City Council Will Be Asked to Issue $100 Million in Bonds to Fund New and Ongoing Projects

The West Hollywood City Council on Monday will be asked to approve the issuance of up to $100 million in bonds whose revenue would be used to fund ongoing and future projects.

Those projects range from installation of new trees and plants, sidewalks, bike racks, and outdoor seating in city’s Design District on Melrose Avenue and Beverly and Robertson boulevards, expected to cost $30 million, to upgrading 640 parking meters, estimated to cost $561,000.

The city is proposing to use “lease revenue bonds” to fund the various projects rather than a general obligation bond. Such bonds require the city to create a third-party entity or public financing authority to which the city technically leases projects like West Hollywood Park that are funded with the lease revenue bonds. The public financing authority then leases those projects back to the city, which must make annual payments to that authority, which uses that revenue to pay down the debt owed to investors who actually purchased the bonds. 

Cities often use that complex structure because such bonds are required to be repaid only from the revenue specifically tied to a project (thus a bond holder can’t sue the city demanding repayment from its tax revenue). Also, lease revenue bonds don’t require approval of two-thirds of voters, which is required to issue a general obligation bond.

At a meeting in April the City Council agreed to use money from the lease revenue bonds to reimburse city accounts from which money has or will be taken to cover the costs of the projects.

A detailed description of the various projects can be found in a previously published story on WEHOville.

The City Council will hold its virtual (video conference) meeting on Monday, May  at 5:30 pm. It will begin with the installation of Lindsey Horvath as mayor and John Heilman as mayor pro tem. You can click here to get access to the full agenda and attachments. 

You can live-stream the meeting by visiting the city’s website at www.weho.org/wehotv. The City Council meeting will also available on the city’s YouTube channel, and on streaming services such as AndroidTV, AppleTV, FireTV, and Roku. It is broadcast on Spectrum channel 10 in West Hollywood and AT&T U-verse channel 99 throughout Southern California. Digital streaming platform viewers can easily find programming by searching for “WeHoTV” within the search functions of these services. For more information contact WeHoTV staff at (323) 848-6388 or WeHoTV@weho.org.

There are several ways for residents to offer comments on matters before the City Council:

–Email a comment by visiting www.weho.org/councilagendas. Your comment must be submitted by 4 p.m. tomorrow to be forwarded to the City Council and posted on the city’s website as part of the official meeting record.

–Call in. Residents who want to call into the videoconference must email City Clerk Yvonne Quarker ( yquarker@weho.org)  in advance of Council meeting, to be added to the public speaker list for the meeting. Include your name, the phone number from which you will be calling, and the agenda item you would like to speak on. Dial in 10 minutes prior to the 5:30 p.m. start of the meeting by calling (669) 900-6833. Then enter   meeting ID 94188751501 then #. Mute your phone until you are asked to speak. Comments from the public are limited to two minutes per speaker.


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Steve Martin
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Steve Martin

I am sure the City Manager wishes he would have brought this forward before February, but who knew we would be impacted by COVID 19? WeHo bonds are undoubtedly a safer and more prudent investment than stock and it makes sense to issue debt to finance important infrastructure. The long term issue is the impact of debt service on future municipal budgets particularly in light of the fact that City is leaning toward committing itself to financing the expedited expense of the subway expansion to West Hollywood. Now would be a good time for the City to have a frank… Read more »

Concerned Citizen
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Concerned Citizen

Is a $200 million plus park essential infrastructure?

Trans Parent
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Trans Parent

Hmmm. So if The City pays for projects by having another entity basically own them, does that effectively stop the public from being informed of The City having to sink additional money into projects like Money Pit Park? Serious question. Confusing.

Concerned Citizen
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Concerned Citizen

Excellent question.

Concerned Citizen
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Concerned Citizen

WHY is a small city spending over 200 MILLION dollars on a relatively small park when they need, and are going to have to, raise sales tax to “augment revenue”? The corporation that is West Hollywood has indebted its citizens for a generation to come and beyond. The city lives way beyond OUR means. Pay-as-you-go is the only sound economy. Financial doom lurks on the horizon.

WeHoMikey
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WeHoMikey

…because that’s what things cost in 2020…???

Eric Jon schmidt
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Eric Jon schmidt

I will buy the bonds.