By Jacob Wilson/Garden Grove Journal
Westminster Mayor Margie Rice missed the July 13 council meeting because she was in surgery to have a small cancerous tumor removed. The surgery was performed at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange where Rice will stay through the weekend.
Mayor Pro Tem Tyler Diep presided over the meeting in her absence.
“Mayor Rice is absent due to a medical condition,” Diep said.
By the meeting’s end, Diep had learned via text message that the Mayor was out of surgery
Rice is expected to make a full recovery and should be able to attend the opening of the Westminster Police Station on June 18, according to City Manager Mitch Waller.
“Early detection saved the day,” Waller said. “We are looking for her speedy recovery and return.”
In Rice’s absence, the council unanimously and enthusiastically voted to place a measure banning automated traffic enforcement systems, commonly known as red-light cameras, in Westminster on the November 2012 ballot.
“This is a great idea,” council member Frank Fry said. “I move for approval.”
Red light cameras are already prohibited in the city.
“This is just a reiteration of our existing policy,” council member Andy Quach said. “The council has historically never liked or even considered anything that would constitute monitoring our citizens by ‘big brother.’”
The council as a whole adamantly opposes red-light cameras, and members believe the city agrees with them.
“We’re a freedom friendly city so we’re not going to go that route,” Diep said.
But the council wants to put the decision in the public’s hands so that only the public can decide to change the city’s policy.
“We cannot guarantee what a future council will do,” Diep said. “We want this measure placed on the ballot.”
The council also made some changes to the city’s one-year-old zoning code.
“We were able to make things a little bit easier and clarify meaning so that there’s no misunderstanding of our development standards in Westminster,” Quach said.
According to city planning manager Art Bashmakian, the changes are not due to any policy changes, but are only adjustments for the purpose of clarity and readability.
“Once every two years we’ll do a ‘clean up’ as we realize things need to be ommitted or clarified,” he said. “We call this a tune up.”