Mayor Pro Tem bungles the math in rebuttal to La Boheme’s business struggles

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Mayor Pro Tem John Erickson addressed the employees of La Boheme at City Council’s Monday night meeting, asking them if they knew the worth of their company, which had to let employees go after untenable minimum wage increases. He then stated the figure “$30 billion” three times, attempting to persuade the employees that the owners are extremely wealthy. However, his figures were deeply inaccurate.

Global Dining Inc. is a large restaurant company headquartered in Japan with international investments. The company’s total market capitalization is actually $31 million, not billion. This valuation includes 43 locations in Japan and 2 in Los Angeles. The average value of each location is approximately $700,000.

Global-Dining of CA, Inc. is a distinct entity that owns two locations. It operates as a limited liability corporation, a structure commonly used to limit investor losses to the amount invested in the shell company. This also serves to protect the parent company from potential litigation and provides an option to exit leases if needed.

In addition the market capitalization of any company, or the cost to buy all the shares has nothing to do with a company’s profit or loss. There is a difference between a balance sheet and a profit and loss statement. A major issue in the City of West Hollywood is that some members of the City Council lacks a fundamental understanding of business structures.

If you hypothetically applied this concept to a family, in a house, who cannot afford their increased property taxes or energy bills and appeals to an elected official for help. “We need help from these skyrocketing taxes.” And the official reply’s, “but your house is worth a million dollars, you can afford it.”

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Lucian Tudor, the CEO of Global Dining of CA, Inc., has expressed serious concerns following a series of robberies at La Boheme and issues related to worker ordinances that are leading to layoffs and a potential closure. As of now, Council Member Erickson has not responded to the owner’s request for a meeting.


Erickson stated: “La Boheme is owned by Global Dining Group, which is worth 4.4 billion yen based in Japan. That is equivalent to $30 billion dollars in United States currency. So, it’s owned by a global dining corporation, and they let 20 bus people go. I understand that every business has a top sheet and metrics they have to consider to make their business work. I’m not saying that just because it’s worth $30 billion dollars—again, $30 billion with a “B”—that makes any policy correct or wrong. However, I have to argue that when you talk about inflation prices at the supermarket, those were blamed on hazard pay for workers during the pandemic. Kroger is worth billions and billions of dollars, and they never took away executive-level compensation. They provided those executives with that money and never gave it back to the staff.

This is a conversation that I think we are having, but when you come here and then attack members of the dais, I use the word “attack” because no one is putting political preference over public policy here, no matter what you say. And I don’t agree with the assumption that that is the truth. When you come up here and talk and ask for help like a member of our community, we want to help and listen to you, but the message is getting muddled, and I don’t think that’s appropriate at the moment. I’m happy to sit down with Lucien. From what I’ve been told, they have La Boheme as a jewel in their property area because it’s in West Hollywood. If they put it up for sale, they put it up for sale, and I’m happy to talk about that. But again, La Boheme is owned by a group that is worth $30 billion dollars.

I am trying to see the small business aspect here, and I’m happy to meet with you again, Lucien. But we have to figure this out, and we will figure it out. To Lucien and the people who came here, there is a one-year waiver that you can apply for. If you feel that the policy is hurting your business, that’s all I’m going to say.”

@wehovillenewsMayor Pro Tem bungles the math in rebuttal to La Boheme’s business struggles

♬ original sound – WEHOville

Lucien replied: Mayor Pro Tem John Erickson,

We ask that you correct the Public record of the August 21st Council Meeting, where you represented and confirmed, that our parent company, Global Dining is a $30 B corporation. To give the Council and the Public a sense of how much money we are worth, you also compared us to a grocery store, which we didn’t find appropriate. Even grocery stores’ profits are only 2% net, regardless of gross receipts. No business will operate any venues at a loss. This is simply not justifiable from the business perspective. I deeply care about employees making a decent living wage, but for low profitability businesses, such as restaurants and food industry, in general, it is just not sustainable! It’s better to have a job at $16 plus tips than no job at all.

