Opinion Sunday: What is the City Council doing to ensure a safe re-opening?

Crowds pack the streets on weekend nights. There have been multiple issues with drug overdoses, robberies, and guns on our streets are the new normal. There is no plan in place to handle crowds and overflowing outzones.

How quickly we forget the days before Covid. Bigger, Faster, Louder was on speed. The homeless slept in front of many of our businesses. Tashman’s Hardware was booming replacing storefront windows busted up and down Santa Monica Blvd. A knife pulled on my own staff, Swastikas painted on multiple buildings in our neighborhood.

March 2020 stopped everything in its tracks. Less traffic, less crime. Over the course of the year the moratorium on renter evictions and available public services helped many off the streets and to remain in their homes. But since re-opening there have been multiple incidents on the boulevard.

The Council adopted the ‘Outzones” which allowed restaurants to expand their footprint and packaged as ‘survival’ for some of these businesses. Business such as Fiesta Cantina, Rocco’s and The Abbey re-opened with long lines. Fiesta’s footprint went from approximately 11 tables to 33 tables. There is little room on our streets to accommodate big box openings such as Micky’s and Revolver and the new Cannabis restaurant/bar at the old Flaming Saddles. Add Lance Bass’ new Mega-Club at Rage and the conversions of both Halal Guys to Gym Bar and conversion of Cafe de Toile/Organic Ice Cream to the new Stache nightclub. So what’s the plan?

Nobody wants to talk about crime including me. I wish that the customer that left my store 2 weeks ago did not get held up in the alley by a man with a gun. I wish that the lines of people did not erupt into fights. I wish the people who are not wearing masks would be respectful to my staff. Last week a maskless person assaulted my employee when told they could not enter the shop without a mask. The vomit on the street the past few Sunday mornings reminded me of old times. But more than that I wish the City Council had a plan for our Public Safety.

Our city council is busy sniping at each other, planning their race for higher office, or putting forth their own personal agenda. Over these past few months the new City Council has opted to focus on issues such as ‘naming the library’, and ‘re-painting the crosswalks’, and ‘gender neutral bathrooms’. Leadership is mitigating problems with policies before they happen and there are no new public safety initiatives or safe opening measures on this council agenda.

Crowded sidewalks have been difficult to control.

During the pandemic the City Council approved change of uses for some retail establishments to bars and nightclubs. Gym Bar will re-open at the Halal Guys location, Stache will open at former location of Cafe de Toile and the Organic Ice Cream shop. Flaming Saddles will reopen as a combined cannabis lounge and restaurant. The new Mega Rage Micky’s and Revolver are planning their re-openings. All told the street cannot handle the capacity crowds safely. And delivery trucks have no where to park. And the city council has put forth zero public safety measures to monitor and ensure a safe re-opening.

Since re-opening there have been multiple incidents along Santa Monica Blvd.

What the city council is not doing is listening to the residents or businesses as reflected by the Robertson Lane Closure and the previous week’s entree into the hotel workers issue. It was show and tell because Governor Newsome passed the hotel workers right to return to work 36 hours later. Can we put our energy to work on Public Safety needs? There are no additional expenditures allocated for additional patrols, or anticipation of what is about to happen with the re-opening of all the clubs. While the Sheriff is just beginning to employ mandatory body cameras we need to insist on those body cameras on every single officer working the West Hollywood beat. We need an after hours plan for patrols for employees who must walk to up dark sidewalks to their cars or home.

I’m begging the City Council. It’s time to put Public Safety front and center on the agenda. People are going to get killed because you are too busy with pet projects and window dressing like library’s and crosswalks and bathrooms. Get to work on the peoples business and put forth a Public Safety plan that reflects the realities of our local economy. Please don’t forget the residents, we live here and it’s been a long year for all.

