WEHOville

Opinion: Previous Experience Is Not What It Takes to Serve on the City Council

Wed, Dec 28, 2016   By Amanda Goodwin    37 Comments

In a recent op-ed published on WEHOville, Larry Block argued that there are only three possibly worthy candidates in the March 7, 2017 city council race — those who currently or have previously served on the council, and that John Heilman is the only sure one.

I respect Larry Block’s view, yet I do not subscribe to his suggestion that John Heilman, to whom we do owe debt for his 32 years of civil service, is the only candidate worth supporting in this election. Nor do I agree with Block that it is a prerequisite for good leadership that council candidates have previous city council experience.

I am running for a seat on the West Hollywood City Council. I have lived in the same home in the Tri-West neighborhood for 19 years and in WeHo for nearly 25 years. I am an entrepreneur and owned a small business for 10 years. I have been in leadership positions. The important social programs that Heilman and Councilmember John Duran initiated and have continued to foster will not be diminished with me, and I will continue their service to the residents of West Hollywood.

Amanda Goodwin

Development is the hot button in West Hollywood because it has resulted in the eviction of many apartment renters and small businesses from our once quaint, close-knit hamlet and sent market rents through the roof. I have seen the destruction of a once-unique strip of Melrose Avenue where, under the leadership of Heilman, Duran and former Councilmember Abbe Land, developers were allowed to take more, exceeding variances and required setbacks.

The size and lack of compatibility of projects has been egregious. Residents are right to be upset and concerned in many cases and to question how we got to where we are today, with development coming before traffic solutions and turning our main drags into snail trails.

I am strongly against incompatible development in residential and commercial areas, which impedes the quality of life and our quiet environment and paves over what makes this city unique.

We are getting crushed in Tri-West, my neighborhood. I have the same concerns as the rest of you. I am affected like you. I love this city as much as you do and see the changes that are turning it into East Beverly Hills on a multitude of levels, from high rents across the board to only high earners being able to live here and only chain store and franchises being able to open businesses here.

There are many residents who are afraid their apartment building is going to fall into the hands of an investor who wants to tear it down and build something new, and that they will be evicted from their homes and the city they love. Mom and Pop small businesses and restaurants are squeezed by growing rents and are levied with fees by the city because they want something as simple as an outdoor terrace for the enjoyment of their customers . That’s wrong — especially when the city spends $18 million on a robotic parking structure at City Hall, while people are getting thrown out of their homes to make way for condos and the homeless are sleeping on our sidewalks and in our parks.

Yes, development cannot be stopped. Growth through responsible development is necessary, creating the ability for West Hollywood to be a thriving and progressive city. Responsible development is happening with certain visionary developers. But over-development and outright greedy development must be tempered.

We need to manage growth and the size of proposed projects in order to reduce impact. Measures to limit height, variances and setbacks are in order. After the project has been passed by planning or the council, developers should not be permitted to re-design behind closed doors, changing the scope of the project. This happened next door to my property. The proposed two-story, fifteen unit building became a three-story monolith, squeezing in one more condo. Transparency while constructing should be demanded, not allowing builders to change the size of their project, when no one is looking anymore — a tactic builders have used for years.

Building relationships, making compromises and finding common ground are the places to start with developers and the council members themselves. Collaboration is paramount in building a unified vision of the city. Fighting the battles that can be won, that’s where we must focus.

And we need to realize that more dense development will not solve traffic congestion. We are not downtown Los Angeles, and Los Angeles County was not sprawled to absorb density. Traffic congestion is a vast problem everywhere, getting worse, with WeHo being a corridor between the east side and west side of Greater Los Angeles, with no where else to go and motorists spilling onto our residential streets trying to get through.

Since there is development inside and outside our city limits, the city manger and city council MUST do all in their power to stagger this city’s development, protect affordable housing for the average worker and repurpose any structures for low-income housing or housing in general. That will help stall the urbanization that contributes to gridlock as well as rising market rents. Affordable single-room occupancy buildings and micro dwellings must be explored as well for millennials and those who wish to scale down and lessen their global footprint and who have forfeited cars for ride share.

