By Jim Tortolano
After nearly two and one-half hours of public comments and internal debate, the Westminster City Council voted Wednesday night to approve a controversial resolution “Condemning Campaign of Political Disruption and Misinformation to Foment Disorder in the City and on the City Council.”
The resolution was adopted with the council majority of Mayor Tri Ta and council members Kimberly Ho and Chi Charlie Nguyen in favor and council members Tai Do and Sergio Contreras abstaining.
After almost two hours of public comments centering on the resolution, Ta asked that the item be moved from its place toward to end of the agenda to the front.
“The reason I brought forth this resolution,” said Ta, “is that many members of the community have come to me with concerns” that “communists were behind the political turmoil” in the city and council.
He referred to a 2004 order from the communist Socialist Republic of Vietnam urging what Ta considered to be covert infiltration of the Little Saigon areas of Orange County.
Ta rebutted the claim that the resolution was an attempt to combat or discredit those seeking to recall the council majority.
He was supported by Nguyen and Ho. “This is a positive response to numerous citizen” complaints about conflict on the council since the November 2018 election, said Nguyen. That was when Do was elected to the council.
Do replied by asking the city attorney and city manager whether they were aware of any reports from the FBI and the federal Department of Justice of any illegal communist agents operating in Westminster. They each said “no.”
The resolution is “trying to silence our voices and others who don’t agree with you,” Do continued. He blamed the recall against Ta and the council majority not on communist infiltration but on the mayor and his backers.
“It’s not about me,” said Ta. “It’s what you’ve done.”
A recall effort has also been initiated against Do and Contreras and Garden Grove city councilman Phat Bui, who is allied with Do.
Contreras said the resolution “is an attempt to label anyone who disagrees with the council majority as a communist,” calling it “divisive and scary.”
He concluded by saying “It’s time for us” – the city council – “to get back to work.”