Can the WeHo Council Resolve to Stop Texting, Stop Smirking and Just Be Nice?


Steve Martin
Steve Martin
Even though the New Year has been rung in, it is still not too late to make a self improving resolution that may somehow make us feel that the mindless partying and hang over was worth it.

Of course making resolutions for your self can be really tedious. Seriously, am I really going to cut down on red meat or red wine in the coming year? But in the run up to the New Year, while talking to friends and neighbors, we found that we had a lot more fun coming up with New Years resolutions that other people ought to make. Indeed, who else could really do with a great set of New Year’s resolutions than our own West Hollywood City Council?

So here is a sample of the resolutions that were recommended by random West Hollywood residents, which the City Council, as individuals or collectively, should make for the year 2013. By way of disclaimer, I am only including resolutions that are appropriately dignified and suitable for WEHOville’s high standards of journalism. The proposed resolutions that were rude, lewd and entirely without socially redeeming value I posted on WeHo Confidential.

1) John Heilman really should resolve to talk to John D’Amico in 2013. He has been giving D’Amico the silent treatment since the 2011 election. It is just really odd that the two most intelligent members of the city council are not even saying “hello” outside the council chambers. Aside from being childish, a city council that functions like a middle school student council does not exactly inspire a lot of confidence among constituents.

2) Abbe Land should really stop thanking the public for coming to speak at city council meetings. The thanking of the public has become a council ritual. Indeed, the more contentious the meeting, the more council members thank the public for taking the time to come out to speak. The number of council members thanking the public through clenched teeth is an almost perfect predictor that the council vote is going to go against the majority of the public speakers,

3) Unlike the other council member, Abbe is actually convincing when she thanks the public, even though it is invariably an indication that her vote will not be pleasing the mob in the pit. That is what makes her thanking so infuriating. It is merely annoying when the others do it, because they clearly don’t expect you to believe it. Abbe’s thank you is so convincing that you eventually come to the conclusion she is insulting your intelligence. While I like the fact she is subtle, somehow her thanks always elicit the most eye rolling among the audience.


4) Speaking of eye rolling, John Heilman should really cut it out. While it is wonderful theater and clearly a crowd pleaser, his hapless colleagues have no idea that while they are engaged in endless, self important monologues, John is making them look like idiots. While Heilman’s priceless facial expressions are an incentive to attending council meetings, unless you are actually sitting in the audience, you never see them as the cable cameras only focus on the actual speaker. As most of the council deputies have nodded off to sleep, they never witness it either.

5) For 2013, John Duran should resolve to read his council agenda. He has been doing a somewhat better job over the last couple of months, but that is only because an election is coming up. He is undoubtedly the least prepared of all the council members, and that is often apparent during debates when he comes up with so many non sequiters and irrelevant statements that you wonder if he is talking about the same subject as his colleagues.

6) Duran should also cut out texting during the meeting. He has never really figured out that he is not fooling the public when he is playing with his cell phone during council meetings. Texting by council members during a public hearing should be considered a Brown Act violation, but somehow I don’t think Duran is texting anyone about the agenda.

7) I would hope that in 2013 Mayor Prang would ditch his trite saying that there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” solution. We know that. But his constant use of that refrain always makes it seem like he is injecting his personal agenda into the discussion.

8) In 2013 John D’Amico should resolve to give his hard working deputy, Michelle Rex, a night off. Rumor has it she sleeps under her desk.

9) I would hope that Mayor Prang would stop snapping at the audience when there is applause for a public speaker. For one thing, he never complains when the applause is in favor of the council, and his contention that the applause makes the meeting run longer is absurd.

How can five to ten seconds of applause have any meaningful impact on how late a council meeting will run? Even if you had 150 instances of spontaneous, prolonged applause that would only add, at most, 25 minutes to a meeting. We don’t even have that many public speakers at most meetings.

If the city council really wants to make meetings move more quickly, it should resolve that in 2013 council member comments should be limited to the same two minutes that the public is allotted during citizen’s comments. That would be an interesting lesson in civics.

Happy New Year.

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Woody McBreairty
Woody McBreairty
11 years ago

I can’t believe Heilman still isn’t speaking to D’Amico. That a law professor (even if it is in Whittier) & an elected city official would indulge in such 7th grade school girl behavior by not speaking to a peer because he didn’t like the results of the election is either probably due to over-the-top ego or emotional immaturity, possibly both. In either case, it is very telling that someone who tries to project such a grand sense of self, publicly engages in such small behavior. Apparently said “intelligence” does not necessarily translate to basic common courtesy or class.

steve martin
11 years ago

Now that it is public, I can actually say “will John Duran get off grinder during City Council meetings?”.

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