Facts Matter: Let’s Get the City Council Election Campaign Focused on Them

FactsIs the Earth flat? Is Barack Obama NOT an American citizen? Is homosexuality an illness?

If you answer “yes” to any of the questions above perhaps it’s understandable that you believe that building more housing in West Hollywood will force housing costs to rise. After all, irrationality, defined as action or opinion given through inadequate use of reason, emotional distress, or cognitive deficiency, rarely is limited to a single subject.

But as the June 2 election for West Hollywood City Council approaches, we really need to take a rational look at the issues the city faces.

First, the basic law of supply and demand does apply to the cost of housing as well as the price of apples and walnuts (although West Hollywood’s growing desirability as a place to live is another factor to consider). The evidence of that abounds in other cities such as Washington, D.C. and New York City. (And if you want to get really geeky, take a look at this Harvard study about housing supply and demand). It’s actually the lack of housing in West Hollywood that likely explains an increase of 59 percent over 10 years in the average market-rate rent for a one-bedroom apartment. If you want to live in a less densely populated city be prepared to accept living in a more expensive one.

As to other issues that Council candidates currently are focused on, here are some facts to consider:

— Yes, the population is increasing, but up only four percent (or 1,426 people) in the past five years, according to a recent state study. As John Duran noted in response to John D’Amico’s complaint at a recent City Council meeting that WeHo has nearly 18,000 people per square mile, it has always been that way.

— Yes, the city has lost low-income housing units — three percent of them over the past 10 years because developers, applying the Ellis Act, have removed them from the market. On the other hand, a few hundred more are being added by the West Hollywood Community Housing Corp. and by developers of new projects, who are required to do so by law.

— Yes, traffic is a serious concern that must continue to be dealt with. But given that West Hollywood sits on major thoroughfares connecting the Westside of L.A. County with the Eastside, the very modest amount of development in West Hollywood in the past five years has had relatively little to do with that.

— Yes, the severe drought is an issue. But as some of WEHOville’s more adroit readers have pointed out, people moving into new apartments in West Hollywood, unless they are newborn babies, already have been consuming water. So that is not a matter for consideration when it comes to housing, although it is when it comes to watering lawns and filling pools.

— Yes, parking is an issue, and a thorny one. But let’s stop using the availability of parking in Beverly Hills to condemn West Hollywood’s approach to that problem. Beverly Hills has roughly the same population as West Hollywood on three times the acreage. So comparing the two is nonsensical. And its stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard, the major East/West artery that we share and where we look for parking, is buffered by greenery while ours is surrounded by local shops, restaurants and bars and parking spaces.

What’s not being talked about? The city has the highest crime rate of any area served by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. It has continued to fund money-losing ventures such as the Sunset Strip Music Festival. The City Council is ethically challenged, with its members soliciting donations for their favorite charities without reporting them as required by law, taking contributions from city vendors and continuing to back an expensive and dysfunctional deputy system that is unprecedented in a city our size. And then there’s the fact that two Council candidates are under investigation or have been sued for violating campaign finance laws.

If facts matter to you, there are some real issues to consider as you decide who to vote for on June 2.

  1. @snake people who have been waiting on a list for years. count your blessings. don’t deny others a chance for theirs.

  2. @ Mr. Karen O’Keefe, the policies that drive up rents and put more cars on the street is what we have been getting from Heilman, Land and Duran for at least the last decade. Witness the ugly monstrosities over on La Brea. They have about 70 units of low income housing and about 300 units of double the current rents. So when they say we ” need ” housing, who the heck are they building those for?

  3. DK — Red-baiting and hurling the word “fascist” around when people disagree with you about parking policy. You’re quite a gem.

    You don’t have the facts behind you — nor have you cited any studies at all to back up your positions — but you sure do have plenty of nasty phrases.

    To make sure there’s no confusion: I don’t speak for Heilman or know him. I have no idea if he agrees with most of my ideas on parking.

    I was criticizing *Shink’s* parking proposals to require higher parking minimums and to give away more parking. The experience of many cities shows those policies increase driving. As you know but disingenuously ignore, the document I linked to listed 10 case studies, not just NYC. And I also included a reference showing that rents increase by up to 25% when parking minimums are mandated.

    The policies you champion have been shown to drive up rents and putting more cars on the street. That’s not the future I want for our city, or the planet we live in.

  4. John D’Amico’s plan to make WeHo his private fiefdom (a more apt portrayal of this campaign than DK’s absurd posts) is failing badly, and gives more reason to question his dubious judgment. And I’d like DK to explain how allegedly being in thrall to developers is consistent with Heilman has a communist bloc mindset. With each post, DK is more and more sounding like a tea partier, ignoring facts and basic a belief set on a deranged obsession with a successful public servant who has done a good job.

  5. Proof!?! Duh. Why don’t you read Wehoville. Jimmy Palmierii, the guy behind the sober event, posted a comment condemning Shink for saying she was involved. Wehoville wrote a story in which senior members of the Jewish women’s group objected to Shink’s saying she was on their board. Increasingly i’m coming to believe that you are Heidi Shink or her alternate personality. Having a City Council member whose pants are constantlyon fire isn’t smart or safe for our city.

  6. @DK aka Heidi Shink. So you still aren’t answering any questions about Shink’s lies. Why did she say she was on the board of the L.A. National Council of Jewish Women (when she wasn’t)? Why did she say she helped launched the sober New Year’s Eve party in WeHo (when she didn’t)? Why did she say she attended all the bike task force meetings (when she didn’t attend one)? Why did she say was a member of the advocacy board of NCJW (when they threw her off for not attending meetings)? Finally, why should the citizens of West Hollywood vote for someone who can’t stop lying?

    1. And you still haven’t provided proof of these lies. When, where, to whom “did she say” these things? Proof? Evidence? *crickets*

      Why should the citizens of West Hollywood not vote for someone who will actually represent our interests based on rumors, innuendo, and smears and instead vote for a candidate who supports a regressive economy targeting the middle and working classes for fines, fees, and hidden taxes while he sells out West Hollywood’s charming quality of life to whichever developer bids the highest?

  7. To begin with, the regressive, communist bloc mindset that the streets of West Hollywood are owned by the government, not by the people, is a mindset that needs to be put to rest. Parking is not something that is owned by the government to be “given away”. One of the main problems with John Heilman is that he sees West Hollywood as his own personal fiefdom. West Hollywood belongs to its people and our democratic will — not his.

    Comparisons to New York are apples to oranges: New York has more than adequate public transit as an alternative. People there do not need to own cars. By contrast, the vast majority of Angelenos who own cars (and park cars) do so because they *need* to — the alternatives are woefully inefficient and insufficient. If John Heilman was truly concerned about incentivizing alternate modes of transportation — he’s had 30 years to do so. Instead of spending millions on a bike sharing program, millions are spent on multi-million dollar vanity projects like robotic, futuristic parking garages.

