By Jim Tortolano/Orange County Tribune
The annual Tet Parade Festival observing the lunar new year will continue to be a production of the City of Westminster, the Westminster City Council decided on Wednesday night.
The vote was 5-0 in favor, and the date of the event is yet to be decided.
“I just want to thank the city staff and police department,” said Mayor Chi Charlie Nguyen, “for the terrific effort they put in.” All the council members praised the outcome of the parade and offered suggestions for future such events.
In the recent past the parade has been staged by non-profit groups and it was sometimes accompanied by controversy. The coronavirus epidemic interrupted the tradition and when no private group applied to organize the 2023 event, the city stepped in.
With just seven weeks to plan, city staff pulled the event together to widespread approval.
The parade route is along Bolsa Avenue between Magnolia and Bushard streets.
In its report on the parade it was stated that the attendance was estimated at 10,000 to 15,000 people, with another 250,000 in viewers on telecasts. About 1,900 people participated in the parade.
Total cost of the event was $205,241, with $104,869 in revenues, for a loss to the city of $100,371, according to Vanessa Johnson, community services and recreation director.
Also on Wednesday night, the council re-iterated on a 5-0 vote the ability of the mayor to place items on the council agenda. Earlier, the council voted to require two council members to do so, in apparent contradiction to the standing policy allowing the mayor to have that power.
Councilmember Amy Phan West (District 1) spoke in favor of the idea, but Councilmember Carlos Manzo (District 2) remarked that there was no written policy on the matter, but would agree based on his desire to be a “team player.”
Additionally, the council received a presentation on “best practices” for social media use by city officials. Councilmembers were cautioned against using city logos or the help of public employees in operating a personal website or using social media.
The next regular meeting of the council is scheduled for Wednesday, March 8 at 6 p.m. in the Council Chamber, 8200 Westminster Blvd.