WEHOville

Election 2017: West Hollywood City Council

Ten candidates are running for two open seats on the West Hollywood City Council in an election that will be held on March 7. On this page we will post news about their campaigns and the candidates’ responses to questions raised by WEHOville readers about significant local issues on the Citizens Agenda. Earlier stories about the March 7 City Council election are also here.




It’s Official. Heilman Is Sworn in as WeHo’s Mayor, Duran as Mayor Pro Tem

It’s Official. Heilman Is Sworn in as WeHo’s Mayor, Duran as Mayor Pro Tem

Tue, Apr 18, 2017 8 Comments

It’s official. City Councilmember John Heilman was elected last night as mayor of West Hollywood and fellow Councilmember John Duran was elected mayor pro tem. Both will be formally installed at the May 15 Council meeting.

The City Council rotates the largely ceremonial position each year. Traditionally the position is rotated according to seniority among current Council members, with the next-longest serving person being named mayor pro tem and the second longest-serving named mayor pro tem and placed in line to become mayor in 12 months. Heilman has served as mayor pro tem. Heilman will replace Lauren Meister, who was elected to the City Council in 2015.

Like most small cities, West Hollywood is governed by a city council with a city manager employed by the council as its chief executive. As mayor, Heilman will lead City Council…

A Big Voter Turnout for the March 7 WeHo Council Election

A Big Voter Turnout for the March 7 WeHo Council Election

Tue, Mar 21, 2017 5 Comments

Twenty-seven percent of registered voters cast ballots in West Hollywood’s March 7 City Council election, the highest percentage turnout for a city election in at least 17 years.

The latest count from the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder / County Clerk shows incumbents John Heilman and John Duran remain the winners, with no significant shift in the percentage of votes cast for them or any of their eight challengers.

The count does show that 46% of voters cast their ballots by mail rather than going to polling stations, where voters often experience long lines.

The chart below shows a breakdown of votes cast by candidates and precinct, with the precincts outlined on the map above. The city’s 11 precincts have been reduced to nine by the county, which makes comparisons between precinct votes in previous elections difficult.

Latest WeHo Vote Count Shows No Changes

Latest WeHo Vote Count Shows No Changes

Tue, Mar 14, 2017 1 Comment

West Hollywood City Clerk Yvonne Quarker today released the latest count of votes in the March 7 City Council election, which showed incumbents John Heilman and John Duran still the winners.

The new totals also showed the eight challengers with the same percentages of votes cast as in the last tally on Friday.

The results, compiled by the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder / County Clerk showed Heilman with 3,134 votes, or 26% of the 12,233 votes counted. Duran had 2,677 votes, or 22% of the total. Challenger Steve 2,099 votes, or 17% of the total, followed closely by Cynthia Blatt with 2,089 votes, also 17%.

Other challengers in order of their votes were Nate Clark, 654 votes (5%), Amanda Goodwin, 386 votes (3%), Carla Romo, 367 votes (3%), Michael Cautillo, 349 votes (3%), Reed Stillwell, 245 votes, (2%) and Joel Quaresimo, 203…

Opinion: I Recall When It Seemed to be A Lot More Fun

Opinion: I Recall When It Seemed to be A Lot More Fun

Sat, Mar 11, 2017 2 Comments

Election day, that is. The exact years are lost in the fog of my memory, but much else of the occasion remains.

The day before election day, we were treated to vans and trucks slowly touring the streets, their loudspeakers blaring out partisan messages to the electorate. They were evident all day and evening. Traditional buntings were hung everywhere, and flags were common at the fancier houses. Jimmy Condon, our ward boss, was rushing around passing out beer chits and asking those who warranted them if the food basket had arrived. Jimmy was a busy lad and took his job seriously. He also played a snare drum in a band which would be part of the parade the next day. Naturally, Jimmy worked for the incumbent Democrat mayor, James Michael Curley, who was both celebrated and reviled, depending upon one’s view of life.

Curley delivered…

Ballot Update Shows Incumbents Still Winners in WeHo Election

Ballot Update Shows Incumbents Still Winners in WeHo Election

Fri, Mar 10, 2017 10 Comments

The latest count of ballots cast in Tuesday’s West Hollywood City Council race shows no significant change in the results reported Wednesday morning, meaning incumbents John Duran and John Heilman remain the winners.

The only shift in position, and it was a slight one, is that Steve Martin came out 13 votes ahead of Cynthia Blatt. In the earlier count the two challengers, who ended up in third and fourth place, were equal.

