Opinion: Jeffrey Prang Leaves with a Reputation for Putting Residents and Neighborhoods First

West Hollywood can be proud of one of our own, Jeff Prang, as he takes the oath as County Assessor. As we thank Councilmember Prang for nearly two decades of service, we should also look to the future and ask who will fill his shoes on the City Council.

West Hollywood City Council candidate Lauren Meister
West Hollywood City Council candidate Lauren Meister

Often the swing vote between battling factions on the Council, Jeff Prang was truly a Councilmember who understood that residents and neighborhoods should come first.

While his colleagues (or at least the Council majority) saw dollar signs in big commercial development, Councilmember Prang saw traffic and environmental impacts. Where his colleagues saw the appeal of a few low-cost housing units in ten story condo towers along Sunset and Santa Monica, Councilmember Prang saw future voters who would complain about noise and parking problems.

West Hollywood voted for change when we adopted term limits last year, passing Measure C by a 24 percent margin. We wanted our current Council members to have ambition to move onto bigger things, as Jeff has done, or to know that they have an expiration date on their local political careers.

With the retirement of Councilmember Abbe Land and the election of Councilmember Prang to higher office, our city will have at least two new City Council members by next Labor Day. It is important that our new Council members bring a commitment to residents and neighborhoods along with the experience and knowledge of local government to stand toe-to-toe with colleagues who have been in office for years.

Although I disagreed with Jeff Prang’s opposition to Measure C, I agree with him when he said that experience in local government and institutional memory matter. Our disagreement was that I, like the majority of the voting public, believe that the five Council members in office did not hold a monopoly on experience or institutional memory.

While it is encouraging to see so many candidates for City Council getting engaged these last few months, voters should evaluate candidates not just on what they are saying now, but on what these candidates were doing when they weren’t running for office.

As a Planning and Public Safety commissioner, I learned a lot about how West Hollywood works, and I learned how to create change in the city, be it incremental or by bringing forward new ideas.

As a neighborhood advocate for nearly two decades, I can feel the frustration of people who come to City Council for the first time just hoping to be heard, and sympathize with those who, like me, regularly attend and testify on issues that have changed the face of our city.

As a market research professional, my job is to listen to public opinion and turn it into action-oriented recommendations.

West Hollywood cannot afford to gamble our future on the unknown or inexperienced. Like Jeff Prang, who brought his experience working in local government and as a city council deputy to the job, the City Council members we elect next year should be ready on Day One.

Lauren Meister is a candidate for a seat on the West Hollywood City Council in the March 2015 election.


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Flores St.
Guest
Flores St.

They were running for their lives from someone who was stabbing people. One of them were actually stabbed. Their lives actually were at risk. It is ridiculous that you are putting the onus on the victims to use rational judgement in this situation to make good choices as opposed to the trained agents of the state. You aren’t coming out and saying it, but you are excusing a policy of “shoot first, ask questions later.” :”I didn’t know what was going on” isn’t a license to shoot and/or kill. You must know.

mike dunn
Guest
mike dunn

Excuses as to what the deputies should have known is nothing but a excuse. The two victims were instructed to “STOP”, they didn’t so the deputies responded. Deputies are just human being like you and I. They are not “Super Hero’s.” Exactly how should the deputies separate the victims from the suspects when the first encounter is with someone charging at them failing to fallow their directions? Perhaps you have never been involved in a hot crime scene, I have. I choose to take a defensive stance is such instances as opposed to a passive one. If someone is charging… Read more »

Flores St.
Guest
Flores St.

Mike, I have no doubt that the situation was confusing. Two people were running towards them. One they thought was the victim, one they thought was the perpetrator, although both were in reality victims. The reason why I come down so hard on the police on this one is that in their attempt to stop the person they believed was the perpetrator, they shot the person they believed to be the victim. I am sorry, but there is no excuse for that… never. The police cannot value the safety of victims above their own when they don’t even see a… Read more »

mike dunn
Guest
mike dunn

They were instructed to stop and they didn’t. It cost one them his life while the other may have life long problems. If you fail to fallow direstions at a hot crime scene you may get hurt. That’s just plain sense.

Flores St.
Guest
Flores St.