First responders attend to a reported overdose incident.
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Jamie Francis
Jamie Francis
1 day ago

hifi5000 is very accurate in their assessment and I fully agree with your comments hifi! This is very frightening that being a local resident you are already targeted to being wealthy but for half or more than 50% this is definitely not the case. We are on fixed incomes and trying to afford to reside in this city without being displaced or priced out! We don’t have money for people to steal from us as we are also a segment of the population that makes up West Hollywood! Not just the increase in wealth coming into Weho for the week.… Read more »

Last edited 1 day ago by Jamie Francis
hifi5000
hifi5000
6 days ago

All the lowlifes and criminals know that West Hollywood is a tourist destination with plenty of people walking around with cash.they are after that cash. Since this pandemic has started,people who would normally be employed or in school are short of money and need some kind of income.Where else are you going to see lots of people enjoying themselves who are easy pickings for guys who are up to no good.You also have the down and outs who are getting double spades because of the pandemic and just want to lash out.They are out there on the sidewalks of West… Read more »

Vigilant
Vigilant
6 days ago
Reply to  hifi5000

One always needs to realize that magnification of every little thing the city sees as a plus has a considerable down side which you point out. Unwise folks don’t seem to realize this. Better to not to be a target in life . Balance is a great concept and a more important reality.

Dave B
Dave B
7 days ago

Why are liberals so weak on law and order? Because it’s more important that we virtue signal than concern ourselves with public safety and common sense. Let’s focus on woke politics and turn a blind eye to skyrocketing, maskless vagrants with rampant open drug use. Let’s ensure we genuflect on the diversity of the city council and completely disregard their failure to provide clean, safe streets. The city of West Hollywood is failing you. Garcetti is failing you. Newsom is failing you. But keep voting for trash and that’s what you’ll get. Oh and while you’re at it, let’s defund… Read more »

Stable Genius
Stable Genius
1 day ago
Reply to  Dave B

You win for the most Trumpy right wing buzzwords in a comment.

WehoFan
WehoFan
7 days ago

If you think it’s bad now – wait until the metro arrives in Weho.

Jamie Francis
Jamie Francis
7 days ago
Reply to  WehoFan

I agree the problems will only get worse and they will evade arrest by jumping onto trains immediately after the incident. Now you have people on trains bringing weapons and you are stuck on the train until the next stop with no place to escape. I told Metro reps this back in 2018 and 2019.

Danielle Harris
Danielle Harris
7 days ago

Thank you, Larry! What’s been happening in WeHo is unacceptable. I no longer feel safe in my own community. I’m afraid to venture out on SM Blvd anymore and tell friends not to bother coming to visit. It’s very sad.

And where is our city council? They’re cutting ribbons on Robertson!

We desperately need common sense public safety for our residents and businesses. This is beyond ridiculous.

To all the readers, please do not vote to move mayor Lindsey Horvath to County Supervisor. If she can’t manage what’s happening in WeHo, heaven help us with her running the County!

Brad
Brad
7 days ago

THANK YOU LARRY!

Jamie Francis
Jamie Francis
7 days ago

Everything is defund the police And where are the alternatives to that. The West Hollywood security ambassadors monitor businesses as city funded to assist private security but as I am told they can’t call police or don’t have police powers. So we just have crime happen then hope Good Samaritans intervene or record on the phone or call the police in time to have police capture the suspects but more times than not, many get away with other assailants. What’s scary is now people insulted get to pull out guns out in public and others are in the path of… Read more »

JJ1
JJ1
8 days ago

Yup. The council has focused on “woke” bs instead of focusing how the basic issues. Quality of life. This city is becoming one big, unsafe dump. VOTE. THEM. OUT!

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
8 days ago

Crime in West Hollywood has increased palpably in recent months, and while there are likely several root causes, we have a majority on council who are more interested in performative bullpucky and virtue signaling. Public safety is quality of life issue number one and it gets the short shrift in council agendas that are overwhelmed by stage actors with other interests and priorities.

JJ1
JJ1
8 days ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

Yup.

Danielle Harris
Danielle Harris
7 days ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

Indeed.

Arthur
Arthur
8 days ago

Bravo, Larry. The immaturity of certain members combined with decisions made with only commercial interests in mind ultimately do nothing for the residents.

It seems that WeHo pulled nothing out of the pandemic which could have been used as a reset in order to benefit the city for the long run. They just picked up where they left off.

Michael Gtace
Michael Gtace
8 days ago

You are so right, great editorial, bringing up the fact of the extensive drug use, creating crimes, and very large crowds.

As for the West Hollywood city council, commenting or preparing for this. Forget it. These politically correct vigilantes are only concerned about unisex toilets. Total irrelevant WOKE nonsense.

JJ1
JJ1
8 days ago
Reply to  Michael Gtace

So true.

michael z
michael z
8 days ago

One of the best articles….ever!!

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