The LA Times published an impressive story this a.m. on Tri Ta, the Mayor-elect of Westminster: The king of Little Saigon. The Register did a similar piece three days ago: Westminster’s Tri Ta is nation’s first Vietnamese American elected mayor.
Westminster’s long needed some sensible, sober leadership. Margie Rice is finally retired after decades of mediocrity on the dais, and a succession of incompetent and shady city managers hasn’t helped the City at all — they’ve got a new one now, so their residents might see some relief and professional handling of budgets and labor issues.
Ta posted an impressive 13.5% victory in the Mayoral race, not far below a majority in a five-candidate contest. With that, he’s got the mandate to make improvements if he can get the budget under control and reign in union employee pensions. The city laid off 67 employees in June, and according to the Register still has a $3.1M shortfall to deal with in its current fiscal year. The Reg also reports their City Council has already rejected two bad ideas for increasing service fees and a new sales tax.
Thinking not that far ahead, Ta will now be very nicely positioned to move up the political ranks and replace Janet Nguyen when she’s finally termed out of her 1st District County Supervisorial position in four years. Westminster is completely contained in the District and the full complement of its Vietnamese voters will ensure their continued hold on this seat — but let’s see Mr. Ta get control of his finances, promote the vibrancy of Little Saigon as the cultural and commercial gold mine it is and keep the public employee unions in their place. Not an easy task, but it look’s like he’s up to it.