E-billboard project passed

ELECTRONIC BILLBOARD in Toronto, Canada (Branded Cities).

By Jim Tortolano/Orange County Tribune

What began months ago with contentious and angry exchanges among members of the Westminster City Council – and between the council and the city manager – finished Wednesday night with smiles, praise and agreement.

On a 4-0 vote – with Councilmember Kimberly Ho absent – the council approved the selection of Branded Cities Los Angeles LLC to lease two pieces of city-owned property for the construction and operation of two electronic billboards.

Under the agreement, the city will receive $63 million over a 30-year period and an annual guarantee of $825,000 from Branded’s sale of advertising space on the billboards – one at “Old Edwards Street” and another at the intersection of Beach Boulevard and Edinger Avenue.

When initially proposed in May, several council members pushed back and demanded more time and information. 

City Manager Christine Cordon replied “I find this insulting,” and Ho described the proposed delay as “demoralizing” to city staff.

But all that was forgotten on Wednesday.

Councilmember Amy Phan West, who was among those originally questioning the proposal, was all in favor this time. “Thank you so much,” she said. “This is the best outcome for the city. I’m very excited.”

Also Wednesday night, the council voted 4-0 in favor of the city budget for 2023-2024.

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