    Los Angeles-area bureaucrats have built a transportation system reliant on cars, and now they want to punish poor and middle class car drivers with excessive fines and fees because of their lack of will. It’s grossly corrupt. What is fair about making life harder for the poor because of the political failures of career politicians like John Heilman? Economic policies which increase poverty, despair, frustration and hopelessness do more damage than guns and cars both. Taxing the poor is not only NOT progressive, it’s borderline fascist.

    You might not have noticed, Karen, but car owners buy groceries and pay rent too, as well as subsidizing the million-dollar construction boondoggles you love with parking ticket shakedowns, so spare me the fake outrage.

    “Data points” which cite the work of UCLA professorial hack Donald Shoup, a lackey from the Ayn Rand school of selfishness, are not to be taken seriously by any progressive. Shoup believes that parking in all places at all times should be monetized and taxed. Shoup believes no parking anywhere should be free. Is that the extreme agenda John Heilman and his supporters have for West Hollywood? Citing papers that base their conclusions on the research of this greedy dupe Shoup?

    If it is Heilman’s position that he is a Shoup devotee and thus there be no free parking anywhere anytime in WeHo, let him and his supporters stop beating around the bush and just say so.

    Heilman, in 30 years, has not implemented a Zipcar program, a bikeshare program, a parking cash-out program, or a free transit pass program. The train tracks that ran down the middle of Santa Monica boulevard, and which could’ve been used for a streetcar, were ripped up and replaced with a median. And now, having eliminated or done nothing to provide alternatives to car driving, he and his supporters want to punish poor and middle class car drivers, blame them for traffic and congestion, and — on the strength of Donald Shoup’s Ayn Randian right wing ideas — tax, fee, and fine them with parking ticket shakedowns and booby-trap meter hours. And does this money grubbing end up funding viable transit alternatives? Nope, but at least City Hall’s deputies get a shiny new parking garage to go with their six figure salaries.

    Meanwhile business after business shuts down as customers flee, thereby decreasing revenues and giving Heilman Inc. further excuse to fine, fee, tax…and approve developments that don’t have enough parking. Which is all your fault, for needing a car to navigate the transportation infrastructure they built.

    Orwell’s 1984 is upon us, folks. Put a stop to it and vote for Shink.

  8. Need examples of Council approving developments with less than adequate parking? How about the new hotel at Doheny and Sunset. The City approved it with 50 less parking spaces than required under municipal codes. The new development at Kings Road and Santa Monica is another example. The residential project at 826 Kings Road did not even have guest parking. The proposed residential building on Ogden is also has inadequate parking under the Code. The logic that we can have a viable business community without having adequate parking is a myth that has been fostered by developers who are just looking to make a quick buck.

    Another pet peeve. Tonight I tried to meet with a disabled client on Laurel. Four metered spaces where taken for valets for Laurel Hardware; more egregious was the fact that another three spaces were taken for valet parking by the club at 7960 Santa Monica; they were closed but you can’t park there without risking a $78 ticket.

    I would also point out the the demolition of rent controlled housing, which Heilman and Co. have encouraged, does wonders for clearing working folks and seniors out of West Hollywood.

  9. DK — You seem to be stuck in a 1980s suburban mindset where everyone has their own car they drive everywhere. That is not the way of the future. Prompting the further subsidization and incentivization of fossil fuel consumption, pollution, and a mode of transit that is directly responsible (though collisions) for more deaths than guns (including suicides, accidents, and homicides) is NOT progressive.

    I believe at least two of the 12 candidates for City Council in March were not car owners. I don’t own a car. There are people who don’t own cars — including some of my elderly neighbors — despite being forced to subsidize those who do by paying for their “free” parking in our groceries, rent, and all other goods and services. That is wrong. Especially since car ownership increases with income and driving has the above listed ills. While some of us do go car-free despite ample incentives to put yet another car on the raod, the fact remains — actual studies of what works in planning, not wishful thinking show that parking minimums and free parking promote driving, and thus traffic. They also dramatically INCREASE the cost of housing. You haven’t offered a single data source to back up your position.


    Parking Requirement Impacts on Housing Affordability 11 June 2014

    Current development practices result in generous parking supply at most destinations, which reduces housing affordability, increases vehicle ownership and stimulates sprawl. This is regressive, since lower-income households tend to own fewer than average vehicles, and unfair, because it forces residents to pay for parking they don’t need. Alternative policies can increase housing affordability and help achieve other transportation and land use planning objectives.

    Based on typical affordable housing development costs, one parking space per unit increases costs approximately 12.5%, and two parking spaces can increase costs by up to 25%.


    STUDY: New Yorkers Are More Likely to Drive Because of City Parking Requirement. – See more at: http://www.transalt.org/news/releases/2699#sthash.eUICZaVM.dpuf

    Leading transportation, planning and environmental groups issued a study today which concludes that the kind of off-street parking required at new residential buildings by the Department of City Planning leads to more driving, contrary to the City’s plans to reduce congestion.

    Turning Housing into Driving: Parking Requirements and Population Density in Los Angeles and New York

    We further show that within New York City, a ten percent increase in minimum parking requirements is associated with a six percent increase in vehicles per square mile, a four percent increase in vehicles per person, and an eight percent reduction in both population and housing density. These relationships remain even after controlling for proximity to rail transit. Parking requirements therefore appear to increase the cost of housing and reduce the price of driving.


    Also the report commissioned by Pasadena include 12 case studies in its appendix, with data, none of which your refute. http://ww2.cityofpasadena.net/councilagendas/2007%20agendas/feb_26_07/appendix_a_case%20studies%2012-1-2006%20draft.pdf

    The report also includes several strategies — including but not limited to charging for parking — for reducing traffic, most or all of which I would love to see our city implement, such as unbundling parking costs. If one pays for their rent separate from their rented parking, there’s more of an incentive to move from car ownership to transit, biking, walking, and an occasional Zipcar, etc. Also, then those who don’t drive (including many elderly, lower income, and disabled people) don’t have to pay for spots they don’t need or want.

    After reviewing actual case studies, the consultants recommended implementing parking MAXIMUMS — the opposite of minimums of course, saying:

    As described earlier, most of the case study cities – at least eight out of ten – employ maximum parking requirements, rather than minimum parking requirements, to successfully reduce traffic congestion. Pasadena also now employs maximum parking requirements in its transit oriented development zones. Maximum parking requirements generally alleviate traffic congestion and reduce auto use through a simple three step process:
    1. Maximum parking requirements are set low enough to so that if parking at a location is given away for free, there will be a shortage.
    2. Parking at these locations is then provided to the people who use it for a price that covers at least part of its costs, so that parking’s cost is revealed. Alternately, employers and other parking providers need to provide strong subsidies for alternative transportation (such as free transit passes or a parking cash out program), to avoid a shortage while remaining popular with their drivers.
    3. Removing parking subsidies (or providing equally strong subsidies for other modes) then brings travel choices back into balance, toward public transit, cycling and walking.

  10. It’s also not rocket science that if you take the Heilman route and give your real estate donor pals the green light to build more and more projects without requiring them to also include enough on-site parking, there will be more and more drivers on the streets looking for parking. At the very least, new housing developments should have enough parking spots to account for *full* occupancy but instead Heilman Inc. has left residents to deal with the problem of an influx of new neighbors driven to the streets for an already scarce amount of spots. Which of course, means more parking tickets and more for-profit policing — if Heilman was actually concerned to incentive less driving, why are his extended meter hours funding a million dollar vanity project parking garage instead a citywide bikeshare?