The L.A. County Registrar-Recorder / County Clerk reported that Heilman had 2,406 votes, or 25.7% of the 8,813 votes counted. Duran had 2,048 votes, or 21.88% of the total. Martin had 1,628 votes, or 17.39%, and Blatt had 1,615 votes, or 17.25%.

Other challengers in order of their votes were Nate Clark, 493 votes (5.27%),

Despite Their Losses, WeHo City Council Candidates Say They Won’t Give Up

Despite Their Losses, WeHo City Council Candidates Say They Won’t Give Up

Wed, Mar 08, 2017 4 Comments

Despite the fact that the incumbents won reelection, the challengers in Tuesday’s vote for the West Hollywood City Council report they have no regrets about running and consider it an overall positive experience.

“I feel energized and encouraged,” said Cynthia Blatt, who had an impressive showing for someone running for the first time, tying with Steve Martin for third place. “I have met people from all over the city, from every corner, and it has been the most extraordinary experience. I have had an incredible outpouring of support. So many people have reached out to me during the election and today [once the results were in]. How could I feel anything but energized after this outpouring of support? . . . I feel, win or lose, this was the best thing I ever did.”

First time challenger Amanda Goodwin is similarly…

Latest Review Shows 18% Voter Turnout and More Ballots to Review

Latest Review Shows 18% Voter Turnout and More Ballots to Review

Wed, Mar 08, 2017 3 Comments

As of this afternoon the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder has determined that 4,979 ballots were cast in yesterday’s West Hollywood City Council election, which would indicate a voter turnout of 18% of the city’s 27,638 registered voters.

However there are at least another 1,000 ballots that must be reviewed. Of those, 496 are vote-by-mail ballots that were dropped off at polling places yesterday. Another 588 are provisional ballots, which are ballots completed by people at the wrong polling place. If the review determines that the voter is an authorized West Hollywood voter, such ballots are counted. There also may be more vote-by-mail ballots coming. Those

Incumbents Heilman and Duran Win WeHo City Council Race

Incumbents Heilman and Duran Win WeHo City Council Race

Wed, Mar 08, 2017 35 Comments

Incumbents John Heilman and John Duran were re-elected to the West Hollywood City Council on Tuesday, with challengers Steve Martin and Cynthia Blatt in the third and fourth positions.

The L.A. County Registrar-Recorder / County Clerk reported at 1:40 a.m. today that Heilman had 2,252 votes, or 25.55% of the 8,813 votes counted. Duran had 1,929 votes, or 21.89% of the total. Martin and Blatt tied with one another, with each getting 1,532 votes (17.38% of all votes cast.)

Other challengers in order of their votes were Nate Clark, 469 votes (5.32%), Amanda Goodwin, 281 votes (3.19%), Carla Romo, 274 votes (3.11%), Michael Cautillo, 236 votes (2.67%), Reed Stillwell, 172 votes, (1.95%) and Joel Quaresimo, 137 votes (1.55%)

The votes thus far are unofficial results and only include vote-by-mail ballots that were processed and…

Opinion: This City Council Is Giving the City Away

Opinion: This City Council Is Giving the City Away

Mon, Mar 06, 2017 26 Comments

The sitting City Council is granting favors to real estate developers rather than doing its job, which is to protect and advocate for the residents of the city. Time after time, it approves outsized real estate projects that are not in conformity with the law of West Hollywood, as set forth in the city’s General Plan and zoning code. What’s worse, it ignores required procedures designed to give the public a voice in city government.

The 8899 Beverly Blvd. project is a recent, glaring example of government for the developers, by the developers’ lawyers, and of a sellout City Council. The city approved a project to produce luxury condos in the million-dollar range, a project to double the size of a building that was already too large to comply with the General Plan for the city, nonconforming with its zoning, and not within the…

Latest Reports Show Donations Total $442,000 in WeHo City Council Race

Latest Reports Show Donations Total $442,000 in WeHo City Council Race

Mon, Mar 06, 2017 10 Comments

Contributions to candidates in Tuesday’s election for two seats on the West Hollywood City Council have reached $442,000 as of the latest official report, with 79% of that going to the two incumbents.

Incumbent John Duran has received $132,000 in donations. Incumbent John Heilman has raised $99,000. Both also are benefitting from an independent expenditure committee (IEC) that has raised $120,000 to support them. If half of the money donated to Standing Up for West Hollywood Supporting Heilman and Duran for City Council 2017, is considered a benefit to Duran and half to Heilman, donations to the two incumbents total 43% and 36% respectively of all donations made through Feb. 18.

