Westminster has a new commissioner for the city’s community services and recreation commission.
The city council elected Jerry Vilander, 4-0, to the position during Wednesday night’s city council meeting.
Councilman Andy Quach was not present during the meeting.
The city council also heard an updated presentation from the Orange County Transit Authority about the West County Connectors project that is currently underway this summer on the city’s neighboring freeways.
Sarah King, the senior community relations specialist of OCTA, said the project, which is constructing high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes/carpool lanes connectors between the San Diego Freeway (405), San Gabriel Valley Freeway (605) and Garden Grove Freeway (22), is currently seeing some milestones being completed.
Crews are also reconstructing the Seal Beach Boulevard Bridge over the 405 as the part of the project.
This summer the connectors between the 405 and 22 will be completed. Because of the completion, crews must demolish the existing connector that commuters use currently, King said.
Because of the project progress, commuters this summer will experience a 55-hour partial closure and a 20-hour full closure.
The 55-hour traffic switch will occur one weekend and a 20-hour full closure will be onthe southbound 405 up to Valley View Street on a separate weekend.
King said the closure will effect commuters around the area.
“It is a pretty significant impact to the community but the 20 hours will take place Saturday to Sunday,” King said.
No dates have been selected, but King said the organization will continue to use different communication tools such as Facebook and Twitter to get the word out on the freeway closures.
King also said the OCTA wants the community to be vocal with communication through social media, e-mail and telephones.
“We really rely on the community to be our eyes and ears and to let us know if something is not to their liking,” King said.
“We encourage everyone to reach out to us if they have any questions,” she added.
Councilwoman Diana Carey commended King and her colleagues at OCTA regarding their work on the project so far.
“I did want the community to know that Sarah and her crew do really fabulous job on responding to community concerns,” she said. “When we talk about issues, it’s not just traffic. It’s dust and noise and everything and they also been responsive with regard to signage.”
Eight students from different Westminster schools were also honored during the meeting as the PTA Reflections Winners of the past school year.
Kathy Hepler , vice president of the Westminster Parent Teacher Association ,said the program, which began in 1969 in Colorado, is utilized to develop the arts in the students through realms such as dance, art and literature.
“Since then, millions of kids have gone through the program,” she said.