    It has long since ceased being about quality of life for Heilman; now it’s about money money money from the developer lobby and sticking poor folks with the bill (and the fines and fees). WeHo is great, and we can do better. Heilman should be thanked for his service, but it’s time for new ideas and progressive governance. WeHo should not be incentivizing traffic and pollution with the gross overdevelopment John Heilman loves and adores so much. Keeping WeHo’s progressive, welcoming charm means voting for Heidi Shink on June 2.

  11. DK – you are so easy to rebut that it doesn’t feel fair.

    A couple of points though – traffic in adjacent LA and Bev Hills has gone up as much or more as in WeHo in the past 30 years. It has nothing to do with John Heilman, and there is nothing Heidi Shink can do to change it. And businesses suffer far more from lack of turnover and alternative high parking lot prices, which the current rate system is meant to improve.

    John Heilman Derangement Sydrome leads to the weakest possible arguments more often than not once again.

  12. Steve Martin: You wrote, “For the here and now, smaller developments built with realistic parking.” Please provide some evidence of your claims.

    It’s not rocket science — if the cost of parking is built into prices and taxes rather than being charged to those who park in a given spot, people will drive more and park more and thus there will be more driving and parking problems. Not only is it common sense, but data backs it up.

    It’s also not rocket science that a lack of enough housing stock results increased rents. Actual studies also back that up.

  13. Even if approved and funded a subway would not come to WeHo for 25 or 30 years so this is hardly the visionary “solution” to our traffic woes as proclaimed by the Heilman camp. For the here and now, smaller developments built with realistic parking would at least not make our current problems worse. Unfortunately John Heilman has supported over sized and irresponsible developments that will have huge adverse impacts on our community. That is why developers have raised $120,000 to get him back in office.

  14. Research makes it clear that candidate Shink’s proposals would increase traffic. Giving away free parking via parking minimums and otherwise (costs that are obviously passed on to renters, taxpayers, and consumers, regardless of whether they drive at all or often) have been shown to increase traffic by 27%.

    It might sound good on a flyer, but it doesn’t work.


    Dozens of studies have now demonstrated that when parking is given away free of charge, people drive more. The amount of extra driving induced is substantial. Figure 0-1 summarizes the results of studies of commuters in Los Angeles and elsewhere, showing the reduction in traffic that occurs when parking subsidies are removed or reduced. As this table shows, removing or reducing parking subsidies – subsidies that have been in good part created by minimum parking requirements – reduced vehicle trips by an average of 27%, in the mostly Southern California case studies shown here. ….

    Fortunately, Pasadena has more choices available to it than either: (a) accepting traffic congestion caused by cruising for free curb parking, or (b) imposing minimum parking requirements, which tends to lead to free parking everywhere and induces more driving.


    Take a look at the evidence-based report that is linked to above.

    Real solutions for reducing traffic are ones like shuttles to the Metro, extending Metro to WeHo, bike and pedestrian infrastructure, and more public transit — and charging enough for parking to keep some spots empty. As the report notes, “Bundling the cost of parking into higher prices for everything else skews travel choices toward cars and away from public transit, cycling and walking.”

    Those are also good for the planet we live in. Cities have shown traffic can be reduced, but that Shink’s proposals would do the exact opposite.

    1. Ha. That isn’t an “evidence-based report” — it’s a position paper by a municipality that benefits from charging residents for parking. I’m sure their analysis is *really* going to argue against taxing and fee-ing citizens to death. It’s like “evidence-based” reports by the tobacco industry that used to proclaim how healthy smoking was. Please. “Dozens of studies” are weasel words signifying nothing when the so-called studies in question aren’t even specifically cited.

      The implication that the only people in WeHo in need of street parking are rich people is just plain silly and not based in any reality. Plenty of relatively less wealthy renters have cars and rely on street parking because John Heilman has never required his developer financiers to build enough parking spots for their buildings. Now the Heilamnists insists these working and middle class renters should have an endless and ever-increasing amount of fees and fines tacked onto their cost of living. It’s selfish, regressive, and wrong for WeHo. For profit policing is not progressive. Period.

      What kind of faulty circular reasoning asserts that an increased reason for traffic is people looking for places to park, then says adding places to park will also cause more traffic? If people can park — surprise surprise — they won’t be looking for parking. And reality proves this: WeHo’s parking restrictions have gotten more and more stringent…and tradfic keeps getting worse and worse. Yes, 1 + 1 = 2, no matter what the Heilmanists say. If parking restrictions reduce traffic, why does WeHo have some of the worst congestion in L.A. compared to places that don’t restrict parking as much? The answer is obvious to anyone with a brain. When you make parking difficult and do nothing to provide viable, consistent alternatives, the result is frustration and headache.

      Candidate Heilmam has had thirty years to alleviate the traffic and parking problems in WeHo. It’s only gotten worse under his watch. He’s had 30 years to bring a serious bike share program to WeHo; he has failed to do so. He’s had 30 years to rip up neighborhoods to build a “subway” underneath us (LOL) and he’s achieved nothing. He’s all talk and lip service on these issues and no results — and his supporters have the nerve to slam the candidate with actual ideas, ideas that don’t require hiking up fines, fees, and hidden taxes on the poor? Heilman needs another 30 years to do nothing about these problems but make them worse?

      Unlike Heilman, Shink will not shrug and yawn as dozens of businesses shut down as their customers flee ridiculous meter hours and parking ticket shakedowns to find his million-dollar vanity projects? If you’re wondering where your revenue for the Pick Up (an idea that came from outside Heilman’s council, because he is not creatively progressive enough to come up with it) and the library etc should be coming from — it should be coming from policies that welcome consumers to come spend money in WeHo, policies like the ones Shink, D’Amico, and Meister are fighting for. Or you can vote for Heilman, and continue to welcome visitors and residents alike with traffic congestion, overdevelopment, and as many parking tickets as possible.

  15. Oops, here are corrected typos to one paragraph that had a few:

    Also, our city has payment waiver requests for the very low income. https://wmq1.etimspayments.com/weho/docs/financial_waiver.pdf I feel like I hear a lot of rich, entitled people wanting to park their polluting machines on public property illegally and then act like they are really standing up for the little guy when they whine about the punishment for breaking the rules.

  16. DK: “there’s no ‘subway’ in Los Angeles, period.”

    Really? What is it that I ride on from Hollywood to Union Station that is full of people and underground?

    DK: “Your insistence that parking tickets be written for the sole purpose of raising city revenue is shockingly regressive.”

    I said nothing about parking tickets in my comments on this article, much less did I insist that they be written “for the sole purpose of raising city revenue.” I said I opposed Shink’s plan to give away *free* parking and to require those of us don’t have cars to pay for more parking we don’t need or want.