We cannot undo much of the development that has been done. But we certainly can unseat incumbents who have not voted on the right side of many of these projects, and who can’t say “no.”

I understand the incumbents have tons of money and name recognition and it will be difficult for a new candidate to win a seat. However, it is time for change and a fresh perspective to take charge and solve challenges faced by residents and small business owners. West Hollywood should not be treated solely as a resource for outside investors to profit from.

I am running for city council because I acknowledge that our community is founded on community. And once we have lost that, we’re just another city in L.A. County — but one with an $18 million robot parking cars at City Hall, while residents drive around their blocks, looking for a space.

Amanda Goodwin is a candidate in the March 7, 2017, election for West Hollywood City Council.

Tagged ,

You might also like:

37 Comments

  1. J SimmonsFri, Jan 20, 2017 at 11:33 am

    I am certain, EXPERIENCE HAS BREAD CORRUPTION.

    Everyone new, fresh and not under developers influences, I hope you all get together as the election approaches.

    Not all do-gooders can win.

    Division among newbies is how the Heilman Regime has remained in control for so long.

    Some are going to have to fall on their sword to get the greater good of a new City Council that IS FOR THE RESIDENTS INTERESTS.

  2. Stuart FoxxThu, Jan 05, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    What is the plan for civic engagement?

    It is not experience, history, or merit Larry Block, that continues the incumbency. It is almost always money (this national election notwithstanding). The problem that I see is too few people come out to vote, so they likely vote for a name which is familiar.

    The direction that I see this City moving does not seem to be very forward looking. Why don’t we have our own high-speed internet? Why don’t we get rid of TWC/now Spectrum?
    Why don’t we form a cooperative or collaborative partnership with our neighboring cities?

    I don’t see much of a big-picture focus in WeHo. The elections seem to always be about development. For as many decades as I’ve been coming to the same area (Santa Monica between La Cienega and Doheny) and I am almost always walking, it is still full of restaurants and bars, primarily. I don’t have anything against either and I appreciate that there are no fast-food franchises or chain stores, but as far as a diverse economy, it does not seem to exist.

    Forgetting a moment about bonds and capital projects, as a resident, I think with all of the free shuttle/bus options that WeHo encourages, and how easy it is to walk in this town, I have to question the merit of that garage. I do understand that my focus is narrower, but this is my perspective. The future, other than this push on electric cars, if you focus on environmental issues, will be a stress on local and cars are not necessarily such a big part of that future. Let’s try to broaden our horizons, talk to other people, find out what the next generation will need and try to give it to them. As far as what I want – clean air, clean water, and a way to live out my life in peace and dignity.

    As far as traffic, I drove to Century City in the middle of the afternoon one Thursday, which is 4 miles, and it took me forty minutes. More likely, when I drive three miles round trip, I have no complaints, as I choose when to drive. Comparing traffic in WeHo to NYC, Minneapolis, or Seattle, though, is just ridiculous.

    We need new blood and new ideas. If you have the ability to lead, you will draw followers.

    Happy New Year, everybody.

  3. Election WoesThu, Jan 05, 2017 at 10:18 am

    @ Shawn Thompson: keep beating a dead horse deader than dead. Lol.

  4. Election WoesThu, Jan 05, 2017 at 10:15 am

    @Amanda Goodwin: You brought up important points especially traffic solutions before development. Development is a given along ALL major boulevards but to my knowledge there appears to be no comprehensive vision as to how this will impact our city (residential streets) and what solutions might be possible before these projects hatch. Folks wring their hands and shake their heads about successive unmitigatable conditions as each project pops up. If we ever needed a temporary emergency ordinance now is the time to craft solutions for what will become catastrophic problems before another shovel goes to ground or crane climbs above the cityscape.

    Today reconstruction of SM Blvd. in Beverly Hills from Doheny to Wiltshire commences. The inevitable back up lands in Weho. Since John Duran always fluffs off much of our traffic as “pass through” perhaps this should be his mission to solve with action and not campaign promises. Now is the opportunity to show your commitment to sticking with an issue regardless of which direction the political winds blow.

