Opinion: The West Hollywood City Council Needs to Stop Kicking the Can Down the Road

Kicking the can down the road

 

 

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]f kicking the can down the road were an Olympic sport, the West Hollywood City Council would have been in Sochi last night. And it likely would have won a gold medal.

Perhaps the most egregious example of the Council’s refusal to act was its stalemate on what to do about LA Pride. City Councilmembers John Duran and John D’Amico have spent months negotiating with Christopher Street West, LA Pride’s non-profit sponsor, to find ways to improve the event. CSW, the Queen of Denial, in essence has said that everyone is happy with the way things are. That’s despite calls at community meetings for improvements in everything from CSW’s choice of parade celebrities to the events and booths at its weekend festival to its poor handling of the long line of people waiting to pay $20 to get into the festival, whose attendance has been in decline.

Unable to get real cooperation from CSW, D’Amico and Duran, working with the city’s special events manager, came up with a proposal that would increase by 14 percent the more than $900,000 allocated by the city to cover the safety and transit and other Pride costs. The additional money would be used to create high quality programming that likely would burnish the tarnished image of Pride and might actually attract some out-of-towners who could afford to rent a hotel room.

The other Council members demurred and suggested forming yet another subcommittee, this time involving the city’s tourism bureau, to study an event that is only a little more than three months away.

That’s not the only can the Council kicked last night. It also effectively took no action on a proposal introduced in November by D’Amico to test for three months whether traffic control officers would improve rush hour traffic flow on Santa Monica Boulevard. This time Councilmembers John Heilman and Jeffrey Prang and Mayor Abbe Land raised questions about the utility of the study — questions that they didn’t think to ask when they sent the idea in November to city staffers to craft a proposal to implement it. In its classic “kick the can” approach, the Council referred the idea to a “subcommittee” composed of Heilman and Prang. They are the same subcommittee members who spent more than eight months supposedly studying campaign finance reform options and returned with a report that said nothing, In response, the Council kicked the campaign reform can so far down the road that it’s unlikely anything will happen before the 2015 City Council election.

We know West Hollywood and its City Council members have grand aspirations, taking stands on issues across the United States and in countries around the world whose leaders are unlikely to have ever heard of them or WeHo. By and large we support the good intentions. But if one of those aspirations is to be seen as a local version of United States Congress, the citizens of West Hollywood have some work to do in the next City Council election.


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Wesley McDowell
Guest
Wesley McDowell

Knock..knock…knock… Is ANYBODY out there listening? Probably not, at least not City Council (except one). Sadly, we the residents of Weho are once again just pissing in the wind.

shawnflannigan
Guest
shawnflannigan

funny how they have no issues approving and shoving over-development down our throats though

Wehoan Fed Up with the NIMBYs
Guest
Wehoan Fed Up with the NIMBYs

Seriously. Just cancel Pride. No one would notice. I promise. Most people head to other cities now anyway. The bars rake in enough money the other weekends of the year that they’ll do just fine. And since the Council in its infinite wisdom lifts parking restrictions, it’s not like they’re making any cash off parking tickets and the like.

Joseph Clapsaddle
Guest
Joseph Clapsaddle

Indecisiveness and a lack of creative solutions by the Council contributes to community apathy and a helpless feeling of malaise. John D’Amico tries, even if he is not supported by his Council peers. Where is the energy, the excitement, the creativity and yes, the “pride” in our Gay Pride celebration, our Book Fair and our Halloween Carnivale? These events are just not respected and encouraged. New ideas are spurned or delayed permanently in committee. I am sorely disappointed. But we as citizens can effect change. It all starts at the ballot box. It all starts by participating in the election… Read more »

Randy Matthews
Guest

And why can’t a lot of D’Amico’s agenda items get a pass from this council? He’s brought up serious issues, or provided solutions for issues that need to be dealt with, which include improving traffic, improving Pride and making something useful out of Fiesta Hall, while Plummer Park issues get worked out. Each time meeting with opposition from enough council members to not get a pass. We should all give the man credit for trying to improve things in this city.

Rob Bergstein
Guest
Rob Bergstein

And can Council just grow a collective backbone & make a decision about Plummer Park and stick to it? They’ll never please everyone and in the mean time, we’ve lost the redevelopment funding and Plummer Park continues to be much less than it could be….I’m just a say’n……

dana miller
Guest
dana miller

This is all so solidly dreary. I for one would have liked to see the city extend Pride in their own way. No one has been more critical of the CSW Pride than me yet I am committed to giving the new cats their time in the sun. If it fails, the plank is short. I’m also so bummed about the Book Fair. Badly promoted, horribly produced. We need a Book Fair….We just do. I’m gonna wallow in my chagrin. Leave me be.