    That said, charging adequate fines for illegal parking is perfectly reasonable IMO. From what I’ve seen in this city — and in stats — the poorer a person is, the less likely they are to own or drive a car. There are a LOT of rich people who drive in this city, in case you haven’t noticed. A modest fine is just a cost of parking to the wealthy and isn’t a realistic deterrent.

    Also, our city has payment waiver requests for the very low income. https://wmq1.etimspayments.com/weho/docs/financial_waiver.pdf I feel like I hear a lot of rich, entitled people wanting to park their polluting machines in public property illegally and then act like they are really standing up for the little guy when they wine about a punishment for breaking the rules.

    We already subsidize parking and driving far too much. Charging those who break the rules and can afford to pay is as reasonable a source of income as any, IMO. (That said, perhaps some tweaks here and there would be appropriate, I’m not familiar with exactly what’s charged — I just know that some candidates want absurdly low caps that are less than one pays to park in Chicago). Where would you rather get income for PATH, affordable housing, our library, the Pick Up, and other services? Or should their budgets be cut?

    Surely you realize there are a lot of rich drivers parking here.

    DK: “Free parking does not put more cars on the road, it gets cars driving around looking for parking and polluting the air off the road more quickly. “

    Did you just make that up? Please cite a source. I’ve seen that as much as 30% of traffic is people driving around looking for parking. If there’s limited parking and it’s given away — surprise, surprise — more people will use it. Thus, people will have a harder time finding spots and will drive around more. Also, people are more likely to drive for short trips if there’s no cost to doing so.

    DK: “And as to my being “anonymous” please try to keep up: my comments are linked directly to my Facebook page, complete with a photo. Oops.”

    Indeed, I missed the Facebook link. But, it says “Sorry this page isn’t available.“ But, I’m not clear if you’re anonymous or not: Is “Dude Kembro” your real name and is that photo you? Do you live in WeHo?

  17. Heidi, return the money from the March campaign to the people who were supporting you as one of their 3 choices. I stood next to a man who asked for his money back at last weeks rent meeting, he is supporting Heilman this race but was supporting you in March.. You turned your back and walked away and didn’t respond. Have you no integrity?

  18. Regarding Heilman’s lack of ideas, anyone can go look at his positions on the issues as given to Wehoville’s various articles asking candidates to respond to questionnaires. His answers are laughable compared to those of the other candidates — they offer nothing new.

    John Heilman has been pushing for subway in Weho? That’s odd, since there’s no “subway” in Los Angeles, period. What kind of fabrication is that? It is on John Heilman’s watch that developers have been able to get rid of “affordable housing’ units after the initial renters meeting the requirements move out — lip service to affordable housing while allowing developers to run amock fools no one. And I know Heilman would love to latch on to the success of the Pick-Up, but the idea was not his. It came from a young leader in the bar scene (who has endorsed Heidi Shink, by the way). Overprice government buildings funded by parking ticket shakedowns of the relatively poor are nothing for a progressive city to be proud of.

    Your insistence that parking tickets be written for the sole purpose of raising city revenue is shockingly regressive. The point of law enforcement — in good government — is public safety, not balancing budgets on the backs of those who can least afford it. But thank you for tacitly admitting what everybody knows: the increasingly byzantine parking restrictions in West Hollywood have no necessary purpose and have simply been implemented so that Heilman can waste millions on expensive building projects. That is disgustingly corrupt and should have every progressive within WeHo’s borders up in arms.

    For profit policing — which in the extreme breeds the kind of destructive distrust between communities and officers as seen in Baltimore and which was condemned by the Justice Department’s recent investigations into the corruption in Ferguson, MO — is not progressive. Laws should not be written for the sole purpose of generating revenue. If you cannot find ways to generate revenue except fee-ing and fine-ing to death the working classes, you’re doing it wrong. Free parking does not put more cars on the road, it gets cars driving around looking for parking and polluting the air off the road more quickly.

    What we should not be doing is driving away revenue by driving away customers. I count a dozen businesses that have closed in the extended meter area since Heilman pushed that awful policy into law over the objections of business owners and citizens — with yet another WeHo staple, The Palm, about to re-locate to Beverly Hills where their customers will actually be able to park. This is a policy that just plain is not working. And make no mistake: if Heilman gets back on council Lauren Meister’s progressive parking reforms rolling back these horrid laws will be shelved. Heilman and his supporters won’t stop until every parking spot in West Hollywood (except the driveways of wealthy homeowners of course) is a cash register for the fines and fees of his nanny-state.

    Re term limits: FDR is the exception that proves the rule, a once-in-a-century leader. We could have very well ended up with four terms of Regan sans terms limits — I guess you and the Heilmanists would have loved and adored that?

    And as to my being “anonymous” please try to keep up: my comments are linked directly to my Facebook page, complete with a photo. Oops.

  19. @ManofReason — yeah, facts clearly don’t matter to some, you paramount among them. The fact of the matter, stated clearly in the article from which you insist of sleazily cherry-picking, is that Heidi Shink did not run in the election in question, which is why it remains unclear whether any violation was committed. Nor, again, is it clear that there’s any criminal liability based on intent. I’ve already pointed this out, but since it doesn’t comport with the Heilman camp’s preferred narrative, I had no doubt you will continue to bury your head in the sand and ignore it.

    As to your other allegations — again, provide evidence. You cannot do so. The concept of evidence and proof seems to be a difficult one for you to grasp. Gossip, smear, gossip, smear, gossip, smear, gossip, smear, gossip, smear — looks like the stench of desperation from the Heilmanists.

  20. People are allowed to change their mind…..and people can be convinced by others to do something that they originally said they wouldn’t do……..It’s really not that big a deal. Changing your mind doesn’t make anyone “untrustworthy” either, it just means they changed their mind.

    Come on Woody, don’t be such a stickler about that….geez!

  21. Also, DK: Interesting decision to accuse others of hurling insults (which were actually fact-based allegations of apparent dishonesty, most of which had cited sources in an article in WeHoville) under the veil of anonymity as you anonymously hurl untrue insults.

  22. Regarding claims that John Heilman has no new ideas, it sounds like you are just looking for insults to sling and assuming that readers will be ill-informed enough not to realize they’re false.

    Just because WeHo is great doesn’t mean that there aren’t still things that can be better. And just because someone has a lot of experience doesn’t mean they keep looking for and advocating for improvements.

    John Heilman has been pushing for a subway stop in WeHo and for more affordable housing, he embraced the Pick-Up, and was a leader in getting our gorgeous library (which was obviously new when it was built) and council chambers. He continues to push for new facilities — like a state-of-the art recreational center and the new public parking structure behind the city council building. He’s interested in a shuttle to the subway and he supported bike lanes (that are now in place) on San Vicente and pushed for them Santa Monica west of Kings Road during the street redesign. These are concrete, specific actions and ideas that he has made happen or is working to make happen.

    The issues he supports are the ones I care about: affordable housing near transit, increasing transit, and increasing social services for those in needs are the ones I care about. His campaign — from everything I have seen — has been about actual issues and his track record.

