Three WeHo City Council Deputies to Depart with Severance Payments

The four City Council deputies on the City of West Hollywood’s payroll were officially dismissed yesterday following Monday night’s decision by the Council to eliminate the controversial deputy system.

west hollywood city hall, disabilities advisory boardThree of the deputies — Michelle Rex, deputy to Councilmember John D’Amico; Ian Owens, deputy to Councilmember John Duran, and Kiran Hashmi, acting deputy to Mayor Lindsey Horvath — are eligible to remain on the city’s payroll for 45 days in other roles and to receive severance pay under terms of the agreement executed with the city by their five-member union.

For Rex the severance pay is $14,770. Hashmi will receive $9,650, and Owens will receive $9,026.  Rex’s hourly compensation was $52.70.  Owens’ was $45.13 and Hashmi’s was $48.25.  Those rates do not include the value of benefits such as health insurance and retirement plan funding.

Scott Schmidt, Councilmember Lauren Meister’s interim deputy and former campaign manager, had not served the six months required to be eligible for severance pay.  Schmidt was paid $39.31 an hour.

City Hall staffers already have set up a system to address concerns of residents until a permanent City Council support system is established. That could take as long as six months as the city determines exactly what skills are needed and begins a recruitment process. Meanwhile, residents can reach Council offices by calling (323) 848-6460, at which point they will be directed to administrators who will direct your requests to the appropriate Council members.

The Council voted four to one Monday night to eliminate the 30-year-old deputy system and replace it with a system in which employees with specific skills would assist Council members with scheduling appointments, drafting legislation and meeting with constituents. Those staff member would report to a supervisor who would report to the City Manager. Under the previous system, deputies were selected by individual Council members who in the case of Meister and D’Amico chose their campaign managers. The system’s dysfunctions became public earlier this year in scandal dubbed “Deputygate.”


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Alan Strasburg
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Alan Strasburg

LOL Steve Martin! Who needs Kelly Girl in the age of Grindr!?!

Scott T Imler
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Scott T Imler

I share Jeffrey Wards’s concern about the actual mechanics of a more technocratic Council support system, but it’s pretty clear that the “baby” had indeed already drowned in the 30 year old bathwater and a new start was necessary. I’m still not clear about how one staff member who might meet with constituents for all council members will enhance the public’s sense of actually being heard rather than just being more efficiently managed data. The City of West Hollywood has a unique opportunity here to craft a Council support system that truly values participatory democracy, elevates the importance of community… Read more »

Scott T Imler
Guest
Scott T Imler

@ Steve: It will probably depend on which skills Council members decide they need most 😉

WeHoMikey
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WeHoMikey

LOL

Steve Martin
Guest
Steve Martin

Will the new City Council staff support positions be posted on Grinder?

jason
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jason

The perfect title for this new position should be call “council coordinator” and the pay should be $5,109 – $6,529 per month, like all other coordinators in this city position. $78,000 a year + benefits is very good package.

Guy Privaton (@guyprivaton)
Guest

This is a GOOD change!

Jeffery Ward
Guest

Great, now lets hope the city doesn’t create some new bureaucracy that keeps the people from their representatives! I can understand administrative assistants but our city is to small to put up walls between those elected and those that elected them! Here, here, to a new structure that restores power to the people!

Lynn Russell
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Lynn Russell

Brilliant! Time for everyone to move on.

Joan Henehan
Guest
Joan Henehan

Excellent. A new set of protocols and accountability begins.