  5. Shawn ThompsonWed, Jan 04, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    @election woes. Lets cut to the chase. The reason you wont reveal you real name is ?? You work for who? Which campaign?

  6. Amanda GoodwinWed, Jan 04, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    They are called round abouts. They will only slow down traffic, rather than divert traffic, which is needed, especially during peak hours. The city owed us traffic solutions years ago when they allowed the Tri -West strip of Melrose to be destroyed.

  7. Larry BlockWed, Jan 04, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    @kbvirtue — I also live in Tri-West on Huntley @ Sherwood and the intersection is backed up all the time. We have had traffic calming meetings and there are things in process, not that I’m a fan but the turnaround things are going in on Sherwood. I did suggest that we create something akin to Spaulding Square HPOZ where past a certain time there the north south streets from Santa Monica to Melrose are thru traffic for residents only. Im also available at larryblock@hotmail.com

  8. Amanda GoodwinWed, Jan 04, 2017 at 10:43 am

    Thank you, KBVirtue. Know, I went to a traffic study that was performed by a consultant firm, for Tri West, nearly two years ago, before the last council election, inputting traffic impact and solutions and nothing was followed up, nor, followed through by the city. Despite my inquiries since, I still have not received an answer as to what will happen once Sprouts is built, and other proposed development adjacent to Tri-West. Development proceeds traffic solutions, which, to me is backwards and is causing most of these congestion issues, with no regard for the residents. I know it is one of the priorities for most of the community, including for me.

  9. kbvirtue@gmail.comWed, Jan 04, 2017 at 1:03 am

    As a resident of the Tri west area I’m in complete agreement with Ms Goodwin that our neighborhood is being developed with little regard to traffic congestion and resulting quality of life issues! For years I have attended meetings regarding the (now breaking ground) 8550 SMBLVD Sprouts project and to- date no one is able to say what is going to happen with traffic regulation on the BLVD there. At this last December 2016 meeting, regarding the project, a member of the City of West Hollywood was present. He had no idea how lights and crosswalks on SMBLVD between Huntley Dr and La Cienega Blvd might be changed, added or synchronized to accomodate the significant traffic flow added by the new development and it’s tenants. Now the massive 8555 SMBLVD multi use project has a green light from WEHO Design Committee..Why are there no plans or public meetings scheduled too discuss exactly what is going to be done regarding traffic regulation??
    Shouldn’t we all demand that before the City green lights one more commercial project in the area that they provide and exact plan of how our lives are going to be altered by the traffic planning (or the lack of) for the neighborhood involved? And no, I do not mean the useless, mandatory, EIR provided every forgone green lighted project.
    Larry Block, what do you suggest? Let Waze inform us of these changes, after the fact, like they have so kindly done for the residents off Rosewood Ave. between San Vicente and La Cienega?
    I think it’s time we elect officials who are willing to tow the line and not cave in or look the other way. I think Ms Goodwin can do that.

  10. showbizladyMon, Jan 02, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    Mr. Martin, your complaints are many and your compliments are few. I think it is important for you to recognize that many residents and certainly every councilperson I have spoken to over the years has said since your departure from the Council–“Please vote for anyone but Steve Martin.” Remember: “You either have to be part of the solution, or you’re going to be part of the problem.” Eldridge Cleaver

  11. Election WoesMon, Jan 02, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    @Shawn Thompson: One is able to see how you’ve contributed along with the methodology.

    Often small minds are occupied with people and personalities, mediocre minds focus on events and critical thinkers discuss and implement ideas. It takes skill to bring about new perspective embracing ideas especially when one needs to have a dialogue with those not necessarily in agreement and bring them to the table. These are skills Weho should expect in a Councilmember.

  12. NirMon, Jan 02, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Shawn is one of the biggest heart activist in our city for many many years, he his a man of his word.
    people like shown are those who make our city of WEHO so beautiful.
    I know, it’s not easy to fight the grid and the 2 face people who run our city, but shown got a big voice. we need more of him, to become a true city of LOVE.