As has been the case in years past, contributions from real estate developers, their families and lawyers, lobbyists and other connected account for most…

Opinion: Politics — Doing the People’s Work in the Best Game in Town

Opinion: Politics — Doing the People’s Work in the Best Game in Town

Mon, Mar 06, 2017 4 Comments

East Coast politics have been the target of much dismay by those who believe that we can have a government – at any level – without the tinge of corruption or chicanery. Those observers fail to reckon with that great fall guy, “human nature.” As a student, and continuing over the years, I have been […]

Opinion: WeHoMAP Follows the Rules…and the Money

Opinion: WeHoMAP Follows the Rules…and the Money

Fri, Mar 03, 2017 14 Comments

The West Hollywood Money and Politics Committee (WeHoMAP) is a “General Purpose Committee” created to educate West Hollywood and its surrounding cities voters on issues that most impact our daily lives – traffic and parking, affordable housing and homelessness.

A General Purpose Committee, like WeHoMAP or the WeHo Chamber of Commerce’s WeHoPAC, is defined as being involved in either multiple elections or multiple jurisdictions.

WeHoMAP has been active not only in educating voters in West Hollywood but also in support of smart-growth candidates like John Mirisch in Beverly Hills, and support of Los Angeles County Measure H, to help house the homeless.

Unfortunately, the law firm behind Standing Up for West Hollywood—a $140,000 SuperPAC supporting John Heilman and John Duran re-election funded mostly by real estate…

State Commission Investigates Blatt/Martin Support Group

State Commission Investigates Blatt/Martin Support Group

Fri, Mar 03, 2017 14 Comments

The state Fair Political Practices Committee has acknowledged that it is opening an investigation into an allegation that a committee formed to support challengers Cynthia Blatt and Steve Martin and oppose incumbents John Duran and John Heilman in the March 7 WeHo City Council election has violated state and local election laws.

The complaint was made by local activist James Duke Mason, who is a backer of Heilman and Duran and a member of the city’s Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board.

The West Hollywood Money and Politics Committee (WeHoMAP) distributed mailers that don’t list who paid for them, which is required by state law, according to a letter from George Lin, Mason’s lawyer, that was sent to West Hollywood’s City Clerk and the enforcement officer of the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission.

The mailers also did not note…

WeHo Offers a Free Ride to the Polls on Tuesday

WeHo Offers a Free Ride to the Polls on Tuesday

Wed, Mar 01, 2017

Looking for a ride to your polling place next Tuesday? The City of West Hollywood is offering several free options for getting you there so that you can cast your vote for candidates for the West Hollywood City Council, the L.A. Unified School District Board, the community college board and Measure H, a proposed tax to help the homeless.

CityLine, the city’s free local shuttle, has stops adjacent to all of the city’s polling places. Shuttles will run on Election Day at 30-minute intervals from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. More information, including a route map, is available online.

West Hollywood Dial-A-Ride will provide free direct transportation on Election Day between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Residents may request a ride by calling, toll-free, (800) 447-2189 at any time before 1 p.m. on Election Day to reserve a trip.

In addition, WeHo…

Consolidating WeHo’s March 7 Election with the County’s Brings Some Changes

Consolidating WeHo’s March 7 Election with the County’s Brings Some Changes

Mon, Feb 27, 2017 7 Comments

The City of West Hollywood’s long tradition of publicly counting the ballots cast in municipal elections — in recent years in the City Council Chambers — will give way this year to posting updates on the city’s website www.weho.org/elections of a count done in Norwalk by the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder / County Clerk .

Ten candidates are running for two seats on the WeHo City Council. If two of those candidates get a large majority of the votes early on it might be possible to predict the winners on March 7, election night.

In a closer race, however, vote-by-mail ballots, which are counted by hand, will matter more and could delay even an informal declaration of a winner on election night

The county Registrar has 30 days to count and canvass all of the ballots. In an announcement of the process, the city said the Registrar…

Opinion: Anger and ‘Alternative Facts’ Have No Place in Our City Council Election

Opinion: Anger and ‘Alternative Facts’ Have No Place in Our City Council Election

Mon, Feb 27, 2017 29 Comments

Let’s take the nastiness and lies out of the campaign for WeHo City Council and focus on real issues and facts.