Obviously, your motives were to find memorable and damning sound bites to attack La Boheme. The sound bites came from Japanese Stock Exchange. Unfortunately, they were not accurate. When converted from Yen, the real value was not 30B but 31M dollars. Again, we ask the Public record to be corrected.

I want to clarify that saying “larger political ambitions drive policy decisions” was not meant as an attack. It’s a reality based on facts, which have been published and voiced in numerous and credible sources. Being a West Hollywood Mayor, elected because of the involvement and support of “Local Here 11”, who also lead the effort for the highest minimum wage in the country, fits the profile of positions with more power such as supervisor or congress woman.

I’m aware that my accent or inaccurate grammar can seem too direct. But I’m never dishonest or profane.  I appreciate helpful criticism, but being attacked or demonized is not acceptable.  It makes others unwilling to speak. 

Moving On

 I would like to move past our exchange at the Council Meeting and a find a common ground that is solution-focused, where differences remain, but held within a context of working for the better good of our community.  

Regarding the waiver being offered by the city, we believe that this is a temporary solution to a fundamental problem that requires an immediate and meaningful dialogue. A dialogue that has not been available to the stakeholders when this policy was being developed.

I’m prepared to fully open La Boheme’s books for you and other council members to begin a constructive conversation.  It could provide a more tangible way to understand the change that occurred on Jan 1st, 2023, with real-time information.  However, I’m open to whatever suggestions you may have that are in our collective interest.

Safety and inflation are the most significant issues that impact the quality of life of our community.  After 32 years, La Boheme feels the responsibility to voice those concerns. Maybe waving the sales tax for food industry, will help our residents deal with inflation, as well as bringing revenue to the local businesses. I hope this letter is received with the spirit of good as intended. 

I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Regards,

Lucian Tudor
CEO


 Lucian –

You’re absolutely correct and I will correct the record that Global Dining, Inc is worth $31 million dollars. 

I was busy converting Japanese Yen to USD at a late hour when my eyes were very tired. I apologize for this oversight and again will correct the record that the correct # is $31 million. 

All the best,

John

 

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About Larry Block
Larry is a West Hollywood resident and business owner of the BlockParty and YMLA stores. He has served the City of West Hollywood as the Chairman of Disability Advisory Board and the Public Facilities Commission. He is also a founding partner and contributor to Boystown Media.

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Dishonest
Dishonest
8 months ago

Hasn’t anyone had enough of this stooge? The time to get this incompetent, imposter off of the City Council is now. Stand up and reject the nonsense he delvers at every City council meeting.

Make a General Public Comment in advance of his likely disparaging comments to the residents and business owners. It is the only way to deflect his silliness which disrespects and damages the residents.

Voter
Voter
8 months ago
Reply to  Dishonest

We all do! Let’s all go to the next council meeting asking him to resign! Ethics matter!

Funny Money
Funny Money
8 months ago

2020 JOHN ERICKSON Campaign Contributions: Union Locals, Developers, Planned Parenthood Affiliates, Antique & Jewelry Dealer, one private individual donating $1000. listed as “unemployed” LA County Young Dems and none other than Dillon Hosier Israeli American Civic Action.

Apparently no time to collect contributions from West Hollywood residents so apparently Erickson is not beholden to the residents.

Gotta Love It!

blueyedguy
blueyedguy
8 months ago
Reply to  Funny Money

Thanks for the update. WEHO residents cancel culture will now be directed to everyone who contributed to him. They will wish they never had done so.

Funny Money
Funny Money
8 months ago
Reply to  blueyedguy

The contributors are listed on the City site Weho.org under City Clerk/Elections.

#blueyedguy
#blueyedguy
8 months ago

Sue anti-business John Erickson for Breach of Public Trust and destroy his political career so we never have to look at his face again. And of course include Shine and Buyers along with the city of West Hollywood.

West
West
8 months ago

Anyone unlucky enough to have spent time with a psychopathic personality will recognize the dismissive, grandiose, delusional rage that John Erickson fully embodies. He just can’t help himself. Shame on his sycophantic cronies and enablers.