    Meanwhile, Shink’s proposal of depriving our city of a major source of revenue (reasonable fees for parking for two hours and after 8pm) is not a new idea I want in our city. We have problems with traffic and parking. The worst solution possible for those things is to give away parking. Our city does great things with its revenue! Why deprive it of that revenue and subsidize a unhealthy mode of transportation by giving away large tracts of public property for personal vehicle storage? We need to move toward cleaner transportation. Encouraging people to drive everywhere all the time and park for free is what’s taking us backwards. It seems like a 1980s campaign position in suburbia. It makes no financial or policy sense for our city, and it encourages people to pollute more, use more fossil fuels, and create yet more traffic and less open parking. Our city is 1.9 sq. miles. There are a lot of trips we can and should take by the PickUp/City Line/bus, by foot, and by bike. We certainly shouldn’t (and couldn’t) mandate people use those healthy options more, but we also shouldn’t make it quite so easy (free parking) to make decisions that are bad for many individuals and for the planet.

    Similarly, I am strongly opposed to her proposal to increase parking requirements for new developments. That will only increase traffic by encouraging more private cars. I am already paying (though my rent) for a spot I do not need or want. People like me will instead choose to live in places that don’t force us to pay for parking spots they do not need or want. Then, WeHo can attract people who each have their own car and have all the more competition for parking and traffic to contend with. The newer generation prefers the newer generation of transportation (which was actually in many cases the mode of transportation of the long ago past, before the car industry bought up and dismantled public transit), and that’s the only way forward for a sustainable future. Forcing the apartments of future to build for transportation of the past — and for suburbia — is not what I’m looking for in leadership of my city.

    Re: Term limits: So, I imagine you’re very angry that we had three terms of FDR?

    My uncle (who is conservative/libertarian) wrote a book supporting term limits and was the president of a national organization advocating for them. When I was about 19, I found his book very persuasive. However, I’ve worked with state legislatures for the past 11+ years and I have come to believe it is a very bad idea to deprive states and localities of the long-term thinking and expertise of some long term public servants. Among others, a health committee chair who knows his state’s health code inside and out and who successfully champions issues his constituents care about comes to mind. I am glad his state has no term limits. I’ve seen out-of-touch public servants get unelected in primaries by elected officials that were more representative of voters — in other words that elections are term limits. I’ve also been very sorry to see some elected officials who voters wanted to continue to represent them unable to continue serving the public due to term limits.

  23. Term limits start for each member the first time he is sworn in starting with the March 2013 election. In other words, Horvath, Meister and D’Amico are beginning the first of their three terms that count.. Whoever wins in June will have at least the rest of this term and two more possible. I don’t know if because it is only a 21 month term if that means another full one is possible.

    Some of us warned the zealots behind the always Republican idea of term limits that the earlier it took effect would be 2025.

  24. The answer is that if Heilman should be elected, it would be the beginning of the term that kicks off term limits for Heilman & those elected on March 3. He would be entitled to 2 more although he has again said that if he wins as a replacement for the seat vacated by Jeffrey prang, that he would not run again in 2017. But we already know how untrustworthy Heilman’s word is, since he said that if he lost the March 3 election, he would not run again. This is not a man of his word

  25. @DK. We must be reading different stories. The story i read https://www.wehoville.com/2015/04/27/shinks-payments-to-herself-from-campaign-funds-an-apparent-violation-of-state-law/
    sadys Shink made “payments of $999 and $6,795.55” to herself and that only a payment of $500 to her wife was legal. It also says “state campaign finance law bars candidates from reimbursing themselves for expenditures they make for their own campaigns.”

    But guess facts don’t matter to everyone. And forget the financial shenanigans. What, Mister DK, do you say about all the lies she’s telling about being on the board of the Jewish women’s group, being responsible for the sober new year’s eve party, participating in the bicycle study, etc., etc., etc., etc. Looks like this candidate’s pants are on fire.

  26. Can someone answer this question for me? Now that we have term limits for City Council members… considering that John Heilman was not reelected in March, if he wins in June, would this effectively reset his City Council year to “zero”, meaning he could theoretically serve 3 more consecutive terms? Or would this be counted as a “re-election” and he would only legally be able to serve 1 more term?

  27. @Man of Reason. I’m thinking the City Council should name you WeHo’s official “Heilman’s Boot-Licking Desperate Hatchet Man & Cult Leader.” Maybe you should look up the definition of “hard evidence” and try again.

    Guess you are not much for reading either: the article you bring up posits an “apparent” violation of campaign in law in the author’s (not-unbiased) analysis. In question were two payments. One, the article admits was legal at the time. The other, a reimbursement, may not be illegal since 1) Shink did not end up running in the the election in question and 2) there is no proof of the willful intent and premeditated disregard typically necessary to demonstrate criminal liability. I’m assuming you read the article and know this, you’re just being a typical Heilman goon, spreading half-baked smears. Hard evidence? Pfft!

    I said that if you provide evidence of wrongdoing so egregious that it trumps the real issues at hand and the need to secure a progressive future for West Hollywood, then by all means, do so. You have not done so.. Heidi Shink making a check-writing error a year ago that may or may not be illegal does not mean residents should allow John Heilman to continue to sell out West Hollywood’s quality of life to developers and shakedown the less wealthy with regressive, byzantine parking rules, fines, and fees. Nice try, though.

    That you have to remain anonymous to spread these half-truths speaks to the sleazy dishonesty of John Heilman supporters who are increasingly desperate to distract from their candidate’s lack of vision and stale, played out policies. Thank you for continuing to demonstrate why Heilmanism’s decades in the sun are over and why Shink deserves our votes on June 2.

  28. @DK. Guess you are not much for reading. The Wehoville article said the city prosecutor is investigating, yes. But it also said that Shink’s campaign documents show that she wrote checks to herself (which is illegal). And the story said that Shink admitted that. Can you get harder evidence of law breaking than that? I’m thinking the City Council should name you WeHo’s official “Queen of Denial”

  29. The fact that an investigation exists means nothing in and of itself. Investigations are launched (or not launched) for many reasons. They may be legitimate fact-finding missions that attempt to prove innocence or culpability. They may be pure nonsense and politically motivated. Hillary Clinton is currently being “investigated” by several House Republican panels — what of it? I don’t think any of those investigations are legitimate, and I also think there are many legitimate issues that are not being investigated.

    The principle of innocent before proven guilty apply, and to my knowledge neither Heidi Shink nor Cole Ettman has been convicted of any crime. That’s not to say the investigations aren’t legitimate — they may be. But they may not be. There’s a lot of developer donation activity and blatant pay-to-play city hall corruption needing independent investigation that, for whatever reasons, are not being investigated. So I’m not going to throw anyone under a bus for an investigation that could be completely specious. It would not be the first investigation that turned up nothing serious while real issues were neglected.

    If you can provide concrete proof and actual evidence for your claims of dishonesty, please do so — but I know better than to make decisions based on rumors, gossip, and innuendo and my guess is most West Hollywood residents know better as well.

