A proposal to reduce the compensation of members of the Westminster City Council died at Wednesday night’s meeting.
Councilman Tai Do, citing an “anticipated economic crisis,” made a motion to deny health insurance benefits to council members who already had such compensation through other employment or income. Do is a police officer in another city.
He cited not just the city’s financial situation but also the number of council meetings that have been cancelled. Westminster’s mayor is paid $950.50 a month, and councilmembers $850.50. They are also eligible to receive retirement contributions, health benefits and long-term disability and may purchase life insurance. Do put the value of health benefits at $1500.
Five meetings have been cancelled this year, according to the city clerk. However, Councilmember Chi Charlie Nguyen noted that other special meetings have been added. Combined with regular meetings held, the number of meetings was put at 20 in the year past.
Interim City Manager Sherry Johnson said the city’s financial picture was not yet dire, and that – due to strong retail sales – the budget can be balanced this year with the use of reserves.
Do’s motion failed for the lack of a second. A second motion to receive and file the report on compensation for elected officials was approved on a 4-0 vote, with Councilmember Sergio Contreras absent.
Also on Wednesday, the council approved a reorganization plan for the community development and public works departments on a 4-0 vote, and the cancellation of the Oct. 28 meeting on a 3-1 vote, with Do voting “no.”