Opinion: Politics, Ice Cream and the Milkman’s Horse

Opinion: Politics, Ice Cream and the Milkman’s Horse

Sat, Feb 25, 2017 8 Comments

It’s easy to get endorsements from other politicians. That gesture is motivated by a desire to acknowledge others in the club, show the secret handshake and keep from making waves in the pool. Pols are always warily watching each other. Gaining the endorsements from constituents is another story. West Hollywood West Residents Association has a decided interest in letting residents in its venue make up their own minds with a diverse group of candidates, most new to the process, and held a ”meet and greet – ice cream social” for that purpose on a recent sunny Sunday afternoon.

Status quo was certainly under review as nine candidates for the two City Council seats up for contention on March 7 made their pitch. We were reminded by several of them that “development” is not always change for the better. A decidedly younger crop of…

Opinion: WeHo City Council Needs to Listen to Residents on Overdevelopment

Opinion: WeHo City Council Needs to Listen to Residents on Overdevelopment

Thu, Feb 23, 2017 9 Comments

I have been a resident of West Hollywood for 25 years and I am currently a candidate for West Hollywood City Council. But I am writing this article not as a candidate, but as a resident of our city for a quarter of a century.
If there is only one good thing that comes from this city election on March 7, other than my joining our City Council, I wish for it to be that our council LISTEN to our residents. There is, right now, a great disconnect between the council and the residents of the city they serve. And so I ask the council to pause and LISTEN to our neighbors.

Most commonly, over the last decade or so we see this great disconnect with regard to the discussion centered around overdevelopment.

I will give you the most recent example of just such disconnect. Last week I had the opportunity to meet with the architects,…

Blatt/Martin Advocacy  Committee Accused of Violating Campaign Reporting Law

Blatt/Martin Advocacy Committee Accused of Violating Campaign Reporting Law

Thu, Feb 23, 2017 19 Comments

A committee formed to support challengers Cynthia Blatt and Steve Martin and oppose incumbents John Duran and John Heilman in the March 7 WeHo City Council election has violated state and local election laws according to a complaint by local activist James Duke Mason.

The West Hollywood Money and Politics Committee (WeHoMAP) distributed mailers and created a website that don’t list who paid for them, which is required by state law, according to a letter from Mason’s lawyer that has been sent to West Hollywood’s City Clerk and the enforcement officer of the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission.

The mailers also do not note that they were “not authorized” by the candidates for whom they advocate. Under the law, independent expenditure committees are not supposed to coordinate their activities with the campaigns of the…

Not Registered to Vote? Do It Now! Deadline Is Tonight

Not Registered to Vote? Do It Now! Deadline Is Tonight

Tue, Feb 21, 2017

Election? What election? Yes, there’s another one. It is on March 7 to fill two seats on the West Hollywood City Council. And while we won’t be choosing a president, we will be choosing two of the five people who make decisions that in one way or another can affect everything from our rent to crosswalk safety to what we’ll have to pay the next time we forget to turn the wheels of our car when parking on a hill.

But today’s most important news is: You have to register now. Voter registration for the March 7 election closes at 11:59:59 PST tonight.

If you aren’t yet registered to vote (you can check here to see if you are), the fastest way at this late date is to register online.

To register to vote in California, you must be:

— A United States citizen,
— A resident of California,

As the WeHo Council Election Nears, the Fight Gets Intense (And a Bit Nasty)

As the WeHo Council Election Nears, the Fight Gets Intense (And a Bit Nasty)

Tue, Feb 21, 2017 12 Comments

With the West Hollywood City Council election only 16 days away, efforts to defeat the two incumbents are ramping up, with at least one of them taking a nasty turn.

The most prominent opposition is in the form of an independent expenditure committee named the West Hollywood Money and Politics Committee (WeHoMAP). It is supporting challengers Cynthia Blatt and Steve Martin and opposing incumbents John Duran and John Heilman.

One of WeHoMAP’s organizers is Scott Schmidt, the former campaign manager for Mayor Lauren Meister. While Meister has not endorsed anyone in the March 7 election, she has donated to the Blatt campaign. Blatt is known for her opposition to development in West Hollywood and has praised Meister for also opposing what she sees as overdevelopment in the city. Political insiders have identified Bill Resnick as a major…

Billboard Companies Take Their Fight to  WeHo’s Sidewalks

Billboard Companies Take Their Fight to WeHo’s Sidewalks

Mon, Feb 20, 2017 16 Comments

It can be annoying to watch your trash can overflow with those mailers touting candidates in the March 7 WeHo City Council election. Then there even more mailers about the L.A. County Unified School District election. With candidates portrayed as “the Billionaires’ Puppets,” a headline saying “FBI seizes LAUSD records related to troubled iPad program” and an anti-Steve Zimmer mailer titled “Making of a Scandal” that creepily alludes to the “Making of a Murderer” documentary, at least those are entertaining.