    It has been my experience that when candidates lack policy ideas and a positive vision for the future, they are left with nothing but slime, smears, and scandalmongering. We are seeing this at play nationally with the Republican Party and its total lack of any vision besides lame attempts to smear Hillary Clinton and her family. If conservatives had a serious party platform, they’d be talking about that — but since they have nothing to offer voters besides tax cuts for the rich, sexism, homophobia, racism, war with Iran, and Ayn Rand style cutthroat greed, they’re left with “investigations”.

    I have no intention of being distracted from real issues without hard evidence. Heidi Shink is running a campaign on actual issues and real reforms, a campaign of ideas and policies to address real concerns about parking, development, housing, etc. Reading John Heilman’s answers on the issues reveals a stunning and yawning lack of vision, zero progressive policy ideas, and a stale reliance on the fact that he’s been around a long time. He’s an empty suit. Until provided with actual proof of wrongdoing so substantial as to indicate WeHo is better off accepting this stale status quo over a progressive future as represented by Shink, no, I’m not taking silly season political smears seriously. Neither are most people.

  30. The fact is I am delighted when the truth shines through. Fact will always trump unfounded and misleading information. It is welcome to not have to add any more than what most commenters have stated so eloquently and clearly supported by their knowledge and facts.

    I am not surprised at the comments and oh so predictable comments; of the one’s that feel more comfortable in there embellished claims based on fear, untruths and unbelievable posturing.

    John Heilman is the architect and leader that is one who built this city and I am proud to cast my ballot for the person of true integrity, vision, progressive values. John Heilman that will benefit us all. You to Woody and Alison-like it or not.

    Thank you to Hank Scott for journalism and reporting how it is supposed to be done. and thank you to the reason and rational commenters.

    This is probably the shortest blog I’ve written to date. Vote June 2 for John Heilman and the principles we almost all love. Its for the people of West Hollywood. Not just for the few people, elitists or self proclaimed entitled.

    The love of West Hollywood has kept me here. John Heilman’s love of West Hollywood is why he needs to be elected. Whether you agree with him or not, John is totally inclusive.

  31. @DK. So you really think people should vote for a candidate like Shink who is being investigated by a prosecutor for violating campaign finance laws (including putting money raised for her campaign in her own pocket) and who seems to be an incredible liar? I mean, she says she was on the board of the Jewish women’s group, and she wasn’t. She says she helped establish the sober New Year’s Eve event, and she didn’t. And I hear the bicycle advocates are livid that she claims to have attended all their meetings, and she didn’t attend one. And there’s more that for some reason Wehoville hasn’t written about.

    How many lies does a candidate have the right to make (and how much money does she have the right to divert from campaign funds into her own pocketbook) before we decide she’s too crooked to govern us? Remember, this is sunny West Hollywood, not crooked Chicago (or is it?)

  32. n reality, very few “repulsive, undemocratic” things get voted on, and the few times they slip through, we have checks and balances in place to overturn them. People cannot decide that only straights can vote, because that is illegal. WeHo-style term limits will not be overturned, because they are not repulsive, perfectly democratic, and a perfectly legal feature of democracy since the beginning of democracies — so the comparison is specious. The very first democracies in ancient Greece and ancient Rome both had them. Why? Because the founders of democracy understood the concept of citizen government. They knew political careerism can be corrupting. The democratic process has been revised and refined over and over in the thousands of years since to make it work better — but term limits have survived. For good reason.

    Term limits in the right form are a progressive check on corruption. Fortunately, the Father of Our Country, George Washington, also understood this, which is why he rejected attempts to make him President-for-Life and, of his own volition, stepped down after two terms, setting precedent. Washington did that because he was wise enough to know when to gracefully hang it up, and because he cared more about what was best for his people than for his own personal power and the (well-deserved) cult of personality that had grown up around him. He was a *real* leader.

    Term limits on the American Presidency were officially enshrined in 22nd Amendment to the Constitution. That amendment passed Congress with broad consensus, and was ratified by liberals, moderates, and conservatives in 39 states — red, blue, and purple. To this day, Gallup polling on this issue indicates bipartisan agreement that term limits are, on balance, a benefit for good government.

    But we do know the types who are opposed to term limits historically: tin point fascist dictators like Putin, Mugabe, Chavez, and the Castros — Presidents-for-Life who cling to desperately power nevermind the will of the people they are supposed to serve. Is that the kind of fascist thinking we want for governance in West Hollywood?

    But this is moot: Heilman was not term limited out, he lost an election. Prompting him to renege on his claim that elections serve as term limits. So we know the type of democracy Heilman and his supporters believe in: the kind that benefits John Heilman. When democracy works against his interests, then it’s “anti-democratic”.Predictable.

    Policy issues, not personal issues, are at stake her. Making progressive good government reforms in the areas of parking and development are the biggest issues in this election, and the best way to do that is to elect Heidi Shink. Lame attacks on Shink and the Heilman camp’s personal vendetta against D’Amico will not substitute for progressive principles and real policy ideas. Of course, if Heilman had any ideas besides “The status quo is perfect, let’s just keep doing exactly the same thing forever (unless I say differently)” his supporters might understand that.

  33. The Ellis Act is a state, not West Hollywood enacted, law. If you have problems with the law, complain to the governor and state legislature.

    I assume Disco that since Block also lost in March (and got half as many votes as Heilman) and is running again he also is not to be trusted, right? Let’s not get opportunistically hypocritical here. Horvath and Meister also are tied with Heilman as having lost one previous election each, and somehow it was OK for them to run.

  34. WOW ! ! ! Where do I begin? First, the dreaded Ellis Act has now come crashing down on me (at 71 years of age and being a tenant in the same apartment for 36+ years). The Ellis Act is so draconian that it even forces individuals out of their apartments EVEN if they have a terminal illness !!!! It is a TRULY disgusting piece of legislation and should be repealed or dramatically altered. BTW – if you are a WeHo resident, you can be placed on a wait list (with WeHo) for affordable housing, based on age and income will help. But the West Hollywood Housing Corporation, as far as I know, is a separate entity and not connected to the WeHo Rent Stabilization Ellis Act process.

    Democracy ? ! Was democracy in action in 2000 when GW Bush “won” the election via the absolutely archaic Electoral College even though he LOST the popular vote to Al Gore ? ! What a travesty !!!

    As far as I recall, D’Amico was the first Council Member to provide his personal phone number which I called regarding issues with my landlord. He not only called me back but met with me (one-to-one) on two separate occasions. And Heidi Shink met with me (face-to-face) for some 90 minutes to explain and clarify her platform. Shink has had her missteps and when I brought these matters to her attention, she apologized and more than adequately explained what happened to my satisfaction.

    Heilman consistently expressed his position that elections were term limits. Well, he lost in March and now going back on his word. Not to be trusted.

    1. Disco, you took the easy cheap way of being a renter rather than a property, and you were always at risk to be at the mercy of others. You talk about democracy but doesn’t your landlord have rights? He doesn’t care about your personal illnesses anymore than you care about his. He took a risk with his money, and made an investment of an apartment building. Our system is should be rewarded for risking his money, and making a good decision on his investment risk. You sound jealous and bitter. I’ll bet you regret not being an owner all these years. He has no obligation to care or do anything for you, just like you don’t care about his rights and his investment.

