Why is City Hall still closed?

Beverly Hills City Hall opened on May 3rd. Culver City Hall opened on May 11th. The DMV has been opened since June 9th 2020!

What is going on with the West Hollywood City Hall? It is the only major building in West Hollywood that is not open for business. Cities with larger populations than us have re-opened fully or for appointments.

Since end April gyms have re-opened. Movies have reopened to 75% capacity. Indoor dining has resumed. The CDC is now saying masks are not required indoors if you have been vaccinated. But West Hollywood City Hall is closed to the public.

Today an elderly lady called me on the phone to ask for help. Her landlord had given her a cease and desist order due to a noise complaint from new neighbors who recently moved in. She was banging on the wall to lower the noise. Then this 58-year old lady who lives in West Hollywood has no computer. She received a cease and desist from the landlord. She needed to get in touch with a representative from City Hall for more advice. She was scared. She complimented Andre in Rent Stabilization but the advice for Bet Tzedek legal services went unanswered and she needed personal help. The kind of help a citizen can get over-the-counter inside their City Hall.

Last week a disabled resident who serves on a City Commission needed to file their form 700. The net file system was not uploading so they were unable to do it online. Previously they went to City Hall and worked with the Clerk over the Counter. But City Hall was closed. They dropped off the papers to the parking lot attendant to give to the City Clerk and waited for a call back that it was being processed.

A neighbor recently moved into West Hollywood and needed parking passes for the moving truck. They went to city hall. The doors were closed. They just moved in without one. New residents are not aware of where to go for city services.

The man across the street was re-modeling his home installing a new gate and other amenities. He needed to submit all his applications online. As he was installing the gate I approached him and asked about ‘the materials’ he was using. The conversation turned into ‘green and sustainable materials’ . I asked Dara, – did you see the wall with all the recommended materials that are at city hall? He said no. But one trip to the planning desk includes a wall of ideas and materials for all residents, architects, contractors and others. All permits are now done online because City Hall is closed. Sometimes the over-the-counter discussions allow for exchange of ideas. Online submissions go back and forth in an untimely manner. You can’t make an appointment and answer all your questions on the spot because City Hall is closed.

City Hall entrance a parking lot for scooters

The City of West Hollywood has approximately 200+ employees. There have been no layoffs during the entire Covid-19 pandemic. City staff and council have been working remotely since March 12, 2020. The City Manager Paul Arevalo has announced his retirement at the end of June. The City Council Chambers remain closed as well as all public meetings. But, you can rendezvous with the same city council members most Sunday’s at ‘Out on Robertson’.

All ‘outdoor’ events later in the year ..the Pride Parade and Halloween have been cancelled but promotions for ‘Out on Robertson” invite crowds. All ‘indoor’ events at City buildings have been discontinued for over a year. The City of West Hollywood is also one of the largest employers in the City of West Hollywood and those employees drive business to our local restaurants and coffee houses and markets. But those dollars are not being spent in West Hollywood because City Hall is closed.

Many other city halls have re-opened. West Hollywood City Hall is not leading. If government was a private business they would need to open their doors to pay the bills. But our city leaders issue bonds, more than 100 million dollars worth of debt during this pandemic and keep paying 100% of the salaries.

Nobody is leading. Respectfully to the City Manager, City Council and Mayor Horvath!

IT’S TIME TO OPEN UP CITY HALL AND GET BACK TO WORK FOR THE PEOPLE!

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20 year resident
20 year resident
4 months ago

Good article Larry. It’s high time city hall opens. It’s very difficult trying to access city services via email or phone messaging! I can personally relate to the comments here. I was speaking with one of your sweet employees the other evening and told him that I hope you will be elected to city council in the next election!

Joshua88
Joshua88
4 months ago

I agree with this.
Also, *58* is not elderly.

Pat
Pat
4 months ago
Reply to  Joshua88

I think he was referring to two different women, one is an elderly lady, and the other is a 58 year old who doesn’t have a computer. I doubt that Larry would consider 58 years old as elderly.

ERIC B.
ERIC B.
3 months ago
Reply to  Joshua88

Thank you!!!

Joshua88
Joshua88
4 months ago

All public meetings are not closed; they are online for all residents (and others) to participate and view.

LADoug
LADoug
4 months ago

Great article and on point! No one answers call other than an automated machine which takes a message, and no response. They should be routing calls to the staff’s remote location…they are still getting paid. Permits – forget it. I’ve attempted to obtain a permit for basic interior improvements. I started early November 2020 and gave up in late January 2021. Email responses averaged 14 days with 1 sentence responses. Basic services should be face to face. Set up office in the parking lot OR the parking garage across the street. City officials should be required to walk the sidewalks… Read more »

RJH
RJH
4 months ago

Yes, time’s up! Open your doors. There is no reason to stay closed. Almost all that have wanted to be vaccinated, have been. We are paying your salaries. Go back to work and clean up this city. Do you walk the same streets? Do you see the trash, homeless and graffiti. Get these issues resolved. Put people from the City on the streets cleaning and reporting day to day issues to get them addressed. Hold the landlords of all these empty vacant buildings accountable and make them maintain their properties. Has anyone been by the old Fig and Olive? It… Read more »

hifi5000
hifi5000
4 months ago

Yeah,it is time to get on the ball and re-open.You can’t keep hiding.

Tom
Tom
4 months ago

Beverly Hills City Hall is open- but by appointment, which you are directed to make online.

I wasn’t aware that Brentwood, being a suburb of LA, had a city hall to open. Unless you mean the Brentwood in NorCal, which seems like a pretty long trek for a parking permit.

RJH
RJH
4 months ago
Reply to  Tom

Who cares what Beverly Hills is doing. We are our own city. OPEN UP!

Tom
Tom
4 months ago
Reply to  RJH

Read the opening sentence of the article.

Scott Sigman
Scott Sigman
4 months ago

I just want to get a parking permit with out hassling with scanning all the paper work for my rental on Harper since last year I live on the NORTH SIDE OF SWEETZER I am tired of repeating processes over and over again

Scott Sigman
Scott Sigman
4 months ago

I was wondering the same thing. Why are they closed? Other offices and places open

City worker
City worker
4 months ago

Just for your information many of us come to the office once or twice a week.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
4 months ago
Reply to  City worker

Yes some of you do and you are appreciated.

Agree
Agree
4 months ago

City Hall has partitions at counters already in place. There is no legitimate reason for West Hollywood City Hall to be closed while Beverly Hills City Hall is open.

Art
Art
4 months ago
Reply to  Agree

I agree with Agree!!!

Jim Nasium
Jim Nasium
4 months ago
Reply to  Art

I agree with your agreement with Agree.

Lol
Lol
4 months ago
Reply to  Jim Nasium

Yes agree! There are partitions already in place.!

Vigilent
Vigilent
4 months ago
Reply to  Agree

Are they waiting for staff to study the issue of reopening?

Tom
Tom
4 months ago
Reply to  Vigilent

😍

Open City Hall
Open City Hall
4 months ago

The city doesn’t work for the people anymore. They work for themselves and for their own political agendas.

:dpb
:dpb
4 months ago
Reply to  Open City Hall

Yep.

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