Passing the Gavel

May 15th marked the end of my 13-month term as Mayor of West Hollywood. What a wonderful experience it has been! I appreciate all of your support and the hard work of my commissioners and board members -- working together to make West Hollywood the best it can be. It's great to be part of this team effort.

What I accomplished… As Mayor, I worked on a number of exciting initiatives, from developing a Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) Program, to raising the bar on design standards, environmental programs and sustainability, to supporting our neighborhood-serving small businesses. I also served on the City's Homeless Initiatives subcommittee and Budget subcommittee. I worked with John Heilman on both committees, and I appreciate his knowledge and experience. When you serve on these types of subcommittees, you learn a lot about how the city works.

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What's Shaking?

We live in a wonderful city and we want our city to be the best it can be!

Those of you who know me know that I am not one to stay quiet when I think that we -- the City -- can do better. That is why I've introduced an item regarding future hotel development for the April 3rd Council meeting. An analysis of the lodging market within the City of West Hollywood was prepared in 2015 and recently presented to Council as a "receive and file." The analysis indicated that approving new hotel projects in West Hollywood would create additional competition that “would cannibalize the market” and impact the City's TOT revenues, and that it would take West Hollywood lodgings until 2026 to return to a stabilized 80% occupancy. Meanwhile, we have 6+ new hotel projects in the pipeline. My item proposes a moratorium on new hotel approvals, an updated market analysis and a policy discussion. Please take a look, and if you have thoughts on this, let me know. I value your opinions.

Council will also be receiving an update related to the planning and programming of LA Pride and reviewing new requests for funding. As you may be aware, this year, in place of a parade, Christopher Street West (producer of the LA Pride event) is requesting approval to produce a march and rally in alignment with Pride marches occurring nationally that weekend. This is an opportunity for you to weigh in.

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Also on the agenda for this Monday night is the staff report on the Eastside Community Priorities Plan. It's a roadmap for future development of the east side of our city and I hope that all of you will read it. Gentle reminder -- our city is only 1.9 square miles and east side, center city or west side, we're all one city!

Another important item on the April 3rd agenda is a legislative item to make our residential and commercial buildings safer. The Community Development Department will be presenting a revised draft ordinance to introduce new seismic retrofit provisions for the strengthening of existing buildings. This ordinance will apply to many properties in our city -- so please check it out.

What else is new?

Over the past three months, I worked on a number of initiatives that are near and dear to me. 

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2016 - it's a wrap!

It's hard to believe that 2016 is coming to a close and I am now eight months into my mayoral term. It's been an exciting time!

In November, our very talented city staff and I worked together to host a fabulous 90th Anniversary Celebration of Route30953565126_94113e5a22_o.jpg 66. There was live music, classic cars, a chili tasting provided by Barney's Beanery, soda pop and lots of fun memorabilia! We also recognized long-time resident James Litz for his role in the designation of historic Route 66 on Santa Monica Boulevard in WeHo. James worked with late City Councilmember Sal Guarriello and community member Richard Settle (yes, you've seen him taking pictures at Council meetings for many, many years!) to have the street officially designated and signs set up throughout the city. By the way, check out the cool Pride version of the Route 66 sign that Richard Settle designed back in the day...

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Summer's Over!

Summer’s over… although with this heat wave you wouldn’t know it!

FYI - when temperatures climb above 90 degrees, the City of West Hollywood activates a Cooling Center at Plummer Park. Be sure to check the City’s website. To confirm Cooling Center hours, please call the Center at (323) 848-6530.

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In case you were out-of-town this summer, the City hosted a number of events, including an Eastside Neighborhood Festival (Engage A-lot), the WeHo Pedals Bike Share Launch, Women's Equality Day, National Night Out, Sexual Assault Awareness Kickoff, WeHo Sheriff's Station Open House and Public Safety Awards, to name a few!

While Council's meeting schedule was a bit lighter than usual, it didn't stop us from getting a lot done -- from approving our City's 2016/17 budget to reviewing our Social Services programming.

Several new initiatives I worked on were adopted by Council... 

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Time Flies

Time flies when you're the Mayor!  As you may know, on April 18th I was sworn in as Mayor by West Hollywood Cheerleader, Nick Fox. A tasty reception followed, with the theme, "A Taste of Our Neighborhoods." Thanks to all of the neighborhood restaurants and shops that participated and a big thanks to all of you who attended. 26476699521_39211eff07_z.jpg

Recently I attended the US Conference of Mayors in Indianapolis, where I got to meet hundreds of Mayors from around the country. I sat in on some interesting task force meetings and seminars, and even got to hear from His Holiness the Dalai Lama (oh, and Lady Gaga).

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 #CompassionIsTheWord 

Here's what I've been working on since my last blog post...  

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Happy Anniversary, WeHo!

It is hard to believe that one year ago I was sworn into office as a Councilmember and then as Mayor Pro Tempore.  It's been a busy year, soon to get busier! On Monday, April 18th, I will be sworn in as Mayor of the City of West Hollywood and Councilmember John Heilman will be sworn in as Mayor Pro Tempore. I look forward to serving the City in this role and working with my colleagues. Please save the date -- event invitation to be posted soon!

I'm pleased to report that a number of my initiatives were adopted by Council since my last blog post. 

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2015 - It's A Wrap!

It's become a tradition that the week between Christmas Day and New Year’s, I tidy up my work files and clean off my desk. However, before I take on this extremely challenging task, I’d like to share some final thoughts on what we’ve accomplished in 2015.

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Summer In the City (of WeHo)

A lot has happened since the June election! 

At the June 15th Council meeting, 30-year WeHo Council veteran, John Heilman, was sworn in after winning the Special Election to fill Jeffrey Prang’s seat for the next 2 years. A lot of time and energy is required to run a campaign  kudos to all of the Council candidates for their participation. 

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Get Out The Vote! June 2 Is Today!

It’s our special day, West Hollywood!  If you have not voted yet, please get out to the polls by 8 PM!

Last night completed the sixth and final City Council meeting with only four members and we almost made it through three months without a dissenting vote!

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Two Month Mark!

As I approach my two month mark on the City Council, I wanted to give you an update on what's going on and encourage you to stay involved in our City. 

First, two items I have gotten passed on the Council that may affect you this week:

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