  35. the single biggest reason for Shink not to get in is that she is not qualified. the fact that she will most likely be a pawn for d’amico is the second reason.

  36. People can and do vote for anti-democratic ideas. It would be illegal, but what if the voters decided only straights could vote? (There are part of this country where it would be possible). If a majority of people approved that, would that make it democratic? Lots of repulsive, antidemocratic things get voted on. Being voted on doesn’t per se make something democratic. Term limits are a core principle Republican idea because the forces behind the Repubs want to control elected officials and they do so by limiting their power, expertise and potential to rally voters out of long term awareness (look across the country now and see if you like that). Any Democrat who supports term limits is a fool who does so out of ignorance.

    Thank Jimmy for calling out D’Amico specifically. I too was someone initially open minded to him. The single biggest reason to make sure Shink doesn’t get in (with Heilman being the best vehicle to ensure that) is that the ego driven out of control D’Amico has shown that he craves power and control and personal glory at the expense of the city, and he expects Meisrer and Shink to help him achieve that. Larry Block also commented here that he is worried about him. Stopping D’Amico is the biggest issue in this and the next election, and returning John Heilman to the council is the best way to do it.

  37. “Term-limits are anti-democratic.” Except that term limits in West Hollywood were implemented in the most democratic of methods: a direct vote. But that’s not why John Heiman is no longer on Council — he lost an election. That’s also called democracy, or will they now argue elections are “anti-democratic”? John Heilman refused to accept term limits by claiming that elections served that function, then when he lost the election, he refused accept the results gracefully because apparently his version of democracy is John Heilman, Councilman-for-Life. That makes it twice now John Heilman has “shown contempt” for the will of democratic voters — talk about “anti-democratic.” It’s telling that he and his supporters cannot agree with the choice of voters to reject career politicianism. The numbers can be spun and unspun: fact is, he lost the election. That means the results are a mandate against him, no matter how much his supporters only support “democracy” when it reflects what John Heilman wants.

    I have to question whether anyone who asks with a straight face “what is it that’s so bad about our city” has been paying attention at all; I know the once-beloved John Heilman of the 90s somehow got replaced with a 2.0 version that has no regard for citizen worries and complaints, but is this blind spot now spreading? Some seem to think the status quo is perfect, that there is no room for improvement, and that excellence is maintained by complacent acceptance as opposed to vigilant activism. Real progressives know better. I wonder if Heilman supporters see anything about West Hollywood that can be made better. They seem to be unaware that it is possible to like a city, to want make it better, and to seek policies that prevent it from losing its good traits. Yes, it is indeed possible to walk and chew gum at the same time.

    If West Hollywood is so perfect as is, why do we need more and more development? If everything in WeHo is and was and has been hunky dory — why was changing meters hours necessary? The Pick-Up did not exist two years ago — should it have never existed because West Hollywood had already reached a state of Nirvana?

    For some, there is no need to change anything about WeHo — unless of course, it’s John Heilman who is making the change, in which the proposed changes are both necessary and good. Anyone else’s ideas or concerns are invalid and a slap in the face to the awesomeness that is West Hollywood, awesomeness that must be accepted and defended uncritically.

    Cult of personality is no way to govern a progressive municipality. We need new, fresh council members in the Meister-D’Amico strain who are capable both of appreciating West Hollywood and of taking seriously voter concerns about overdevelopment, over-ticketing and for-profit policing, traffic, cost-of-living. and dysfunctional city hall corruption. It is increasingly apparent that John Heilman cannot or will not do both, and that Heidi Shink can and will. Those are real and serious issues at stake in this election — not who parked in handicap spots.

  38. Institutional Knowledge Is A Valuable Asset. I was there in 1984, intimately associated with the Cityhood campaign. I know John Heilman well, and watched him in action every meeting of the first year. In those earlier days, John would expedite city contracts that were deemed immediate action ( Like landscaping along western Santa Monica median strip–ugh, you should have seen it! ). His honesty is above reproach & he deserves your vote.

  39. @alison….Madame…I assume you are female, although those who do not use their names make that assumption very difficult. Be VERY VERY CLEAR. I was a huge D’Amico fan. I was his first on air interview. I walked him through my building (90 units) when no one knew his name. I screamed his name and supported him, alienating myself from many people I have known for decades. That man no longer exists. The man in D’Amico’s seat is not about the people anymore. I see nothing but theatrics, gloating, and hunger for power, yet nothing has changed in this city that he was to make all of the changes in. What I do see changing is the attitude towards the less fortunate, the disabled and seniors. They arent part of the demographic that he seeks because i guess there aren’t enough numbers to make them “desireables”. SO MADAME, I SUGGEST THAT YOU MAY BE THE ONE that has blinders on. Remember, I have been on the outside and the inside. I know good from bad. And I know right from wrong. I just say it as I see it.

  40. Woody, Are you writing from some other West Hollywood in a parallel universe? In the one I live in, one bedrooms don’t start at $4,000 and there are affordable housing provisions so that struggling families and individuals can live in new developments.

    Also, there’s something called supply and demand.

    While some homeless might not move directly into a WeHo apartment that isn’t cheap, as that one bedroom opens, a person moves from another place there, and on and on and on until a more affordable unit becomes available and someone no longer has to stay on a friend’s couch or garage or be homeless.

  41. That’s a brilliant observation. We need to keep building higher & wider in this 1.9 square mile crowded little city so that the homeless can all get themselves a one bedroom apartment starting at $4,000.00 a month. I think there are new condos that are now almost completed going for up to $5 million, even more. Maybe the homeless families could double up & buy those.

  42. In response to some of the comments …

    I do wonder, why did those of you who are complaining so much about John Heilman’s 30 years on the City Council move here? What is it that’s so bad about our city?

    We could have moved anywhere in the country and we chose our city to be home. It’s progressive, welcoming, and well run. And it was in the black during a recession. We have a beautiful new library, a commitment to affordable housing, the excellent PATH services, and fun creative public transit like the Pick-Up. And — for shame — we develop with the times and expand shopping and housing options sometimes.

    While some of you may pre-date the city, I bet many of you also chose to make WeHo home because it’s so great. And those of you who lived here pre-cityhood — what do you miss? I’ve talked to people who lived here decades ago about what it was like, it’s gotten so, so much better.

    You know how I tell where our city border is? Our garbage is collected, the sidewalks all have curb cuts (not curbs that disabled people can’t travel on), and the sidewalks are level. We have our sh*t together. And it’s not an accident.

    Term limits are anti-democratic. They show contempt for voters’ ability to make choices and deprive them of elected officials with long-term thinking and experience. It’s telling that you admit they were enacted to deprive voters of a choice you disagreed with.

    In a 12-way race in a off-year election in March where only 20% of voters turned out, 41.9% of voters who cast a vote that Tuesday opted for Heilman as one of their three choices. 46% opted for the first place finisher as one of their three options. 43.3% opted for the each the second and third place finishers. Don’t pretend that’s some kind of a mandate against Heilman. Less than half of voters voted for the only other incumbent, too.

    Yes, now John Heilman is running again. It’s called democracy.