But now it’s not just your trash cans. Two battling billboard companies are stopping voters on West Hollywood’s sidewalks asking them to sign petitions. One petition, backed by Regency Outdoor, demands the City Council reconsider its Feb. 6 approval of the Ace Outdoor Advertising billboard at the Rainbow Room on Sunset Boulevard….

Citizens Agenda Week 7: How to Deal with Parking and Traffic in WeHo

Citizens Agenda Week 7: How to Deal with Parking and Traffic in WeHo

Mon, Feb 20, 2017 10 Comments

In January WEHOville asked West Hollywood residents what issues they wanted candidates in the March 7 City Council election to address. We received hundreds of responses and boiled them down to the key issues. We have asked each of the ten candidates in the election to offer his or her positions on these issues. Today we are publishing the final questions and the candidates’ responses. Previous questions and responses can be found on WEHOville’s Election 2017 page along with other news related to this election.

11) Parking, or the lack thereof, continues to be seen as a major problem in West Hollywood.

a) Can the city do more to address the difficulty residents have finding parking? And if so, what?

b) In Los Angeles, there has been a campaign to limit the amount of a parking ticket to $25, the reasoning being that tickets are…

Opinion: Money and the 2017 City Council Election

Opinion: Money and the 2017 City Council Election

Fri, Feb 17, 2017 6 Comments

“Money is the mother’s milk of politics…” said Tip O’Neill. Carleton Cronin says what we can do about that in WeHo.

Citizen’s Agenda Week 6: Should City Council Members Limit Donations from Developers and Vendors?

Citizen’s Agenda Week 6: Should City Council Members Limit Donations from Developers and Vendors?

Mon, Feb 13, 2017 7 Comments

Candidates for the two seats in the March 7 WeHo City Council election say how they would deal with perceived conflicts in campaign donations.

WeHo Chamber PAC Endorses Incumbents Duran and Heilman in March 7 City Council Race

WeHo Chamber PAC Endorses Incumbents Duran and Heilman in March 7 City Council Race

Thu, Feb 09, 2017 5 Comments

The West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s political action committee (PAC) has endorsed incumbents John Duran and John Heilman in the March 7 WeHo City Council election.

The endorsements came after interviews by five PAC trustees of each of the ten candidates running for the two council seats. They were anticipated by political observers, given that most of the challengers are running campaigns against what they perceive as over-development in West Hollywood under the current city council.

“I would like to thank the members of the PAC committee for the time and effort they have dedicated to production of the candidate’s forum as well as the comprehensive candidate review process that has led up to these endorsements,” said Keith Kaplan, a real estate agent and chair of the chamber board, referring to a recent forum involving…

West Hollywood West Residents Group to Host ‘Meet and Greet’ with City Council Candidates

West Hollywood West Residents Group to Host ‘Meet and Greet’ with City Council Candidates

Wed, Feb 08, 2017 1 Comment

t least eight of the ten candidates in the March 7 West Hollywood City Council election will be attending a “meet and greet” hosted on Feb. 19 by the West Hollywood West Residents Association. The event is open only to West Hollywood West residents.

The event will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. at 8924 Dorrington Ave. There will be free ice cream and beverages. Those candidates who have confirmed that they will attend are: Cynthia Blatt, Michael Cautillo, Nate Clark, John Duran, Amanda Goodwin, John Heilman, Steve Martin, Reed Stillwell. Candidates Joel Quaresimo and Carla Romo have not confirmed that they will attend.

The 10 candidates, including incumbents Duran and Heilman, will run for two seats on the five-member council.

West Hollywood West Residents Association is a nonprofit organization comprised of homeowners and tenants…

Here’s How to Get Ready to Vote on March 7

Here’s How to Get Ready to Vote on March 7

Wed, Feb 08, 2017

If you haven’t registered to vote, there is still time.

The deadline for registering for the March 7 election is Feb. 21. On the ballot will be 10 candidates running for two seats on the West Hollywood City Council and a proposal (Measure H) to impose an additional sales tax across L.A. County to provide benefits to homeless people. Also on the ballot will be candidates for four seats on the L.A. County Community College board of trustees and one seat on the L.A. County school board.

