she’s a communist or film-maker, whether wearing a Vietnamese communist flag would make her a communist or whether she’s a communist or overseas Vietnamese? After going through such hearings is not enough, Councilmember Tai Do even proposed a series of measures such as to recall said commendation or require physical return of the physical commendation and replace with a new one without his name on it, something that is impracticable and offers no benefit to the city business.

Opponents of the recently adopted measure call foul with terms such as absolute power, communist dictatorship or opposition suppression. Nothing is furthest from the truth. Dictatorship exists when individuals or minority few impose their views on the majority to demand their way or no way. No one has any absolute power because any member who objects to any sensible proposal would face the voters and is accountable for his or her actions. Minority members can still present their views without any limitation, but to commit the city resources into research, preparation or hearing on an agenda item requires a responsible and sensible vetting process of the entire body.

The City of Westminster has conducted its business for over 60 years without any this limitation. But bad actor has come onto the council which requires a common sense measure.

Lan Quoc Nguyen

Mr. Nguyen is president of the Garden Grove Unified School District Board of Education. This letter is not written in his official capacity as a board member.

5 replies »

  1. As an actual resident of Westminster (unlike the author of this piece), I would like to say that I am eager to see more transparency in the city council. The residents voted for Tai Do to help foster change, and that is what he is trying to do.

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  2. Also as an actual Westminster resident, I’d like to see transparency too. But not at the cost that Tai Do is causing our city. He needs to bring up LEGIT city business, not just some bogus items that only costs more time for councils and city employees. Just last meeting on 6/12, he proposed CODE OF CONDUCT. When someone mentioned the city already had it and we just need to post it on the city website, wouldn’t a reasonable person would happily voted YES? But not Tai Do!

    Why is he always angry & hateful? He treats other council members like criminals. Who is violating his first amendment right? No one! So far, he is the one that talked the MOST (while others politely listened), and then when it’s other people’s turns, he couldn’t wait to interrupt and jumped in with more verbal abuse. He wants to waste everybody’s time by putting items in agenda that is duplicate or not doable and wont have anyone’s support. What good does it do? He can still propose good items and What Tai Do is doing is using police intimidation method to scare people, both on the dais AND social media. What a bully! He crossed the line (changing Westminster into a communist city) and then blamed it on others (by adding other council names). What a shame!

    Unfortunately we all have coworkers at work like Tai Do. Coming in and without finding out if the new company has processes / ways of doing things that work, that person immediately wants to fix / change things because that person thinks too highly of him/herself. Tai Do needs to be humble, watch, learn and fix things that’s actually broken. If Tai Do work for the common good for the people and not just his political agenda / propaganda, it would be great.

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  3. There are three different documents…code of ETHICS, code of CONDUCT and CONFLICT OF INTEREST, the latter which is required and what Westminster already had. They adopted a very short code of ethics and refused to adopt any code of conduct.

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  4. The author should know that the cities listed in this article do NOT have the same exact agenda process as what Westminster passed.

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  5. It was 12 pages (not 16) that included a cover page and table of contents. The adopted one was 1.5 pages, not 1/2 page. Lan who wrote this article does not live here, he doesn’t focus on the 20+ reasons the three council members were unethical, and can only see one side. It is time for critical thinkers to see both sides and realize this is a mess started by corruption and unethical actions. Tai is trying to clean that up while the others and Lan are trying to distract you with lame excuses for their actions.

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