  43. Translation: the only “facts” that matter are the ones that I say matter. This does not even hold up to its own logic. if it’s “nonsensical” to compare Beverly Hills’s sensible approach to parking enforcement to the awful policing-for-profit schemes employed by West Hollywood then it’s “nonsensical” to compare West Hollywood’s crime rate to other places in West Hollywood that differ in geography, density, and population.
    The point is none of these comparisons are nonsensical. Everybody knows place names have differences; the point is the principles of progressive good government work — no matter where they are employed. WeHo’s parking system is not a progressive one; those in Beverly Hills (and Hermosa Beach, and San Francisco…etc.) are. That’s why they work, and why ours doesn’t. And it makes perfect sense to point that out. Kudos to Lauren Meister for proposing progressive parking reforms.

  44. To follow up, I’m not sure about that precise figure on homelessness. It looks like I slightly misremembered it.

    A recent LA Times article said there are 44,359 homeless people in the county.

    According to a wonderful local nonprofit I volunteer with, Schools on Wheels (which pairs volunteer tutors with homeless children), there are there are 63,744 homeless CHILDREN alone in Los Angeles County. http://www.schoolonwheels.org/about-us/the-need

    There’s obviously a discrepancy in those number. In any case, the figure is clearly in the tens of thousands, and it is increasing. And a very large number of them are children.

    And it’s also clear, more housing is needed.

  45. Thanks for injecting some facts into the debate, Hank! I am so tired of the knee-jerk anti-development hysteria.

    47% of LA renters’ income goes to rent. Some people are living 16 to an abode and in converted garages. 50,000 are homeless in LA alone. We need more housing to bring down rents and reduce crowding and homelessness.

    A lot of us have the luxury of not being personally affected by sky rocketing rents due to rent control. Others are home owners whose house values go up with limited supply, and lots of demand. And, many of us (including me) have no kids, so we don’t have to worry about our own kids having to pay exorbitant amounts for housing.

    Have a heart, people. And if you are going to oppose building more housing, at least don’t fool yourselves into thinking it’s for some noble purpose.

  46. @Woody. Thank you for the confidence you place in a highly qualified candidate in the June 2, 2015 City Council race. It’s refreshing to see that you have come to realize that Mr. Heilman will serve the City again and how nice that you use a yiddish word “chutzpah.” The modern meaning of that word has come to mean “guts” or “courage.” Mr. Heilman should add you to his list of endorsers, including: Democrats for Israel; California National Organization of Women and the Stonewall Democratic Club (just to name a few).

  47. Election? What election? The more I hear & read from Heilman’s supporters, the more baffled I become at their logic, if you can call it that. Bill Clinton said that the Republicans refuse to let the facts get in the way of their version of the truth. Heilman’s “supporters” sound more & more like Republicans all the time. They try to twist & distort the facts to suit their own agenda, implying that Heilman actually won the March 3 election, that he lost but he really won, that the voters chose 3 newer candidates over Heilman but they really wanted Heilman to win, that Heilman only lost by a small number of votes so he was really meant to win, that the vote counters got it all wrong, that Heilman will get his revenge on the majority of the voters by defying their wishes & running again on June 2, & by George, this time he is really going to win & show those nasty March 3 voters that he was meant to win in the first place & that he won’t go away & they can’t make him! It’s surreal. And in their rage against the March 3 voters, none of his “supporters” have even mentioned that Heilman actually lost. I wonder if it has actually sunk in. I’m beginning to think they actually believe their own brainwashing.That’s what elections are for – someone wins, someone loses. Losers with dignity admit defeat & move on, unless maybe they’re Republicans, then they might challenge the election results, complain, whine & threaten to sue. But reasonable losing candidates move on with dignity. Heilman should have had the class & presence of mind to respect the results of the March 3 election, making a gracious concession speech thanking the voters for his 30 years but acknowledging that they had dismissed him from the council & want someone new, Although I think Heilman is contaminating the process, he may win on June 2 due to very small voter turn out & if he does, I’m sure he will waltz back in to the City Council chambers as if he was never un-elected & it will be as if March 3 never happened. One thing I’ll say for the man, he has an abundance of chutzpah. I find it sad that Heilman can’t see how badly his selfishness & disregard for the voters cheapens the process & leaves so many people with even a stronger distaste for politics. Small wonder that so many good people have given up entirely on voting at all. Egomaniacal ,self serving politicians like Heilman are one of the main reasons.

  48. Boy, this article sounded like a Heilman campaign piece. I still say, he had 30 years on the Council and that was enough. He left the East Side over-developed and traffic gridlocked, with more to come and now you want him to come back and do the same to the rest of the city. You are fools. He had Abbe Land as his right hand before and now he will have Lindsay Horvath. WE VOTED HIM OUT AND NOW HE IS FIGHTING TO GET BACK ON. He is why we passed term limits. He just doesn’t get it.

    Jimmy – you see a self absorbed attitude on the Council now? We know you don’t like D’Amico. We get it. What I don’t understand is why you didn’t see the self-absorbed attitude of Heilman all those years? He wants his name on everything in this City. His ego is bigger than all of WeHo. D’Amico is nothing compared to Heilman in the ego department. You have blinders on.

  49. Don’t let the facts stand in the way……it seems like that’s the political mantra in Weho now a days.

    But the facts and the truth eventually come out…… Let’s hope that happens before the (more) damage is done.

  50. Thank you Hank. With a councilmember calling affordable housing a myth, stating that there is zero chance of getting one, we need REAL info put out there. Perhaps when someone lives in a million dollar or more home, and are settled for life, their worry about the most vulnerable becomes non existant. Water became the terror tactic used by NIMBY’s who didnt want affordable units near their condo’s apparantly. I’m once again stating my support for Heilman, as, even with his flaws, he is the best candidate to bring us into the future. If people would just stand back and filter out the rhetoric of a councilmember who has a such a personal hatred for Heilman that he is agressively endorsing and supporting someone who is not qualified, and just research the positive change that has been made by Heilman for this city, they would see there is no other choice. I went to Heilmans event at Blazing Saddles, and listened intently to his speech. Funny thing……there was no mention, or snide remarks about anyone else that is on council, only positive remarks for the future. Sadly, I haven’t seen that display of professionalism from someone who was promising amazing change for West Hollywood. The only change I am seeing is a self absorbed attitude gloating for personal reasons rather than that of the city.

  51. Also please note that not everything is reported on the crime blotter as many crimes do not appear on there and also if someone does not file a police report on a crime than it does not appear either.

  52. Thx Hank for this.

    On the crime rate – remember that this is calculated compared to population. A city that get a major influx of non residents visiting like we do actually likely has a lower rate than some that have few short time or longer visitors in our midst. Also, major felonies – murder, robbery, high end burglary, shootings etc – remain much lower than many places.

    On density – one factor in the minor increase is that their are more kids resident than earlier as more families move into the city than previously. That might be the single biggest factor.

    1. Yes. But the crime rate is what matters, not whether those who break into our cars and houses and rob us on the street are our neighbors or are visiting from the Valley. So if you live here, the rate of crime per resident is the issue.

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