  13. Shawn ThompsonMon, Jan 02, 2017 at 7:39 am

    @election Woes. Well I gues you answeed my question and dont want to be a real person on this discussion and instead hide with the troll tricks used by so many unfortunately in our world theses days. If you want to know what Ive done for West Hoolywood. Ask larry Block, Nir Ziberlma, Cathy Blavis, John D’Amico. I could go on but obviously your just trying to dance around being real with your fake name and handle. Stop hidding behind some fake name. Have the guts to be a real person

  14. Steve MartinSun, Jan 01, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Fresh outlooks can be hugely beneficial. Experience does count; but what about our experience with John Heilman? He is undoubted bright and hard working but he has little or no regard for public input or respect for public process. His “institutional memory” is highly selective. Sure his experience and record matters, but what about his opposition to the creation of Kings Road Park? His attempt to put a massive City Hall in West Hollywood Park? His support of converting residential housing into hotels such as Le Park, Le Rive and the Montrose? The demolition of a rent controlled building on Alfred so the Center for Early Education could expand its play ground? How about his support for the “Mixed Use Overlay Zone” which would have allowed ten story buildings at every major intersection along Santa Monica Blvd? The absurdly expensive Robo Garage? His fixation on demolishing Great Hall/Long Hall? His complete lack of oversight over the Sheriff’s Department? His cozy relationship with Townscape who gave $20k to efforts to re-elect him in the last election? His repeated amendments to the General Plan to accommodate developers have all but rendered that Plan meaningless.

    John Heilman has many accomplishments to be proud of and for which we are thankful but he also has a record that is very much a mixed bag. Both for better and worse John has left his mark on this community. Reasonable people can and will differ on John Heilman’s legacy.

    I commend Amanda for being willing to stand up for what she believes is right for West Hollywood.

  15. Amanda GoodwinFri, Dec 30, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Larry;

    Spunk Doesn’t describe me. I am a creative, innovative 56 year old driven women who knows how to get things done using critical and creative thinking, with decisive action and integrity.

    I know who you are, solely based on council meetings, having heard you make comment. And, there have been meetings that I have been present at over the years that you were not. We contribute to this city in different ways. My interest in becoming more involved and a much louder voice in the future of West Hollywood has been strongly building over the last few years. We all have to step in at sometime. This is my time.

    I used to not have the concerns I now do. I feel a strong civic obligation to do more than criticize from a podium, not able to sit idle any longer, wishing to be a part of the solutions and be a true representative of the citizens, rather than a cheerleader of the developers and outside investors. They are doing just fine. It is the residents and small businesses who are being challenged and under represented.

    I have several ideas for traffic solutions, interest in innovative development, as well as, my advocacy for sustainable social programs, especially regarding the homeless. I will be discussing them at length in the comjng weeks.

    The incumbents are in the best position, especially, after a horrific national election cycle and some of us candidates knew it would be so difficult on a large scale to be talking about running for city council when the predidebtial election was taking up all of our energy and focus.

    This isn’t about merit. It’s about change.

    What we did learn though in the last 15 months is people are sick of the status quo reps who vote with their eyes closed, shaping policy that favors the wealthy and leaves many others behind.

    Traffic is a result of density, which, in our city, is being built to attract outsiders and house high earners, forgetting that West Hollywood was spearheaded by the creative, diverse pioneers who made this town an attractive, vibrant place to live and play, creating community that meant something and one could count on.

    I do not want to see that completely paved over, being entombed like death, along with liberties and a quality of life that we are ALL entitled to.

    We need new voices and a collaborative, diverse council that makes sure that West Hollywood does not loose its essence nor stray from its mission statement and core values.

  16. Amanda GoodwinFri, Dec 30, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    @ElectionWoes; My pleasure. Please email me at candidategoodwin@gmail.com
    I will look forward to meeting you.
    Happy New Year.

