CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story attributed the statement “I do have trouble with the idea that the city will be spending money to put what for many people are religious symbols in City Hall … This sort of smacks too much of religion for me and I don’t think it is the right role for the city” to Councilmember Lauren Meister. In fact, that statement was made by Councilmember John Heilman. The story has been changed to correct that.
It’s not beginning to look a lot like Christmas. At least not in the West Hollywood City Hall.
A proposal by Mayor Lindsey Horvath and Councilmember John D’Amico that the city figure out a way to light a menorah and Christmas tree at City Hall during the holiday season got pushback from other council members last night.
Councilmembers Lauren Meister and John Heilman both said they had heard from city employees who were unhappy about the idea. “I do have trouble with the idea that the city will be spending money to put what for many people are religious symbols in City Hall,” Heilman said. “This sort of smacks too much of religion for me and I don’t think it is the right role for the city.”
Councilmember John Duran agreed. “I don’t support mixing religion and government in the same place,” Duran said, while noting that he lights a menorah at his home every Hanukkah season even though he isn’t Jewish.
D’Amico argued that his proposal was meant more to create a Winter holiday season than celebrate a religion.
Duran, Heilman and Meister did agree to support D’Amico’s proposal that the city work with local artists and businesses to promote holiday celebrations and displays and that it budget $10,000 to pay for the cost of developing holiday celebrations.