Across the Area

Homeless shelter, CM on agendas

A TEMPORARY alternative shelter site for the homeless will be considered by the Huntington Beach City Council on Monday night (Shutterstock).

Westminster and Huntington Beach city councils will meet this week with potentially controversial items on their agendas.

On Monday, the Huntington Beach council will take up a proposal by Councilmember Erik Peterson to create an emergency homeless shelter. The facility would be for 40 beds or more to be located at the city’s public works yard on Gothard Street, between Slater and Warner Avenues. That’s near to Ocean View High School. The shelter would be temporary and feature basic necessities.

The recommended action is for the city manager to bring back within two weeks a proposal for such a shelter at that site.

Previous attempts to create a homeless shelter have drawn considerable opposition from members of the public and were abandoned. However, the city council in April approved a center for the unsheltered at 17631 Cameron Lane, east of Beach Boulevard between Talbert and Slater avenues.

That center was expected to take six to eight weeks to be completed, at a cost of $2 million. Those funds were to be reimbursed by the County of Orange.

A closed session will begin at 5 p.m. and the regular session at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held by teleconferencing.

On Wednesday, the Westminster council will consider the appointment of a new city manager, as well as approve a ballot measure for the Nov. 3 general election which would impose term limits on council members and the mayor but would allow an office-holder to serve as many as 24 years.

At the closed session the council at 6 p.m. will consider the selection of Chu Thai as the city’s new chief appointed official. His selection brought criticism of Thai’s record in working for eight other cities.

At his last public employer – the City of Monterey Park, where he worked as director of management services – Thai was placed on administrative leave and eventually terminated for questionable conduct including use of a city-issued credit card, his relationship with a person bidding on a city contract worth $600,000 to $700,000, and obtaining a cell phone under the name of a different person.

At the job before that with the City of Stanton, he left after four months under a “separation agreement.”

The council took no action at its July 6 meeting, reportedly to do a background check on the candidate. The actual appointment could not happen in closed session, but the council could schedule a formal approval at a later meeting.

If appointed he would be the first Vietnamese-American to serve as a city manager in the United States.

The regular session will begin at 7 p.m. It will be conducted by teleconferencing.

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