Under protest, the City of Westminster has sent a check for nearly $9 million demanded by the State of California.
At a special meeting last Thursday, the city council voted to pay the $8,995,137 in redevelopment funds demanded by the state. Since the end of redevelopment, Sacramento has been billing cities across the state for tax increment funds collected under that system.
Jones & Mayer, the legal firm retained by the “Successor Agency to the Westminster Redevelopment Agency,” disputed the calculations of the state Department of Finance, claiming that the city owes no more than $1,891,229.
But, Christian L. Bettenhausen, the city’s legal counsel said in a letter to the Orange County Auditor-Controller (which is in charge of collecting the funds) that Westminster is “concerned with both the civil penalties … and the threat by your office … to withhold … sales and use tax” and therefore is paying under protest.
The money would then be sent along to school districts and other agencies.
The council will meet again today (Monday) at 4 p.m. in a special closed session. The sole item is a conference with legal counsel regarding a “performance evaluation, discipline/dismissal/release” of the city manager, a post now held by Mitch Waller.
The agenda states that the council will then adjourn to another closed session at 4 p.m. on Thursday. Both meetings will be held in the conference room in the Council Chambers building, 8200 Westminster Blvd. The meetings will not be open to the public.