  17. Election WoesFri, Dec 30, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Thank you Amanda for stepping out to discuss in a forthright manner. I would like to meet with you sometime soon. Please advise as to how one reaches you.

  18. Larry BlockFri, Dec 30, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Hi Amanda,
    Im glad to discuss over coffee. Anytime.. you know where my store is and can find me any day.

    Your wearing 2 hats.. on one your discussion the terrible traffic in Seattle and its a nightmare and then your saying asking am I’m resigning to live that way in WeHo.. if you think your can solve the traffic then what is your proposals to fix this? The idea that you want to do something about it without any ideas gets us no-where.

    I’ve been going to council meetings for years and just learning your name. You were not involved in any of the big issues of ethical task force, formula retail bans, pride issues, or fights about development or affordable housing or the crosswalk issues that affect traffic. Anyway, what is your ideas for restraining development. You ‘know’ the guy from Melrose who built that .. I was one of the tenants asked to move. Knowing him didn’t change what got built. Didn’t see you at the traffic calming meetings, or the box box overlay zone meetings. I live in Tri-West too.. and was against the big box ban because it unfairly targeted Tri West by moving those to our area by banning it south of melrose. Your spunk is admirable but the incumbents are going to win based on merit, not based on money.

  19. Election WoesFri, Dec 30, 2016 at 10:04 am

    @ Shawn Thompson: Are we to assume that the loudest commenters are adults or do they just scream the loudest from the podium, Facebook, Twitter or Wehoville? Some of these folks are downright scary because of their highly emotional attachment to issues, often self created, and lack of restraint. Whether a resident for 5 years or 20 it’s very easy to get a grasp of what’s happening in this small pond, participate in creating positive change and not have a mania to be noticed. If you prefer to not engage in ideas before the commenter has qualified according to your parameters, that’s ok too.

  20. Shawn ThompsonFri, Dec 30, 2016 at 5:10 am

    @Election Woes. Would you be so kind to use your real idenity if you want to have a adult discussion about our city? Also can you tell us all how long you have been a resident of #weho? As a general rule I dont engage indivduals who wont be transperant in who they are. So are you ready to get real?

  21. Amanda GoodwinThu, Dec 29, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    Hello, Larry;

    Expressing through comments is not the easiest form of communication. So, I will reserve many of my thoughts until future forums and debates.

    I do understand capital projects and still disagree with the automated garage. Also, I am well aware of who bought the parcels on Melrose and am acquainted with the owner/developer, able to have civil conversations with him. We have had many discussions and I have been incredibly genuine and critical about how I feel his developments have been too large, negatively impacting that portion of Melrose, Tri-West and parts of WeHo West. I am not shy about continuously letting him know my feelings.

    I love this city and I am fighting for the residents and small businesses; I wish to represent their concerns and their needs to preserve what is unique about West Hollywood, while courting responsible development.

    I thought that was your stance too.

    You mentioned Seattle. I grew up in Seattle. My family still lives there. I go up to Seattle nearly every other month to assist with my Mom’s care, who is in the last stages of Alzheimer’s. Simply, Seattle’s traffic is disastrous. They are far behind the curve, only to get worse, with the continued rapid growth of Amazon and the narrow and few corridors for building traffic solutions. Density and Uber vouchers will not cut it, unless the cars can fly. My step daughter is sitting here with me, right now, and lives in Seattle. I just asked her what she thinks of Seattle’s traffic:. “A nightmare. Worsening every week.” She’s right.

    Because, density does not solve congestion. Just the opposite. The developments near the Gateway will most likely prove that; Sunset too. And forcing more people and cars into smaller areas is not going to get them to give up their vehicles or ride bikes. Especially in a sprawl like LA, where there are a multitude of city centers, compacted by challenged public transit that is used by a very small percentage of people, and the majority of people do not live where they work.

    I am not against growth or development. I support progress and innovation that contributes to the general plan of quality of life, by tempering further traffic congestion and not diluting neighborhoods with “gentrification” and displacing small businesses.

