No Paul? No Problem, Says Council Giving Him City Manager Review

City manager Paul Arevalo
Paul Arevalo.

While West Hollywood’s City Council met in special session Friday afternoon to discuss City Manager Paul Arevalo’s annual performance review, someone very important was missing from the meeting.

Arevalo, who had the day off.

While residents who attended to give their public comments were left scratching their heads, and no explanation was given at the meeting, Councilmember Jeffrey Prang cleared up the confusion afterwards.

“This was the first part of his evaluation,” Prang said. “Paul wasn’t supposed to be there. This was a chance for us to organize our thoughts so it’s not a free-for-all.”

The council members met for about 90 minutes in closed session to discuss what they want Arevalo to focus on in the coming year. Their ideas will be discussed in a second closed session with Arevalo present, tentatively scheduled before the start of the Nov. 18 council meeting.

Of the four people who spoke before the council went into closed session, three praised Arevalo’s performance.

Resident and real estate agent Charles Fisher said the city needs an experienced manager, like Arevalo, for what Fisher thinks will be an upcoming development boom.

“I’m here to endorse Paul. I’d say he’s a 10,” Fisher said.

Consultant Sandy Hutchens, who has dealt with Arevalo on many projects over the years, called him “firm” and “fair.”

“I think he’s underpaid,” said Hutchens, who is currently consulting with the proposed Restoration Hardware store on Melrose Avenue. “I hope you keep him. I hope you give him a nice raise.”

Meanwhile, resident Victor Omelczenko questioned whether the scope of Arevalo’s job justifies his salary since city managers in Beverly Hills and Culver City make a similar amount but also oversee the city’s fire and police departments. West Hollywood contracts with LA County for sheriff and fire services.

Arevalo started working for the city in 1990 as the director of finance, then was named city manager in 2000. According to the city, Arevalo’s 2012 salary was $294,410, which includes his allowances for business-related expenses, technology and car. An additional $61,218 went toward benefits including a retirement plan; medical, dental and vision insurance and life insurance.


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Weho Guy
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Weho Guy

KCET a PUBLIC TV station did this story on how the city manager and high level staff are living off of parking fines. Since its airing they have in fact increased everything parking. Fines, cost at meters, hours meters run, moved meter hours to six days and also pulled out meters on the street the Pac Design center is on. If it wasn’t far parking fines, Paul as a manager wouldn’t be such a wiz kid on the books, Would he Todd? http://www.kcet.org/shows/socal_connected/content/politics/meter-madness.html The city hall spin is that they are in the black and this is also stated around… Read more »

Weho Guy
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Weho Guy

The city manger is over paid compared to other citys demographic. In fact he makes $500,000 a year according to this article. http://westhollywood.patch.com/groups/steve-wards-blog/p/bp–patch-blog-breaking-down-high-costs-of-city-manager True the gay population isn’t the only demographic but the city has a major density of gay individuals, that doesn’t exist in most city s in the world.. The city has been a safe haven for years for gay individuals looking for acceptance and equality. It is a significant aspect of the city. Making money as the only goal of leadership lacks a balance with humanity and doing the right thing for everyone. Paul has balanced his… Read more »

Todd Bianco
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The rampant development in the city is taking place because the City’s zoning laws, building codes, zoning, redevelopment districts, development incentives allow property owners to develop their properties. The City codes and general business-friendly atmosphere comes from our elected officials, not the rank and file workers in City Hall. The zoning codes dictate the type of business and density of a development. Sure, we have some highly-paid executives in West Hollywood, and Mr. Arevelo is at the top of the food chain. But his job is to run the business of the City and carry out policy set by the… Read more »

Snarkygal
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Snarkygal

I would like to remind you that 40% is still a minority and that a City Manager doesn’t have to have a “relationship” with the gay community. He is in charge of the entire city, not just one demographic. To many in this city forget that 60% are NOT gay men. Mr. Arevalo does not make a quarter of a million plus benefits – the benefits are included I believe. I believe that figure is a bit high for a city as small as we are with no police or fire departments of our own. But he is the one… Read more »

Weho Guy
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Weho Guy

I was shocked when I learned the #weho city manger makes a quarter of a million a year, plus benefits. In my opinion he has no relationship with the gay community, with gay men making 40% of the total population. To me weho has lost its character and uniqueness, manipulated into many city’s with urban mega development taking over.. Crammed to the limit with over sized buildings that choke the city’s roadways. In a gay sense its slowly being reduce in its gay friendly businesses. Paul was a big supporter of bulldozing plummer park for a parking lot. In the… Read more »

Todd Bianco
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For what it’s worth, the City of West Hollywood has fared well financially under Paul Arevalo. He has a strong background in finance and the City has balanced budgets that are delivered on a timely basis each year. The City is in a strong financial position and Paul is the guy in charge of it all. I’ll have to disagree with Sandy Hutchinson about our City Manager being underpaid. He’s at the top of the heap when it comes to manager pay. And considering the size of WeHo, I’d say he’s doing very well. I don’t begrudge him his salary… Read more »