Enough signatures, says recall group

DAVID JOHNSON, spokesman for the Westminster United group (Orange County Tribune photo).

The group seeking to recall three members of the Westminster City Council announced on Tuesday night that sufficient valid signatures had been gathered to force an election on the matter.

Westminster-United is seeking to unseat Mayor Tri Ta and councilmembers Kimberly Ho and Chi Charlie Nguyen.

At a press conference in the Civic Center, spokesman David Johnson said “We were told we had to collect 8,736 signatures in order to recall them and that is exactly 20 percent of the voters here in Westminster.  As of the last count,” he continued, “we have exceeded 11,000 signatures.”

The signature petitions are now with the city clerk to be counted and then would go on to the Orange County Registrar of Voters for a detail-by-detail examination.

“It’s a big success to us,” he said. “Many of us are emotional about this.” He expressed his support to petition circulators and proponents of the recall.

He sought to rebut accusations that the effort to unseat the council majority were “free-spending liberal Democrats” or “racists.”

Backers of the recall, he said, included a wide spectrum of political viewpoints and ethnicities.

If the petitions are certified as having enough valid signatures, the issue would go on the ballot in March or April.

The recall effort came out of sharp political and ethical divisions on the city council, including accusations of nepotism and mismanagement. . Johnson passed out a list of 28 “Reasons to Recall.”

During contentious council meetings, opponents of the recall claimed that removal of the majority was the work of communists or communist sympathizers.

In response to the original recall, notices of intent to recall the other two councilmembers – Tai Do and Sergio Contreras – have been filed by backers of the council majority.

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