Log Cabin may re-open soon, but City Hall still closed until further notice

The City Council meeting was cancelled midway when internet issues at West Hollywood Park caused WeHo TV, the city’s official network to go down. There were hints during the early part of the meeting that at the next City Council meeting on Monday, June 21st, there would be an update on re-opening plans. City Hall has been closed since March 2020.

During Councilmember comments prior to the cancellation of meeting a reference was made by the newly appointed City Manager that the Log Cabin might be expected to open as early as June 15th, when the County lifts all restrictions.

Upon entering the first floor of City Hall there is an information booth in the front with large bullet proof glass partitions. A city staff would normally be behind these partitions to direct guests and answer questions. The first floor at at city hall has a community meeting room, bathrooms, and the city’s parking permit counter along the west wall. The city clerk counter is also located on the first floor behind a heavy glass partition. There is also many brochures and pamphlets for a number of city services which is locked inside the closed City Hall.

The second floor has a small lobby area. On one side is the City planning desk and city staff offices and on the other side there is a door that separates additional city staff offices that house public works . All City staff except planning work behind bullet proof partitions even prior to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The third floor houses the executive offices. As soon as you exit the elevator there is a small sofa and two doors that separate the public from all City workers. Many City Staff have private offices and other desks are in cubicles with generous spacing.

It has been reported that managers have been coming into city hall on a rotating basis once or twice per week over the last month or sp.. but the doors remain closed to the public. All city hall employees are working from home at full pay. There have been no layoffs of any city hall staff since the outset of the pandemic.

City Hall will look quite different upon re-opening. When the doors to City Hall closed in March of 2020 photos on the wall of the then current City Council included Mayor Pro Tem John Heilman, Councilmember John Duran, along with Councilmembers Lauren Meister, Lindsey Horvath and John D’Amico and the City Manager Paul Arevalo. Upon re-opening the public will be able to see three new faces in the lobby area, including Councilmember Sepi Shyne, Councilmember John Erickson and the new City Manager David Wilson.

But how hard can it be to open the doors to the public? How hard can it be to have one of those employees, fully vaccinated by now, standing behind the glass partition to answer a resident with a question?

At the previous City Council meeting Councilmember D’Amico suggested that we have future meetings at the Council Chambers. There is room to accommodate the entire council and necessary staff and a number of residents. If we were in the Council Chambers last night’s meeting would have continued and the business of the City put first and foremost. But the meeting was cancelled. And you can’t go to City Hall.

Beverly Hills City Hall opened on March 3rd for appointments. Palm Springs City Hall opened last week June 1st. West Hollywood City Hall remains closed until further notice.

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About Larry Block
Larry Block is the Managing Director of WEHOville. He is a local business owner, community advocate and has lived or worked in West Hollywood since 1985. He has also served as Chairman of the Public Facilities Commission and the Chair of the West Hollywood Disability Advisory Board.

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Randy
Randy
3 months ago

Larry, I agree with you that both should be opened up. As soon as possible. We have daily briefings from the White House, with a socially distanced group of journalists, masks, wiping down the podium, etc.. Seems like we can go back to those, as long as all Council members and staff are vaccinated. However, my understanding that last night’s interruption was because of the Brown Act, which requires them to air their meeting on the local channel, provided through Spectrum cable. I’m not sure if that is the case, or only a restriction based on their online-only presence. Youtube… Read more »

Randy
Randy
3 months ago
Reply to  Larry Block

Larry, thank you for the clarification. Used to watch in on cable, for years, but then canceled cable in 2013 (never looking back on that one). I’ve been watching online, ever since, even before they started on the YouTube platform. They had their own streaming platform (which was not that great). In this day and age, one would think that being on Youtube would be enough to comply with the Brown Act. But I know little about what is written there, and not all people have streaming capability, or know how to use it (yes, hard to believe).

RJH
RJH
3 months ago

Open up. No reason to stay closed and keep getting paid. We pay your salaries and you are here to serve us in person as long as it is safe. All of you are vaccinated now and if you chose not to be, then wear your mask. Times up. Open your doors and come back to work. There is MUCH to be done to clean up this city and our out of control homeless and mentally ill population. These problems aren’t going to be solved on your sofas at home.

:dpb
:dpb
3 months ago
Reply to  RJH

Agreed. What I’d really like to know is what lobbying and deals are being done off camera, behind the residents backs. There has been absolutely no accountability in the day to day working of this city. The is a sheriffs billing crises, homeless crises, merchant rents crises, as well has Out On Robertson approval without going through the city planning commission and the council waited more than a month to install the selected candidate for city manager leaving Weho without one.

JustSaying
JustSaying
3 months ago

Wondering if they will open on June 15th when all else opens – if not what will their excuse be?!

:dpb
:dpb
3 months ago
Reply to  JustSaying

The city council has already announced that they will be open city hall or nor the council chamber until July 19.
In the meantime, the council is dancing maskless at the Abbey. And out on Robertson sans masks.

Tom
Tom
3 months ago

I was rather appalled to read that the City would not read the resident letters and comments about the outzone issue into the record. Beverly Hills did so for the recent debate about ONE Beverly Hills and there were far more of them. If the city “strongly encourage(s)” participation via email then those comments should be read into the record as if they were made in person.

Randy
Randy
3 months ago
Reply to  Tom

I believe they didn’t read those into the record, because they didn’t get to reach that agenda item, with the abrupt cancellation. I could be wrong. I don’t think it would be done during public comment, but only during comments that relate to that particular agenda item, which has now been tabled. I believe that all Councilmembers have jobs, outside their duties here, but I see no reason why they cannot convene another meeting, say, next Monday, or this Thursday, etc.. The next meeting is going to be a packed agenda, and I believe D’Amico said he will be absent,… Read more »

carleton cronin
3 months ago

“Can we stay in our PJs if we must comer back?” Maybe it’s difficult to late everybody…

:dpb
:dpb
3 months ago

Recall each city council member.

Randy
Randy
3 months ago
Reply to  :dpb

Because there was an interruption of cable service, and the Brown Act required them to cancel the meeting? Who are you going to replace them all with? Come on. Puhlease….

JJ1
JJ1
3 months ago

There is no good reason why the Council doesn’t resume regular city Council meetings in their chambers.

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