The City of West Hollywood is taking steps to make registration easier with registration “pop-ups.” On this coming Monday, voters can register at the Helen Albert Farmer’s Market from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The market is located on the north end of Plummer Park at 7377 Santa Monica Blvd east of Vista. On Feb. 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. residents can…

Incumbents Duran and Heilman Lead in Donations to WeHo City Council Election Campaigns

Incumbents Duran and Heilman Lead in Donations to WeHo City Council Election Campaigns

Tue, Feb 07, 2017 9 Comments

One third of all donations to candidates in the March 7 election for the West Hollywood City Council have come from real estate development interests according to an analysis by WEHOville.

Reports filed with the city clerk covering donations through Jan. 21 show a total of $267,218 has been donated to the candidates and to independent expenditure or political action committees supporting them.

Incumbent John Duran has raised the largest amount of money, with 46% of donations made directly to his campaign. Duran also will benefit from spending by Standing Up for West Hollywood, an independent expenditure committee (IEC) formed to support Duran and Councilmember John Heilman that has raised $36,500, 14% of overall contributions.

Coming in second is Heilman, who has received 22% of all donations, or $57,600. A separate political…

Sluggish WeHo City Council Race is Gaining Steam

Sluggish WeHo City Council Race is Gaining Steam

Tue, Feb 07, 2017 12 Comments

Campaigning for the WeHo City Council has been sluggish according to some who have followed the oft-contentious elections over the years.

However the campaign is gaining steam as mailboxes in recent days have been flooded with flyers promoting John Heilman, one of two incumbents in the race. Signs backing Heilman also are popping up around the city. Incumbent John Duran also has begun to push signs out. Residents have observed only a few promoting challenger Steve Martin and no signs or flyers to date for the other seven challengers in the race.

The once sluggish campaign also has begun to generate verbal and social media slugs (not, so far, any that are physical). That was evident at last night’s city council meeting.

One speaker, who identified himself as Brian Hamilton, stepped up to the podium last night to denounce John…

Citizens Agenda Week 5: How Can the City Make WeHo a More Affordable Place to Live?

Citizens Agenda Week 5: How Can the City Make WeHo a More Affordable Place to Live?

Mon, Feb 06, 2017 6 Comments

Earlier this month WEHOville asked West Hollywood residents what issues they wanted candidates in the March 7 City Council election to address. We received hundreds of responses and boiled them down to 11 key issues. We have asked each of the ten candidates in the election to offer his or her positions on these issues. On each Monday over the next few weeks we will publish one or two of the questions and the candidates’ responses.

8) West Hollywood was founded by advocates for rent control who wanted to preserve the city as an affordable place to live. State law has gutted some of the protections provided by city law, and West Hollywood now is an expensive place in which to rent or own. Now, what can the city do to make West Hollywood a more affordable place to live for everyone, and specifically for the young, the disabled and…

Citizens Agenda Week 4: Should WeHo Curb More Development?

Citizens Agenda Week 4: Should WeHo Curb More Development?

Mon, Jan 30, 2017 12 Comments

Candidates in WeHo’s March 7 City Council election discuss whether the city has too much development and how it should be regulated.

Opinion: I Use Digital Media to Bridge the WeHo Voter Gap

Opinion: I Use Digital Media to Bridge the WeHo Voter Gap

Mon, Jan 30, 2017 8 Comments

Has communication between West Hollywood residents and their local politicians changed? Digital media has been rapidly growing as a form of communication with the modern-day citizen. Most of us have even experienced politics and digital media first hand. Along with many others I cried as I watched President Obama’s farewell speech on Facebook live. I attended the Women’s March, now known as the world’s largest protest organized through social media. I was introduced to Bernie Sanders through a Facebook video, which contributed to the increase of his millennial vote, ultimately giving him a 29% lead of voters under 30 years old.

We must face the fact that traditional politics is shifting; how we connect with WeHo citizens is, naturally, part of this result. This method of communication has proven to be effective on a national…

WeHo Councilmember John D’Amico Endorses Incumbents Duran and Heilman for March 7 Election

WeHo Councilmember John D’Amico Endorses Incumbents Duran and Heilman for March 7 Election

Wed, Jan 25, 2017 30 Comments

In the first major endorsement of candidates in the March 7 West Hollywood City Council election, City Councilmember John D’Amico has given his support to incumbents John Duran and John Heilman.

“I have a history of endorsing outsiders,” D’Amico said, “and yet I have been thoughtful in considering this election, and I decided to endorse John and John.”

“I just see that John Duran’s eloquence and speaking up for people and keeping alive the history of our people and what matters to them is unmatched,” D’Amico said. “John Heilman’s deep history with elected and appointed officials across the city at all levels of government is unparallelled.”

