Orange, Newport Beach and Westminster joined the county and seven other cities in opposing California’s sanctuary state law, which limits state and local law enforcement’s communications with federal immigration authorities and prohibits officers from holding and questioning people based on immigration violations.
With new revenue from a recent sales tax increase starting in April, council members hired two police officers, and plan to add part-time code enforcement workers and other services aimed at helping the homeless.
Questions about the residency of newly elected Councilwoman Kimberly Ho have led to a policy requiring a screening process to ensure that applicants who want to serve on a commission or committee live in the city.
While Westminster City Council members have struggled to make any decisions about how to deal with a $12.6 million structural deficit that is only expected to rise in coming years, they have made at least one thing clear: public safety will be a priority.
After a contentious meeting packed with residents and employees in support of putting a tax increase before voters, the City Council voted to approve the ballot measure on the condition that any tax increase expire after six years.
As the window rapidly closes on they city’s chances to prevent bankruptcy by 2018, council members will meet Wednesday to pass a 2016-17 budget and again debate whether the path forward should be shaped by a tax increase or major spending cuts.