Last edited 8 months ago by West
blueyedguy
blueyedguy
8 months ago

Unfortunately, La Boheme is located in Homeless Central. They are forced to call on the ludicrous BBB. That farce organization was founded to clean up streets. Of course, Shyne is probably getting a kickback along with Erickson. Advise to La Boheme sue ERICKSON! And the corrupt city of West Hollywood along with Shyne for Breach of Trust. Make it class action and include residents. Make Erickson resign. OMG he’s is our next mayor!

Jamie Francis
Jamie Francis
8 months ago

This restaurant has been in the news and at least should be given empathy! With violent attacks on patrons, high business expenses and salaries and customers less likely to eat out for those reasons is tandem and issues that should be combined rather than refuted by council members who make verbal blunders or quote inaccurate statistics! Council members seem to be stock market analysts or labor economists too! It’s also quite embarrassing when inaccurate financial portfolios of a company is misstated and someone’s money conversion is Way Off and apparently speaks like a financial expert—which you are not! However as… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Jamie Francis
DearWeho
DearWeho
8 months ago

I wish he cared about the City’s residents as much as his impeccable nails.

We need new leadership!
We need new leadership!
8 months ago
Reply to  DearWeho

Funniest comment!

Tom
Tom
8 months ago

Well this is the man who publicly stated that it made more economic senc
se to rent a lime scooter in perpetuity rather than spend the couple hundred bucks to buy one. I’ll bet he thinks rent-a-center and payday loan places are good deals too. So glad he’s supervising the city budget..

angry gay pope
8 months ago

I’m just glad Erickson’s hair is not that awful childish purple anymore. Groan. People w/hair like that at his age look pretty childish.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
8 months ago
Reply to  angry gay pope

At least his awful hair is some kind of distraction, taking us away from talking about what an awful incompetent hypocrite Erickson is.

angry gay pope
8 months ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

It implies he does not know who he is and his inner child is running amuck.

Running Amok
Running Amok
8 months ago
Reply to  angry gay pope

Certainly is evident. It seems since he had no self control he decided to study Religion and then Gender Studies. He gets hired in Weho as a lap dig staffer to learn the ropes of political manipulation then graduates to Planned Parenthood where he undoubtedly believes he can control women in need. He becomes their mouth peace. Works perfectly. Finally he leapfrogged into City Govt and BINGO, now pontificating from the dais degrading respected members of the community just like his pal Sepi Shyne. Model citizen, LGBTQ+ Leader and future dilettante.manipulator of the system.🙄😨😱

West
West
8 months ago
Reply to  Running Amok

Don’t forget— Erickson has been the driving force behind ACLU SoCal’s humiliating degeneration from a once-principled civil rights institution into enforcers of Corporate Party hegemony and collaborators of political violence. The damage done by this clown goes far beyond our little town.

Last edited 8 months ago by West
Running Amok
Running Amok
8 months ago
Reply to  West

An individual mentored and enabled by Abbe Land and John Heilman is allowing the public to see the aspects of these individuals duplicitous actions while seated in city council. These two individuals do not appear to possess many ethically redeeming characteristics yet they continue to infest our community and beyond through insidious behavior.

We need new leadership!
We need new leadership!
9 months ago
greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
8 months ago

Links from snpachat are allowed here?

purpleeyedguy
purpleeyedguy
8 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

You seem to have nothing but grievances to post on here.

Mikie
Mikie
9 months ago

What John Erickson does not know about running a restaurant could take up a whole room filled with bus pans!! Does he even know what a bus pan is? Or a lug? Or a flat? Or anything else connected with a Restaurant like making out schedules, payroll, food costs, liquor, costs, produce costs, labor costs, maintenance and repair, And yet he thinks it’s his right to pick a number out of the air and chastise a man who works harder and longer hours than John Erickson has ever worked in his life! How arrogant!. Even the restaurant is owned by… Read more »

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
9 months ago

John Erickson is confusing Global Dining/La Boheme with a charity, like the kind where a city buys a motel to house 12 out of town homeless. Global Dining/La Boheme is not a charity, and need to make a profit to be able to employ staff. Rather than concentrating on John Erickson’s poor math skills, how about thinking how utterly out of touch he is with what it takes to operate a business. A Marxist who doesn’t respect private property won’t understand that.

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