D’Amico said that given the turmoil in the country with the election of Donald Trump as president, it is especially important to have elected officials with Duran’s and Heilman’s sense of…

Citizens Agenda Week 3: Should It Be Easier to Attend and Participate in Council Meetings

Citizens Agenda Week 3: Should It Be Easier to Attend and Participate in Council Meetings

Mon, Jan 23, 2017 2 Comments

Earlier this month WEHOville asked West Hollywood residents what issues they wanted candidates in the March 7 City Council election to address. We received hundreds of responses and boiled them down to 11 key issues. We have asked each of the ten candidates in the election to offer his or her positions on these issues. On each Monday over the next few weeks we will publish one or two of the questions and the candidates’ responses.

6) Some residents are concerned that the WeHo City Council has made its meetings difficult to attend and participate in. For example, since August, the council has reduced its twice-monthly public meetings to once a month, which results in a much longer agenda for each meeting. Also, council members continue old practices such as calling out the names of members of military from across the country who have…

Shunning the Forum, One WeHo Council Candidate Took to Facebook Live

Shunning the Forum, One WeHo Council Candidate Took to Facebook Live

Fri, Jan 20, 2017 11 Comments

You missed Carla Romo at Wednesday night’s city council election forum? You should have checked Facebook!

Romo, the only one of 10 candidates for two seats on the council who didn’t appear at the debate, took to social media instead. Her Facebook live broadcast appeared at the same time as the election forum, with Romo answering questions posed to the forum participants and also taking questions from people on Facebook.

Romo’s Facebook live broadcast garnered 33 “likes” and 805 views, two measures of its reach.

WeHo City Council Candidates Offer Their Opinions at Public Forum

WeHo City Council Candidates Offer Their Opinions at Public Forum

Thu, Jan 19, 2017 15 Comments

Allotted only 45 seconds each, the nine candidates participating presented quick summaries of their views on various issues such as overdevelopment, homelessness and historic preservation.

Citizens Agenda Week 2: The Size of City Events, Restoring the Council Deputy System and Entitlements for Developers

Citizens Agenda Week 2: The Size of City Events, Restoring the Council Deputy System and Entitlements for Developers

Mon, Jan 16, 2017 3 Comments

Candidates in the March 7 WeHo City Council election address three questions you raised in the WEHOville Citizens Agenda survey.

Citizens Agenda Week 1: WeHo City Council Candidates on Whether Experience Matters (and  Donald Trump)

Citizens Agenda Week 1: WeHo City Council Candidates on Whether Experience Matters (and Donald Trump)

Mon, Jan 09, 2017 6 Comments

Earlier this month WEHOville asked West Hollywood residents what issues they wanted candidates in the March 7 City Council election to address. We received hundreds of responses and boiled them down to 11 key issues. We have asked each of the ten candidates in the March 7 City Council election to offer his or her positions on these issues. On each Monday over the next few weeks we will publish one or two of the questions and the candidates’ responses.

1) If you haven’t participated in civic life or taken public positions on major city issues in the last few years, why should we believe you’re willing to devote the time required to adequately represent us on the city council? And why should we believe you have the background and knowledge of local issues necessary to make important city decisions?

CYNTHIA BLATT

I have been…

WeHo Chamber and L.A. League of Women Voters to Co-Host City Council Election Forum

WeHo Chamber and L.A. League of Women Voters to Co-Host City Council Election Forum

Fri, Jan 06, 2017

The West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and the L.A. League of Women Voters are sponsoring a forum among candidates for the March 7 WeHo City Council election.

The forum will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Jan. 18 at the City Council Chambers at 625 N. San Vicente Place. It will be moderated by Robert Kovacik of NBC4 Southern California. All 10 candidates have been invited to participate.

The forum is open to the public. It can be viewed on the city’s WeHoTV cable and web channels. WeHoTV is available to Spectrum (formerly Time Warner Cable) customers within West Hollywood on channel 10. AT&T U-verse customers across Southern California can access WeHoTV on channel 99. The forum will also be available for live streaming and on-demand replay on the City’s website www.weho.org/wehotv and on WeHoTV’s YouTube Channel at…

The 2017 Citizens Agenda: Questions from WeHo Residents for City Council Candidates

The 2017 Citizens Agenda: Questions from WeHo Residents for City Council Candidates

Mon, Jan 02, 2017 7 Comments

Here is a list of questions residents of West Hollywood want candidates in the March City Council election to address.

Opinion: Should We Restore the WeHo City Council Deputy System?

Opinion: Should We Restore the WeHo City Council Deputy System?

