Monument panel idea advances

ILLUSTRATION of proposed Quang Tri monument.

The creation of a nine-member committee to oversee the establishment of any and all monuments, plaques and other things honoring or commemorating people or events in city parks was endorsed by the Westminster City Council early Thursday morning.

A specific resolution or ordinance will come back to the council for final approval at a later meeting.

Consideration of the committee followed on the related matter of the controversial Quang Tri monument planned for Sid Goldstein Freedom Park in the Civic Center.

See related story: https://orangecountytribune.com/2021/07/15/angry-chaos-at-council-meeting/ .

The original proposal from city staff was to have a committee composed of five members appointed by city council members and two other at-large members representing Vietnamese and American veterans of the Vietnam War.

Mayor Tri Ta stated his opposition to the committee, saying that it was “not needed” and a “waste of resources,” declaring it “targeting and against the Vietnamese-American community.”

Councilmember Carlos Manzo proposed that any such committee have oversight over military monuments, plaques, etc. in any city park. “We cannot afford to continue to have this division in the city,” he said.

Councilmember Tai Do suggested that the at-large members be chosen from specific veterans groups and Councilmember Kimberly Ho asked that a formal historical report be generated in connection with the project. Do then suggested that representatives of two more groups be added, enlarging the panel to nine members.

Vice Mayor Chi Charlie Nguyen called the committee “unnecessary and redundant” and once the modified original motion was seconded by Ho, he proposed a substitute motion to exclude the Quang Tri monument from the committee’s oversight. It failed 3-2, with Ta and Nguyen in favor.

At 2 a.m., the original motion was approved 3-2, with Ta and Nguyen opposed. After a closed session, the meeting finally adjourned at 2:45 a.m., after seven and three-quarter hours.

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