City Councilmembers Push Back on City Hall Religious Holiday Decorations

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story attributed the statement “I do have trouble with the idea that the city will be spending money to put what for many people are religious symbols in City Hall … This sort of smacks too much of religion for me and I don’t think it is the right role for the city” to Councilmember Lauren Meister. In fact, that statement was made by Councilmember John Heilman. The story has been changed to correct that.

It’s not beginning to look a lot like Christmas. At least not in the West Hollywood City Hall.

Menorah
Menorah

A proposal by Mayor Lindsey Horvath and Councilmember John D’Amico that the city figure out a way to light a menorah and Christmas tree at City Hall during the holiday season got pushback from other council members last night.

Councilmembers Lauren Meister and John Heilman both said they had heard from city employees who were unhappy about the idea. “I do have trouble with the idea that the city will be spending money to put what for many people are religious symbols in City Hall,” Heilman said. “This sort of smacks too much of religion for me and I don’t think it is the right role for the city.”

Councilmember John Duran agreed. “I don’t support mixing religion and government in the same place,” Duran said, while noting that he lights a menorah at his home every Hanukkah season even though he isn’t Jewish.

D’Amico argued that his proposal was meant more to create a Winter holiday season than celebrate a religion.

Duran, Heilman and Meister did agree to support D’Amico’s proposal that the city work with local artists and businesses to promote holiday celebrations and displays and that it budget $10,000 to pay for the cost of developing holiday celebrations.

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Nicholas
Nicholas
4 years ago

Thank you Woody McBreairty. I was beginning to think I was the only person in Weho bothered by our city’s pathetic attempt at decorating Santa Monica Boulevard for the holiday season. Those same tired old stars with the burned out light bulbs have been making their annual appearance on the lamp posts of SMB every November for at least the 13 years that I have lived here, and I suspect even longer than that. They went up again this past November, and before December even arrived, I was already noticing lights out in significant numbers. Many stars had all the… Read more »

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
4 years ago

John Duran does not believe in mixing religion and government but he has no problem mixing sex with government. The point Lindsay Horvath and John D’Amico were making that if West Hollywood is going to put up holiday decorations, let’s make them relevant and creative. The City has allowed menorah ceremonies in Plummer Park which were attended by Council members, including John Duran and John Heilman, so what is the big difference? While I agree City Hall is not the best location, why not use a park or the Santa Monica median strip for some inclusive decorations and activities? It… Read more »

luca d
luca d
4 years ago

winter solstice & summer solstice celebrated by who? in this country, and we are still a sovereign nation, we celebrate the holidays of the judeo-christian people. and if you are confused by that statement of fact and tradition, then you don’t know our history. this city and frankly, this state is so politically correct, it’s pathetic. god forbid someone be offended by a christmas tree, so let’s offend everyone. i agree with the folks who have posted that if city hall wants to close their eyes to the holidays, then work those days, provide services on those days, and end… Read more »

BlueEyedBoy
BlueEyedBoy
4 years ago

Does being Progressive require that you also be atheist?

jason
jason
4 years ago

What a joke, you can’t find another city that doesn’t celebrate XMAS. WEHO is the only one!!! We live in America don’t forget. City hall wake up and put a XMAS tree in your city hall lobby. I’m sure the majority of employees want a TREE. WEHO celebrates everything else, don’t forget the most recognized holiday of all.

JJ
JJ
4 years ago

Merry Christmas Christopher and Blue Eyed Boy!

Ho Ho Ho
4 years ago

Councilman D’Amico wants to create a Winter holiday season. Specifically, what would those holidays be? Are we celebrating the annual snow pack in Weho? Ice skating contests in Weho Park?

If John Duran doesn’t support mixing religion and government in the same place, will he propose keeping City Hall open on Christmas Day?

Randy
Randy
4 years ago

I agree with Jimmy … keep it out of City Hall.

However, they could do a better job with the Boulevard, and make it cover several denominations.

BlueEyedBoy
BlueEyedBoy
4 years ago

Merry, Merry Christmas, Christopher Roth!

Christopher Roth
Christopher Roth
4 years ago

Merry Christmas everyone!

Lynn
Lynn
4 years ago

How about celebrating Winter Soltice and Summer Soltice? These are both festive seasonal celebrations with friends and families enjoyed in many cultures without a connection to religious enterprise.

City Gets Screwed
City Gets Screwed
4 years ago

THIS is what they’re wasting their time with? This people are jokes.