Council moves to trim meetings


By Jim Tortolano/Orange County Tribune

In what might be considered a bit of irony, the Westminster City Council took an hour to decide on how to go about shortening the length of its meeting that started on Wednesday evening and concluded six hours later on Thursday morning.

After a half-dozen different proposals were floated, the council finally voted 3-2 in favor of reducing the time allotted to speakers during public comments from five minutes to three, as proposed by Councilmember Amy Phan West (District 1).

“It’s the most clear-cut” proposal said West in arguing for it over other plans that would have assigned different time periods for comments to different parts of the agenda, sought to limit the number of speakers, or have two separate segments for public comments.

In favor were West, Mayor Chi Charlie Nguyen and Councilmember NamQuan Nguyen (Vice Mayor and District 4). Opposed were Councilmembers Carlos Manzo (District 2) and Kimberly Ho (District 3).

A related proposal to change the start of council meeting times from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m. with an ending time of 10 p.m. was approved 5-0, with the proviso that a majority of the council could vote to extend the meeting. Also Wednesday night, the council approved on a 4-1 vote (Manzo dissenting) an ordinance moving the mayor’s office into a former conference room in the City Hall.

The council also voted to require to increase the number of council members needed to place an item on the agenda from one to two.

Public comments took up most of the early part of the meeting as dozens of people turned up in support of granting a permit to a local billboard operator.

The next regular meeting of the city council is set for Wednesday, Jan. 25.

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