A busy Westminster City Council met Wednesday night to say yes to first-time homebuyers, water regulation, and Chinese New Year’s Eve but no to the governor.
Though first the council made some changes of its own.
Council member Frank Fry is Westminster’s new Mayor Pro Tem, replacing Tri Ta who served a one-year term and remains a council member. The council voted Fry to the position at the meeting’s start. The changeover was immediate.
Mayor Margie Rice praised Ta for his work. “Thank you for a year of service as mayor pro tem.”
In what might be the shortest acceptance speech on record Fry said, “I want to thank the council for voting me mayor pro tem.”
The Council also approved a first-time homebuyer program that allows for loans up to $75,000 toward the purchase of lower-cost housing. Eligible borrowers must meet income requirements. The total cost of the program is $750,000.
Westminster resident Vivian Kirkpatrick Pilger voiced concern over the program, citing the city’s already stretched budget.
“Can we afford to do this?” she asked.
Rice assured her that the money for the program had already been set aside and would not interfere with other city matters.
Pilger also spoke in opposition to new state water regulations that require cities to adopt water efficiency landscape measures in order to promote water conservation.
“This is further government control,” she said. “It’s getting a little tedious with all of the regulations to know what you can or can’t do in your own backyard.”
Rice appeared sympathetic with Pilger’s argument but said that the city’s hands were tied. “It’s a mandate from the state,” she said. “We can object but they’re going to do what they do.”
Without any comment the council also approved a special events permit for a Chinese New Year celebration and disapproved of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposal to sale the Orange County Fairgrounds
Chua Dieu Ngu will host a Chinese New Year’s Eve celebration on Feb. 13 at the Buddhist Temple on 14472 Chestnut Street. A crowd of up to 1000 people is expected. According to the Chinese calendar, 2010 is the year of the tiger.
Following the lead of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, the council formally requested that Schwarzenegger immediately cancel any plans of selling the fairgrounds. Schwarzenegger is considering selling off state-owned property, including the fairgrounds, as way of raising money for the state.