    Furthering your traffic comment and to say: ‘it’s happening everywhere’ – I intrepret that as resigning, sentencing West Hollywood to the same fate as New York City and other bumper to bumper metropolis’, as if we deserve it or cannot stop it. Controlled growth is possible. There are steps. We must innovate to find solutions and work in concert with neighboring cities and the county. When it takes nearly 45 minutes to drive from Century City to Westmount Drive at 5 pm, we have a serious circulation issue.

    The residents and visitors in our city deserve policy makers who will fight for them and for this city and not tell them ‘Oh, it’s not that bad,’ or that they need to be more patient while stuck in traffic.

    There is so much to love about West Hollywood and to be proud of.

    Yet, we cannot ignore the voices of residents who are frustrated, angry, and fearful of the uncertainty of how their city is changing in ways that are causing negative impacts, wondering if it will get more challenging and they feeling planning and the city council often favors the outside investors and builders over their future.

    I cannot disagree.

    We can discuss more, if you’d like, over coffee.

    In the meantime, Happy New Year!

  22. Tim PerryThu, Dec 29, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    “Traffic is not that bad in West Hollywood…..” Sorry to disagree with you Larry but I have lived here for over 25 years and I can tell you that traffic is awful in West Hollywood. I live on Flores and during “rush hour” traffic it can take as long as 20 minutes to just get to Doheny. People on bicycles get there quicker than I do.

  23. fine7760Thu, Dec 29, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    The House of Blues was a pain in the ass from the time it was being built until it’s closure. It’s my opinion since the HoB allowed it to be used for political fund raising the city often overlooked the undesirable affect it made on the neighborhood. Not only did I observe “Requests for Services”, sheriffs and fire department almost every night the patrons could be observed engaging in loud and destructive behavior after existing the club and walking south on Olive Dr. towards Santa Monica Bl. because the city allowed them to stay open although they failed to provide adequate parking per their original CUP.

    When we talk about the heavy traffic on Santa Monica Bl. and Sunset Bl. that problem can be traced directly back to Governor Jerry “MOON BEAM” Brown. During his prior rein he cancelled the extension of the Glendale Freeway by executive order. And then the city was tricked into supporting Proposition “M” during the last election. The MTA promised the extension of the Crenshaw Line will run through West Hollywood. Does anyone believe they are going to build a line extending west to San Vicente then travel east crossing the same major streets in order to connect with the Hollywood/Highland Red Line Station. Yes, it will go thru West Hollywood. But the route will be northbound on La Brea Ave. What we should have demanded was a Light Rail Line traveling from the westside, Santa Monica, to Downtown L.A.

  24. RandyThu, Dec 29, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Larry, I understand the financing for the parking garage. Duran has explained this in several Council meetings.

    But isn’t it also based on usage? For the city to get their money back, don’t people actually have to use it? I don’t find the pricing at the garage to be very competitive. I recently went with friends to brunch at Basix, and unless I am mistaken, it was cheaper to valet there (or almost the same, with valet being much more convenient). Further, isn’t the garage not gaining any revenue from daytime parking by employees of City Hall? If not, is the city paying itself for garage use, and if that is the case, how much?

    Perhaps these numbers have been revealed. Perhaps a study has been made of how many paid hours of car parking is needed per day, for how long, for the bond to be repaid. I just haven’t seen it.

    I read this article on the city’s site, and it doesn’t answer any of my questions:

    http://www.weho.org/city-hall/city-departments-divisions/city-manager/strategic-initiatives/25th-anniversary-capital-project/city-hall-automated-garage-and-community-plaz-1124

  25. MannyThu, Dec 29, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Come on Larry, what about Cuba!?

  26. Jimmy PalmieriThu, Dec 29, 2016 at 9:44 am

    I’m sorry….who are you?

