WeHo, Facing a Huge Revenue Decline,Opens Up Its Budget Subcommittee to the Public

The City of West Hollywood will go live with a meeting on Tuesday of the City Council Finance and Budget Subcommittee, which is expected to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the 2020-21 fiscal year budget.

The subcommittee consists of Mayor John D’Amico and City Councilmember Lindsey Horvath, who serves as mayor pro tem. Subcommittee meetings typically aren’t required to be announced or made open to the public because they consist of only two Council members, which doesn’t constitute the quorum that would be required to make a formal decision.

The meeting will include an update on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the city budget and plans for fiscal year 20-21, whose budget takes effect on July 1. That update will take into account the impacts to West Hollywood’s local economy and adjusted projected revenues. City Manager Paul Arevalo has previously said he expects a shortfall of $15 million to $20 million in projected revenue.

West Hollywood’s economy is built around tourism and nightlife and the mandatory shutdown of non-essential businesses such as bars and restaurants has had a major impact. Also, the pandemic has brought travel and tourism pretty much to a halt, leading most of the city’s 21 hotels to temporarily close their doors.  The city’s projected 2020 fiscal year budget lists $31.75 million in revenue from the hotel room tax, which constitutes 38.63% of the overall projected $82.77 million in tax revenue.

The call-in audio teleconference will take place from 4 to 5 p.m. To listen, dial into the meeting at (669) 900-6833 and enter the Meeting I.D. 952 0353 3509 then #. The meeting agenda will be posted to the city’s website in advance of the meeting

The meeting is open for public comment. To participate by phone email City Clerk Yvonne Quarker at yquarker@weho.org in advance of the teleconference to be added to the public speaker list for the meeting. Include your name and the phone number from which you will be calling. If you are unable to email the City Clerk call (323) 848-6408 no later than 2 p.m. on Tuesday and provide your name, the phone number from which you will join the meeting, and state that you wish to be added to the public speaker list. Comments from members of the public are limited to two minutes per speaker. Members of the public wishing to participate in the meeting will enter the call on mute to listen, and be unmuted during the public comment portion of the meeting. Current and prior-year copies of the city’s budget are available online at www.weho.org/budget and City of West Hollywood’s Open Data portal includes a page dedicated to the budget at www.weho.org/data

0 0 vote
Article Rating

11 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Eric Jon Schmidt
2 months ago

While I am not a Resident of West Hollywood anymore, I do keep a pied-a-terre in WEHO. So I still have a limited interest in what’s happening there. When I ran for City Council one of the items that concerned me is the amount of spending by the City. I proposed cuts in spending in every department and by the City Council, especially wasteful spending. I also proposed cutting payroll of the highly paid employees such as the City Manager. He is paid more than the President of the United States, U.S. Senators, the Mayor of Los Angeles, The Governor… Read more »

Pluto
Pluto
2 months ago

That is just incredible about the city manager’s salary. Thanks for posting that info. I haven’t read that he’s offered to take a pay cut, have you? Anyway, a good way to help the budget greatly since the city won’t be back to normal for a couple of years is to offer non-essential employees buyouts. Give them a severance of two years’ salary (would be quickly recouped by re-hiring people at lower salaries) and all will be well.

Eric Jon Schmidt
2 months ago
Reply to  Pluto

Agreed , but one year salary is enough. Don’t be so generous, that’s how the City got in this position.

Larry Block
Larry Block
2 months ago

As of now I’m not aware of any layoffs or furloughs at city hall. Our total 140 million 2019-2020 budget has 99 mil in general expenses and 40 million on ‘our stuff’ . We should be saying on payroll rather then cutting ‘our stuff’. So much praise heaped on city staff – yet many are home free full pay without much to do.. parking counter, was planning counter, security etc are closed. The City Manager – at the last meeting – alluded to the 100 million on reserves are accounted for in obligations. Yes, those monies are set aside for… Read more »

Tia
Tia
2 months ago

WeHo’s economy is becoming a one-trick pony with its reliance on hotels to fill the city’s coffers. This pandemic is highlighting the need for a more diverse and stable economy. Good time to brush out the report on the negative impact each new hotel will have on the industry and revise for the COVID-19 era.

Study Finds Negative Impact in Projected WeHo Hotel Growth — https://www.wehoville.com/2016/09/15/study-finds-negative-impact-projected-weho-hotel-growth/

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
2 months ago

As I had predicted several weeks ago, the City’s budget is taking a historically huge hit for the months of March, April and May. Our hotel revenue will probably be weak thru the fall or even beyond. But when the bars, restaurants and nightclubs open we will see a restoration of our lost parking and parking violation revenues. Sales tax will come back, albeit a bit weaker. I think the budget sub-committee should not be afraid to put anything on the table, including a two week furlough of City staff; Los Angeles is furloughing for nearly a month. As I… Read more »

Michael Grace
Michael Grace
2 months ago

What about the money wasted on bicycles for WEHO or the “park”? All to satisfy the egomaniacal political West Hollywood City Council hacks who are on the payroll of any pay for play developer or lobbyists. The City is “whistling Dixie” if they believe it is all going to be the same when Sacramento finally allows whatever businesses are left or not broke can open their doors. Tourism will be very slow to make a comeback and large companies that had a blank check for business travel will take a hard look. Then there’s the fact that many workers have… Read more »

Matthew
Matthew
2 months ago
Reply to  Michael Grace

Money “wasted” on bicycles? While I agree to curtailing of wasteful expenditures on park ‘beautification’, there is nothing wrong in promoting bike culture. WeHo could take note from neighboring cities (such as Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, etc.) and make the city more bike friendly by creating dedicated bike lanes, painted in green. It will encourage more people to ditch there cars, help us have cleaner air even beyond these strange times and will contribute to having healthier citizens.

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
2 months ago

Perhaps if money wasn’t wasted on the “money-pit park”…..and buying buildings we’d have a reserve. Some serious people need to run for city council.

jake swims
jake swims
2 months ago
Reply to  Ham Shipey

lolz. agree. if we can’t have people with integrity on council (with exception of meister by and large), at least some transparency about “money-pit park” would be appreciated by the citizens. why is it so late? why are we repeatedly having to pay so much more in costs and attorney fees?

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
2 months ago
Reply to  jake swims

yep. I think people will begin to hold the city council accountable now.

11
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x