By Jim Tortolano
Notices of intent to recall three members of the Westminster City Council were mailed Saturday to the trio, beginning a campaign to oust Mayor Tri Ta and Councilmembers Kimberly Ho and Chi Charlie Nguyen from office.
The effort is led by a group called Westminster United, according to David Johnson, a vocal critic of the council majority and the co-author of a code of conduct that was rejected by the council.
“Westminster United is everyone, all ethnicities from our diverse communities, both political parties and independents, people of all ages,” said Johnson.
To force a recall election, the group must collect the signatures of 20 percent of the registered voters in the city, which amounts to 8,736 qualifying signatures. If the signature effort is successful, the matter would likely be on the ballot for the 2020 March primary election.
The council majority has been at odds with Councilmembers Tai Do and Sergio Contreras. Issues have included the code of conduct as well as allegations of nepotism and recent action by the three to require that only the mayor – or a majority of the council – would have the power to have an item placed on the council agenda for discussion.
When Do posted a social media message – presumably meant sarcastically – that Westminster was now “officially Ho Chi Minh City,” the official name of the former Saigon, the council majority voted to issue an official press release criticizing Do.
At the meeting where the press release was approved, some members of the audience said that a recall effort would be forthcoming.