  27. Larry BlockThu, Dec 29, 2016 at 1:43 am

    Hi Amanda and thank you for your op-ed. When you speak about the wasted money for the garage its would help to understand the way a city builds capital projects. The robo-garage was purchased through a bond. The city only pays the interest. In fact, if the bond had a 20 million dollar face value and the robo-garage cost 19million, then we might have gotten a check for a million back. Yes, we might have ended up with more cash then we started with and the garage. The robo garage was built to feed a host of businesses in mid city that have had a hard time surviving. We were paying $50,000 for a dozen rental bicycles .. from the gateway for the employees.. The garage is an infrastructure asset that generates revenue to pay the interest on the bond. Picking on the garage shows a lack of financing experience for capital projects.

    I’m sure you also know that Heilman, Duran, or Land, or Damico did not purchase land and build all these buildings. Low interest rates have caused development to trend up. Years back during the recession many projects were taken off-line As the economy improved and with a high demand for housing and state mandates for building affordable housing created the environment where developers could add a bonus. I don’t think our buildings are as tall as Century City, or Downtown LA.. and Heilman or Duran did not cause building to happen. Surely the Domain is better than Faith Plating, the Dylan is better than the Carls Jr.. and most every development is the vision of an owner, architect and a great collaboration that adheres to state laws with regard to building and a property owners right to build. If you want government to interfere with capitalism and provide housing go to korea or china and see how they do that. Every building is the same. All boxes with a window in a row. The buildings in West Hollywood are mostly thoughtful and well designed and together make for proud development. We are building an incredible city.

    And as far as traffic,– in Seattle, developers are building multi-density housing without parking spaces and giving tenants uber coupons each month. Traffic might always exist but that is a changing industry also. In NYC you stand on line for the bridge or the tunnel.. In Minneapolis, the highway is backed up for miles..Try the 95 in florida all 5 lanes bumper to bumper.. Traffic is not that bad in West Hollywood.. people just seem to have less patience.

  28. Amanda GoodwinThu, Dec 29, 2016 at 12:52 am

    Election Woes; I appreciate your questions. After returning to WeHo in ’93, the first project I actively fought was the House of Blues, following the lead of Sal. I was called to action on several projects there after and measures that impacted our community. In 2001, I along with a handful of neighbors tried to save a 10 unit bungalow building on Westmount that shared the property line of the building I live in. Instead of subscribing to the sell that the new multi condo building would raise property values, I was more concerned that 10 of my friends and neighbors were being kicked out of their homes, and a historical building that was perfectly fine and unique to design was going to be demolished. In the argument, which lasted two years, we attempted to save ALL bungalow buildings in West Hollywood. We did not succeed. But, we tried our hearts out. I have been to countless CC and planning meetings over the years. I am incredibly active in Tri-West. I have personally addressed developers and had conversations with them about the development I find egregious and ways of compromise. I have corresponded with council members over water issues, when 24 Hour wanted to refill their pool in the middle of a historic drought, along with the re-purposing of grey water; how I can be more active in solving homeless challenges and the meth issue, regarding GRDNR. I know the council members, and have met with all of them, sans Duran. For the last two years, I have hosted the NNO Block party and am in nearly weekly correspondence with code and compliance over parking issues and other code violations in Tri-West. Recently, I spoke against the 45 foot, 10 unit proposed apartment building on Flores, citing it was incompatible and will set a bad precedent for the street that is comprised of single family homes and 25 foot apartments. There is a WEHOville article with my exact quote. I have attended two meetings of late, regarding the Gehry building at Crescent Heights and addressing scope and traffic impact on Havenhurst and the adjacent streets. Sometimes I attend meetings and do not speak and just absorb the discussion. I have been active in West Hollywood for over 20 years. I decided a few years ago to run for a seat. After this last election cycle I felt completely compelled to follow through. If you’d like to have coffee, I’d be happy to discuss further.

  29. Amanda GoodwinThu, Dec 29, 2016 at 12:46 am

    Gloria Vassey; I hear you. Though, I would welcome the opportunity to prove you wrong.

  30. MikeWed, Dec 28, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    The debate will revealing if this Op-Ed has not.

  31. PTWed, Dec 28, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    “I have been in leadership positions.” Please, more about your positions, family, education,
    etc.

