New council vs. the old council


The end of one thing is usually the beginning of something else. That’s especially true of election cycles, but sometimes, as the French say, “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.”

If we remember our high school coursework, that means “the more things change, the more they remain the same.”

Sadly, that’s true for the Westminster City Council. As evidenced by Wednesday’s marathon bitterfest, the results of the November election haven’t produced a more congenial group of folks at the helm.

In a meeting that lasted five hours, the council at first took a ton of abuse from members of the public, then turned on each other. The topic was whether to cancel the Quang Tri monument project, but the topic sometimes hardly matters.     

The “rules of conduct” adopted to try to impose some civility were as effective as the League of Nations was in preventing World War II.

Chi Charlie Nguyen, the new mayor, wasn’t much  more successful  in keeping order than his predecessor (Tri Ta, now a state Assemblyman). Speakers and council members interrupted each other, talked over each other, hurled insults, threats and allegations around in a display of incivility that would make a schoolyard full of children seem angelically polite.

When will it end? Not anytime soon, it appears, if Wednesday’s meeting is an example of the “change” the new council stands for.

4 replies »

  1. My observation is that the city council reflects their constituency. Passionate people who make mistakes, won’t allow other people to change, don’t understand the issues, and are more focused on being seen as right because of might. And enjoy being bullies.

  2. Vietnamese translation/ dịch sang tiếng Việt phần viết cua Lynn. Dimick:
    Theo tôi quan sát là hội đồng thành phố là phản ảnh của những người cử tri của họ. Những người nhiệt tình nhưng đã sai lầm, không cho phép những người khác thay đổi, không hiểu vấn đề và tập trung vào cái cho mình là đúng nhiều hơn vì cái tôi quá lớn.

    Demonic! Uncivilized! A bunch of people throwing out anger, obscenity and personal accusations across the room at the council members and at each other while not being mindful that children are watching the meetings for civic classes. The 1st amendment right does not cover obscene and graphically violent speech in a public forum with children viewers. What a shame that no one gave a hoot about the minors. They thought they were so smart hiding behind the 1st amendment right. They hurt their community more than anything. The one ending up hurting the most is the one who instigated the people to behave so. It’s the boomerang law.

  3. Does everyone knows or cares if there’s a Quang Tri monument?

    I’m sure some council and community members may not be aware of the significance aside from the political aspect of this monument. To start off, OC his the home for tens of thousands of soldiers from the former Republic of South Vietnam. They live among us for many decades. Many of them arrived from 1990 to 1995 through the Humanitarian Operation program (HO) headed by John McCain. These HO soldiers were imprisoned under cruel and unusual punishment by the Vietnam communist government from 3-15 years prior to their arrival in the US. They were stripped of citizenship and, worse of all, deprived of all emotional and physical human dignity. Imagine being in a dark hole for months without a restroom and sufficient food or hanging upside down while fire ants eat at your open flesh for days time and again. Many of them saw their comrades died by the thousands thrown into ditches to rot. One soldier recap that the grass mat he used to cover his colleague’s body was stripped away and he was reprimanded for wasting a mat on a dead body. Can these soldiers ever recover from years of physical and mental tortures? mental defeat has always been a difficult obstacle to overcome. Possibly, for these soldiers, The Quang Tri monument represents a conquest for human dignity and one of the ways to heal from ptsd. The Quang Tri battle during the Vietnam war was one of the biggest victory for the Republic of South Vietnam military. Similarly, Our United States of America national anthem speaks of “and our flag was still there…,” because it was a sign that our soldiers were still holding up and haven’t been defeated by the red coats. If the Vietnamese soldiers didn’t end up in our community then we would not have to ask, “is supporting the Quang Tri monument humanitarian?”

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