Citing a lack of planning and few large hotel and restaurant facilities, the City Council Monday dashed plans to host the U.S.-Mexico Sister City International Conference next year but agreed to make a bid for 1991.
The council, in a joint meeting with the city's International Friendship Commission, said the commission was not ready to make a bid to host next year's conference at an upcoming meeting of sister cities later this month, despite having worked on plans to do so for two years.
"I don't think we can go for it at this point," Councilwoman Grace Napolitano said.
The council agreed there was not enough time to get promotional materials together in time for this month's conference. Commission Chairwoman Esperanza (Espey) Hale also said that surrounding hotels would not be big enough for an estimated 600 people expected to attend the annual conference.
"We've been talking about this for two years. Now you're saying we don't have the facilities," said Councilman Marcial (Rod) Rodriguez, noting that the commission should have planned ahead to iron out problems. He stressed that the conference is important because it will serve to promote Norwalk as a centrally located city in Los Angeles County.
Because the city now has preliminary plans to build a hotel complex--including restaurants--on the former Wright Elementary School site, the council decided it would be better off hosting the international conference in 1991. Construction on the complex is expected to be completed by late 1988 or early 1989.