  32. J SimmonsWed, Dec 28, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    Experience can be a real ssset. However, when “experience” becomes a 25 year grip hold on a city council seat, inevitably, the most used and exploited “experience” of decades weaseling in non-public evasion to get the situation of THE WORST OVERDEVELOPMENT based on a plan only partially beguun.

    How did this happen? Yes, the so called “Experience” of John Heilman in litetally selling our city away to private BIG Developets. The City is not only NOT going to see any of the money that Heilman and the City Manager are doing, but the City is gifting MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IF CITY PROPERTY, CITY RESOURCES AND PAYING CONSTRUCTION COSTS THAT ARE THE RESPINSIBILITY OF THESE OVERDEVELOPMENTS (for example, to get extra heigjt, sq footage, less set backs, they agreed to the State Laws for ADDITIONAL NRW PARKING SPOTS AND A PRESCRIBED NUMBET OF NEW LOW INCOME HOUSING UNITS.

    1. FACT the city spent over $16 Million Dollars to build the 200 car robo garage, where there was never a parking problem behind city hall. Further, the spits are only for employees of City Hall anf people coming for city hall busibess. NOT ONE SINGLE PARKING SPOT FOR OUR LICAL RESIDENTS, WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED TERRIBLE LACK OF PARKUNG, FROM DAY ONE OF THE CITY INCORPORATING IN ’84.

    Also, but more legally technical, the City Is Paying the cost for land and construction of the mandatory number of low income units prescribed by thr zoning code for developers who want to exceed zoning limits. It’s a big cost, but developers factor the cost/benefit in normal building.

    The West Hollywood Housing Authority under a charitable not for profit facade, is co operators of the WHHA and it provides the land and pays to build the low income units that the developets voluntarily promised to build in exchange for building in excess of zonlng limits.

    WE HAVE TO HAVE ONE CLEAR UNIVERSAL MESSAGE.

    THE FAILURE TO CREATE ONE SINGLE RESIDENTIAL STREET PARKING, LET ALONE SOLVE THE BIGGEST NO NIGHTMARE MANY WEHO RESIDENTS DEAL WITH DAILY.

    Experience is irrelevant when the City Council is a permanent life appointment for most who have not already passed away.

    WE ALL HAVE TO VOTE AND REALIZE WHO HASN’T IMPROVED OUR LIVES AT ALL AFTER ALMOST 30 ON THE COUNCIL, AND HAS NOW DESTROYED WITH OVERDEVELOPMENT COME TO FRUITION THAT NOW WE CAN ALL SEE.

    VOTE OUT HEILMAN.

  33. Election WoesWed, Dec 28, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    Additionally, Amanda, I don’t recall having ever seen your participation at Design Review, Planning or CC previously. Please correct me if I am wrong.

  34. Election WoesWed, Dec 28, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    With the multiple I’s, one would have to ask where you have been and why have you not attempted to influence any aspect of what you consider to be offensive or overdevelopment? Participating in the community is an option open to anyone at any level. Have you ever met with any of the current council members to address your concerns?

  35. Gloria VassyWed, Dec 28, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    Whether experienced or not, they all become of one mind. Greedy.

  36. Nir ZilbermanWed, Dec 28, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Great point of view.
    it’s not about experience, it’s about what’s next?
    time to take care of WEHO residents and they needs, not leaders ego…
    if we talk about experience, i don’t see much difference in WEHO.
    The only see we got is traffic challenges, Meth is all over town, crime is up, still till today we got our homeless on our streets, and yes, again and again, our leaders talk but it’s all about money, new development and image. talk, talk, and more talk we spend so much money on research to “copy” other cities, is this how creative our leaders are? we know better, WEHO.
    Did we forget the “sex scandal” , how fast can we forget our “history”.
    Walk up, people before we becoming a city of cement and glass…a city for the rich only.
    Love from the Holly land, ISRAEL.

  37. Woody McBreairtyWed, Dec 28, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Very good.

Leave a Comment (300-400 words maximum please)

Let WEHOville Email the News to You