The Westminster City Council voted to continue operating as the city’s Housing Authority and will not create a separate commission. However, the council will appoint two tenant commissioners, one at least 62-years-old, to serve on the authority with them.
“We are elected to this council to represent the people,” said Mayor Margie Rice. “We should appoint ourselves and name two people at large from the community to join us.”
Commissioners will receive a small stipend, according to city clerk Robin Roberts. Interested applicants should contact Roberts for more information. Appointments are made by the council.
The council could have either created a separate Housing Authority with seven new commissioners or remained as the authority but created a five-member housing commission to serve under the council. But Rice thought the council should remain in charge.
“I don’t feel we should shift the responsibility to another committee, I feel we should do it ourselves. That‘s what we‘re elected for.”
The council created the Housing Authority in Feb. 2011 in anticipation of the state’s dissolving of redevelopment agencies. Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill dissolving RDAs into law in June. The California Supreme Court held up the law in December.
The council had one year to permanently establish its Housing Authority as required by the California Health and Safety Code.
In other business, the council approved an update to the Orange County Regional Water and Wastewater Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan after holding a public hearing in which no one spoke.
The county-wide plan was adopted in 2007. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requires an update every five years.
“The goal of the plan is to make sure we are prepared in the event of a disaster as well as after the disaster,” said Marwan Youssef, Westminster‘s public works director. “This will also open some doors for us to receive future funding.”
Approving the update keeps the city eligible for FEMA grants.
The council cancelled its March 14 meeting because Rice and councilmember Andy Quach will both be out of town. The next scheduled meeting is March 28. But the council may call a special meeting if urgent business arises before then.