Formal censure of Ta approved

WESTMINSTER CITY COUNCIL (with assistant city clerk) on Zoom broadcast (YouTube).

After an hour of bitter recriminations, the Westminster City Council voted early Thursday morning to pass a formal resolution censuring Mayor Tri Ta.

Right at midnight, the council majority of Vice Mayor Carlos Manzo and Councilmembers Tai Do and Kimberly Ho voted in favor, with Ta and Councilmember Chi Charlie Nguyen opposed.

Thursday’s action formalized an action by the council majority at its Jan. 13 meeting to prepare a resolution censuring Ta for “unacceptable conduct.”

Do read the six-page resolution aloud, which alleged that Ta had made false statements in the Vietnamese language media about his being “kicked out of his office,” and sought to mislead voters by driving around the city in a white SUV that he described as his “mobile office.”

Ta responded that Do’s comments and the resolution he promoted were “irrational and irresponsible” and said he felt “sorry for the voters who elected you.”

Each council member weighed in on the matter, at times attacking his or her colleagues. Manzo called the censure resolution the cause of “unnecessary drama, but it has to happen.”  Ho called on Ta to not “continue in your lies,” while Nguyen defended the mayor, calling the accusations against him “fake news.”

The censure resolution has no legal effect, but puts on record the council’s position on an issue.

Also Wednesday night, the council rejected a proposal by Nguyen to limit discussion by members on any one agenda item. Citing the length both of council meetings – which sometimes run from five to seven hours long – and councilmember remarks, Nguyen suggested that an initial round of comments would be limited to five minutes each, followed – if necessary –by a similar second round.

After that, a council majority could vote to extend discussion. The vote on the time limit had Ta and Nguyen in favor and the others opposed.

In another action, the council voted 5-0 in favor of the development and operation of a residential care facility on a vacant lot at 8251 Heil Ave.

The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 9.

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