John Heilman Likely to be Elected Mayor, John Duran as Mayor Pro Tempore Tonight

Long-serving City Councilmember John Heilman is likely to be voted into his eighth term as mayor of West Hollywood on Monday, with Council veteran John Duran taking the position of mayor pro tem. Both would be formally installed at the May 15 Council meeting.

John Heilman

The City Council rotates the largely ceremonial position each year. Traditionally the position is rotated according to seniority among current Council members, with the next-longest serving person being named mayor pro tem and the second longest-serving named mayor pro tem and placed in line to become mayor in 12 months.

Like most small cities, West Hollywood is governed by a city council with a city manager employed by the council as its chief executive. As mayor, Heilman will lead City Council meetings, sign official documents for the city and serve as the public face of West Hollywood. He now is in his 33rd year as a council member. The mayor pro tem fills in for the mayor when he is not available.

Heilman will replace Lauren Meister, who was elected to the City Council in 2015.

John Duran
John Duran

Heilman moved to Southern California from his native Cleveland to attend the University of Southern California Law School, from which he graduated in 1982. He currently teaches law at both Southwestern Law School and the University of Southern California Law School. Heilman was active in the incorporation of the City of West Hollywood in 1984 and was elected to WeHo’s first City Council in November 1984. He was chosen as the city’s second Mayor in 1985 and also has served as mayor in 1990, 1995, 1999, 2001, 2006 and 2010.

Duran is a criminal defense lawyer who has served on the WeHo City Council since 2001. He has a law degree from Western State University College of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from CSU Long Beach. Duran is a native of Los Angeles and has been a resident of West Hollywood since 1987. He is known for his activity in LGBT causes and currently is chairman of the Los Angeles Gay Men’s Chorus.

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6 years ago

Do you people not understand that being “Mayor of West Hollywood” is to carry a big swag bag of fake importance, flitting around one conference and another from Sacramento to D.C. as if WeHo’s inconsequence were of any real importance? Heilman and Duran are local “lifers” beholden and protective of a wounded, sycophanctic gay male constituency addicted to voting only for mafioso homo-protectors Horvath has other big personal agendas, in cahoots with whomever reigns. D’Amico has no clue. Meister is a Mensch with nowhere to go because she’s too smart and means well.

6 years ago

Don, I’m not sure how much of a “thank you” it really is, depending on the Councilmember’s agenda. Most (if not all) of the members have full-time jobs. Being mayor obligates you to moderate meetings, attend many more functions, do more speeches, and be the voice of the city. It is a much larger time commitment. I think this position is rotated because nobody really wants it for more than a year.

Don Azars
Don Azars
6 years ago

I’ve never really understood why the Mayor of West Hollywood is pretended to be a big deal. It’s a rotating “chairman of the board” type thing that all willing City Council members get. While it is a nice “thank you” to each hard working (for free) Council Member, it is a defacto “take your turn” office. I’ve often thought we SHOULD have an elected by the People Mayor of West Hollywood instead. Perhaps a 4 year term with a two term maximum. Such a person would be a more ongoing visible representative of our city’s belief in equality, human services… Read more »

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