*with the same facts. Sorry!

mike dunn
Guest
mike dunn

I goggled the stories and you may be correct, no knife, in the man that was shot and killed. However one story did indicate both were ordered to stop and they didn’t. The deputies made a decision based on the call, Domestic Dispute, possible murder. Unless your right there at a crime scene viewing it as it unfolds as opposed to second guessing what should have been done you really don’t know what is happening. I’ve been there, dealing primarily with the LASO, and LAPD. It’s intense and it’s scary at times. I really feel bad for both victims. I… Read more »

Flores St.
Guest
Flores St.

Mike, I don’t know if we are talking about the same event. Neither victim who was shot had a knife. They were victims of the crime, not the perpetrator (who was taken alive). It makes it very hard to have a conversation if we are not dealing if the same facts. if I’m wrong, which is possible, please provide the link that indicates either of the victims who were shot had a knife.

Flores St.
Guest
Flores St.

Mike, those officers are not qualified to police the streets. They have bad judgement. This was a case of “shoot first, ask questions later.” The council should have demanded they be fired at the very least. Why would I ever call the police if I was in a complicated situation? You can’t shoot on a description of young white guy in a dark T shirt. You’ll have half the City dead,

mike dunn
Guest
mike dunn

I think you missed the fact that he had a knife in his hand running towards them. If they ordered him to stop and he didn’t how were they to know he wasn’t the suspect. On the other hand if no warning was given then they were wrong. I’m guessing you are much younger than I. Don’t know if you ever heard about the riots, curfew violations, on Sunset strip in the 60’s. The LASO were not nice guys at all. I saw someone get beaten by them for trying to take down a badge number. But having worked with… Read more »

mike dunn
Guest
mike dunn

Flores St.
What exactly could the Council had done except fire the LASO which would leave us with no police protection. I’m sure they ordered the innocent victim to stop but he didn’t apparently. He appeared to be the suspect at they location they were responding to and from what I understand he did have a knife in his hand. The actual suspect is now being charged for murder in this innocent man’s death. What was going on in that building during the week in question? Two deaths in one week.

Flores St.
Guest
Flores St.

I am not voting for anyone unless I get a good answer on how they would have handled the Palms Avenue shooting differently. Our Council did nothing.

https://www.wehoville.com/2014/06/30/46870/

Very Concerned Citizen
Guest
Very Concerned Citizen

@ Brad, I suggest you ask Ms. Meister or go to one of her “meet and greets”. I did and have found out for myself, no hearsay, no innuendos, that she IS the candidate of choice. She cares about our city, she has participated is all aspects of city life, and has for years…. from the east side of town to the west side. And her participation did NOT start when she decided to run for city council. Not so sure I can say that about most of the other candidates. So Brad, ask the candidate.

Lynn Hoopingarner
Guest
Lynn Hoopingarner

Ah, no Brad. You put words in my mouth that never existed–especially ones that are completely false. I just didn’t bother to make a comment on each and every one of the spurious posts contained in this thread, they were too numerous and vacuous to warrant the time.

Woody Mcbreairty
Guest
Woody Mcbreairty

We have a right to expect that all City Council candidates will start campaigning in earnest very soon, after “laying the groundwork” for their campaigns, & engage the community more thoroughly with the presentation of their agendas & ideas. I admit so far it’s largely been unconvincing rhetoric with more sizzle than steak. Time to get to the heart of matters. I think that everyone is unfortunately at this point kind of resigned to continued fast & furious over development with imposing structures, ever increasing traffic congestion on many of our side as well as major through streets, higher rents… Read more »

mike dunn
Guest
mike dunn

Whom ever runs this page allows character assassination of those he doesn’t agree with while any question about Jeff Prangs qualifications and fumbling posture on the city council is a no, no. My original post was deleted.

Henry (Hank) Scott
Admin

Your post contained an untrue allegation about Mr. Prang. We do not publish false allegations.

Brad
Guest
Brad

Wrong Tom,.. she suggested that she is the only one with experience and discounts the other candidates. She calls upon her experience in ‘public safety or planning’ .. but really had no accomplishments. She quit one and was fired by the other. Her focused opinion piece was focused on ‘we cannot afford to gamble on the inexperienced or the unknown’ .. she presented one idea.. don’t gamble.. and she could have presented her thoughts on where to pick up where prang left off.. that would be a focused opinion piece. But she really has no new ideas.. and even Lynn… Read more »