Mon, Jan 02, 2017 20 Comments

t has been eighteen months since the West Hollywood City Council voted to eliminate the five council deputies. The decision to dismantle the council deputy program that had existed since the founding of the city was rushed, made during a period of what can most charitably described as a highly charged period of political stress. But over the last several months I have heard more people questioning the wisdom of that vote and asking if the residents of West Hollywood have been well served by that decision.

At the time, eliminating the deputies seemed like a solution to the ongoing dysfunction on the third floor of City Hall. People were shocked by the deputies’ salaries, which had escalated in recent years and seemed excessive. While I made a rather lonely public argument that the council should not make a decision in haste,…

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

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

Wed, Dec 28, 2016 37 Comments

WeHo City Council candidate Amanda Goodwin says overdevelopment is the issue, not whether candidates have previous experience on the council.

The Citizens’ Agenda 2017: The Issues WeHo Residents Want City Council Candidates to Address

The Citizens’ Agenda 2017: The Issues WeHo Residents Want City Council Candidates to Address

Mon, Dec 26, 2016 40 Comments

Ten candidates will be on the ballot for the March 7 West Hollywood City Council election. One incumbent has raised tens of thousands of dollars for the race and the other already has held at least fundraising event.

So now it’s time for West Hollywood residents (rather than campaign consultants and major donors) to begin setting the agenda for the 2017 race.

As in 2015, WEHOville wants to know what questions you think candidates for the two seats on the City Council should address in their campaigns. What matters to you? What matters to the future of our city?

Please email me at Henry@WEHOville.com with your ideas about what the candidates should be addressing if they want to get your vote. (Next Monday, Jan. 2, we’ll post on WEHOville a list of the most frequently mentioned issues and will begin soliciting responses from…

Opinion: In WeHo’s 2017 City Council Election, Experience Counts

Opinion: In WeHo’s 2017 City Council Election, Experience Counts

Thu, Dec 15, 2016 40 Comments

Larry Block argues that experience is needed to be a viable City Council candidate.

Final Tally:  10 Candidates for 2 Seats on the WeHo City Council in March

Final Tally: 10 Candidates for 2 Seats on the WeHo City Council in March

Wed, Dec 14, 2016 13 Comments

Ten candidates will be in the run in the March 7 election to fill two seats on the West Hollywood City Council. The final list was released today by the city clerk.

The candidates include incumbents John Duran and John Heilman, both long-time members of the Council, with Heilman having served since 1984 and Duran since 2001. Their best-known challengers are Steve Martin, an attorney and former council member who failed in his 2003 bid for re-election, and Cynthia Blatt, an employee of the federal Housing and Urban Development Department who has actively campaigned against new housing development in West Hollywood. Larry Block, owner of the Block Party apparel store and a civic activist, was widely expected to be a candidate in the March election. Block decided late last week not to run and said he is supporting Heilman and deciding…

WeHo Municipal Elections Will Move to November in 2020

WeHo Municipal Elections Will Move to November in 2020

Tue, Nov 29, 2016 5 Comments

It’s official. The City of West Hollywood will move its municipal election date from March of odd years to November of even years beginning November 2020.

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors endorsed the move at its meeting on Nov. 15. The move means WeHo elections will coincide with state and national elections, which have much higher voter turnouts than do those focused solely on West Hollywood. Those elections take place on the first Monday of November in even years.

The change is mandated by a state law that requires cities and counties with a low voter turnout to reschedule their elections to coincide with general elections, where the turnout usually is higher. A memo prepared by City Clerk Yvonne Quarker in August showed that the average turnout of West Hollywood voters for statewide elections for the last four years has…

WeHo’s March City Council Race Likely to Be Crowded

WeHo’s March City Council Race Likely to Be Crowded

Mon, Nov 28, 2016 3 Comments

The race for two seats on the West Hollywood City Council is likely to be exceptionally crowded, with 14 people already having formally expressed their interest in running.

Those people have to collect the signatures of at least 20 registered WeHo voters to actually be put on the ballot. The registration process ends on Dec. 9.

The latest to have “pulled papers” from the City Clerk’s office include incumbent John Duran and Steve Martin. Martin, like Duran, is a lawyer. He served on the WeHo City Council from 1994 to 2003, losing in his re-election bid to Abbe Land. Larry Block, another well-known activist, also has begun the registration process.

Less well-known are Scott Cook, Carla Romo and Francesca Jacobs. Cook is a real estate agent currently working with Architecture 8, a firm in Beverly Hills. Jacobs identifies herself as…

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