Opinion: The Mueller Report? Our City Council Needs to Curb Its National Aspirations and Think Local

The Mueller Report adaptation by Insider.com (illustration by Chad Hurd)

Nearly $8,000 in city payments and waived fees to sponsor a reading of the Mueller Report at the City Council Chambers in August?

That’s money that could help provide housing for a couple of months for Dan B., the erudite gay school teacher who lost his job and had been sleeping at night in a local post office, or for Krissy, the homeless local massage parlor worker who spends her nights sleeping in a parking garage. It might cover the costs of a series of Eastside community meetings over the next few months where City Council members could meet with the residents they are supposed to represent and hear their concerns about drug use and drug dealing in Plummer Park. It probably would be enough money to hire a multi-lingual woman to step into West Hollywood’s illicit Asian massage parlors and check to see if the women working there (and maybe being forced to sleep there) are doing all right.

But spending the city’s money that way wouldn’t garner any statewide or national or international coverage for those City Council members who seem to yearn for it.

A proposal for the city to finance a reading of the Mueller Report is on the consent agenda of the City Council’s meeting on Monday, an effort to get it passed unanimously with no squabbling or public debate. The proposal is initiated by Council members Lindsey Horvath and John Heilman and the event they want the city to sponsor is organized by the Hollywood chapter of the National Organization of Women, whose board president is John Erickson. It’s not clear why a chapter of the National Organization of Women would want to organize a reading of a report that has nothing to do with women’s rights (but then, neither was it clear why Erickson, speaking for Hollywood NOW, had urged the Council to grant existing medical cannabis shops a recreational cannabis license.)What is clear is that Erickson, a young man who is Heilman’s appointee to the city’s Planning Commission and was a former deputy to City Councilmember Abbe Land and a close friend of Horvath’s, is going to be a candidate for a City Council seat in the November 2020 election.

Just to be clear, the Mueller Report is worth a read, or even a listen. But you can do that for free, just sitting at home in your underwear. The redacted version of the 448-page report that was provided to Congress can be downloaded online.If you’re the sort of millennial who’d rather listen than read, go to Audible to download a free audio version of the report, narrated by 16 of the Washington Post’s staffers and other experts.And if even that will rupture your short attention span, take a look at an illustrated and abbreviated adaptation of the report by Insider.com, which says “we hired the author of ‘Black Hawk Down’ and an illustrator from ‘Archer’ to adapt the Mueller report so you’ll actually read it.”

Here’s hoping that at Monday night’s meeting, now that our City Council members are back from events in Heidelberg, Venice, Paris, and Honolulu, they’ll take some time to Think Local. If you can take time off from your day job to fly around the world as a City Council member, you surely can take time off to squat on WeHo’s sidewalks or grab a table in Starbucks to meet some of those homeless people who aren’t screaming on the streets. Or to do a walk through Plummer Park with some of its neighbors to see the drug paraphernalia up close. Or stick your head into one of the Asian massage parlors and say hello.

Yes, yes, we acknowledge that the homeless and the massage parlor workers don’t vote. But remember: You represent all of us, not just those who do.And certainly not residents and voters across the state and nation and outside our city limits. Just Think Local, please.


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Stay Informed
Guest
Stay Informed

But Wait! Maybe the city will get the cast of characters that do the juvenile public service videos to act out the parts of the various folks covered in the report. Somebody will do this. Perhaps Trump himself. Then he can have a long running NBC reality show called The Mueller Report, a book, etc. when his time is up in DC.

Stay Informed
Guest
Stay Informed

So now they need 200 or so readers? What a fiasco this will be. Whose idea was this?

FB1
Guest
FB1

OMG. YES! YES! YES! We have so many issues right here in our City and our leaders are preoccupied with national issues. Get your priorities straight! We elected you to take care of our city. That is your SOLE responsibility to us!

Robert Zabb
Guest
Robert Zabb

There should be an audit of the city Councilmembers’ travel expenses. Then let’s schedule a public reading of that document. They do not understand the limits. Travel all over the world to any type of city governance conference does not pass a cost benefit test for the city. Every instance of foreign travel in particular should be subject to separate city council approval at a public meeting with the traveling member of the council required to make a public statement justifying the proposal.

Alan Strasburg
Guest
Alan Strasburg

Yet another waste of public funds to support and enhance the careers of the establishment and the entrenched. The West Hollywood Student Council continues to dumbfound sensibility with its diversion of attention from real problems. Take that $8000 and the whatever-number-of-thousands spent on D’Amico’s t-shirt folly proclaiming everyone to be mayor (and plenty of more local pork in the “budget”) and find some forward progress on local issues. However, since this will likely get a wink and a nod from the feckless group of inter-enablers on council, let’s do push for the reading of the Rex trial transcript, as Larry… Read more »

Manny
Guest
Manny

A live reading of Wehoville comments from the Airbnb story would be more relevant than this $8,000 waste of city resources. This expenditure should NOT be on consent because it has nothing to do with West Hollywood and, unlike the good suggestions in this op-ed, it will do nothing to make West Hollywood any better.

Michael Grace
Guest
Michael Grace

One positive thing about Donald Trump he’s the President of the United States. He controls the FBI and the Department of Justice, which means that there’s no one to run interference investigating the possibility of malfeasance and corruption at West Hollywood City Hall starting with the City Manager and West Hollywood City Council. “Mayor” John Duran can’t shout that WEHO is being investigated because it’s a gay center. The “gay card” doesn’t work anymore. Because many gay and lesbian residents believe Duran and the City are corrupt. The FBI should look at WEHOville’s dozens of stories on the subject and… Read more »

Eric Jon Schmidt
Guest
Eric Jon Schmidt

Good points! There needs to be an independent forensic audit of the city’s books. There is virtually no transparency in our City Government. Who knows what has gone on?

Eric Jon Schmidt
Guest
Eric Jon Schmidt

This is op/ed is one of the best I have read on WEHOville. You have a very good point about keeping it local. If the City Council approves the $8000. Reading of the report they should expect to be voted out in the next two elections. This is one of the most blatant examples of the Council more concerned with their pet projects and attention seeking than the concerns and needs of Residents. It’s very Trumpian. We need leadership who puts the needs of the People before their own. That is what a leader does. If N.O.W. Wants to read… Read more »

Larry Block
Guest
Larry Block

A read of the Michelle Rex trial would be more interesting and informative about what is happening in West Hollywood. Think Local!

James H
Guest
James H

It’s so disheartening to see so much time, energy, money, focus, etc. go to national issues that City Council has literally zero influence or effect on while local problems go unsolved year after year after year. We should stop supporting those who grandstand the loudest and instead support those who actually get things done.

Stay Informed
Guest
Stay Informed

Most conscientious, responsible residents have already read the Mueller report as a normal effort to stay informed. This city sponsored reading appears to be a pseudo-intellectual attempt to appear concerned and informed. If some problematic issues seriously affecting our community residents were to find solutions in West Hollywood it is conceivable that it might become national news. Many efforts so far have been silly, momentary blips for attention on the radar that soon flatlines. As for Mr. Erickson, perhaps he could sponsor a seminar that would assist in more informed decisions by the Planning Commissions and broadening appropriate knowledge to… Read more »

cody warlock
Guest
cody warlock

As much as this city council hates donald trump they are have a lot in common with him. For starters they hate poor people.