Mayor Horvath, Councilmember Shyne appear to be violating the Brown Act to push Hotel Worker Ordinance.

At last week’s regular (virtual) meeting, WEHOville readers noticed what appeaars to be Mayor Horvath and Councilmember Shyne texting back and forth breaking the law by violating the Brown Act on numerous occasions.

The Ralph M. Brown Act, located at California Government Code 54950 et seq., is an act of the California State Legislature passed in 1953, that guarantees the public’s right to attend and participate in meetings of local legislative bodies. The Brown Act forbids Councilmembers from soliciting or conferring with each other in sidebar conversations about any item on the agenda.

The item up for discussion is to select a date to discuss the proposal of a new Hotel Worker Ordinance. This item was brought forward by Mayor Horvath and Councilmember Shyne at a previous City Council meeting.

Councilmember D’Amico announced he could not attend the first meeting in July. His trip to Hawaii to bury his mother’s ashes had been pre-planned. Councilmember D’Amico politely requested that the council bring the item back for the July 19th City Council meeting. He pointed out that if the item was brought back for the July 19th City Staff would have the time to conduct the appropriate economic impact study recommended by the new City Manager David Wilson and also supported by Councilmember Meister. Horvath and Shyne would not compromise and continued to push this item forward without conducting an economic impact study. As the discussion continued about moving the dates Mayor Horvath, Councilmember Shyne and at times Councilmember Erickson appeared to be texting each other without the public participation. Private text messaging during City Council meeting is illegal.

David Wilson was confirmed earlier in the evening as the new City Manager and his first recommendation to the Council was to do the study on the effects of the proposed ordinance on our local Hotel’s and the budget. David Wilson assumes the role of City Manager on July 7th but currently serves as West Hollywood’s Chief Risk Officer. He also has been the Director of Finance. Despite approving the new city manager’s contract Mayor Horvath, and Councilmember Shyne and Councilmember Erickson dismissed his expertise and continued to push the item forward, They showed little respect to the new City Manager’s advice. It must be noted that all three of these Councilmembers received contributions and support for their campaigns directly from same Unions.

Bill Karpiak, Chair of West Hollywood’s Travel and Tourism Board also suggested the a study be commissioned by the city to examine the potential for tax revenue displacement resulting from the housekeeping ordinance. (Cutting the worker productivity by half in the midst of a labor crisis would require the hotels to limit occupancy and would directly decrease the hotel taxes collected.)

There were public comments by Genevieve Morrill, the President and CEO of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, along with Nick Remedio the Chairman of Chamber of Commerce and Bill Karpiak, general manager of the Ramada Hotel on Santa Monica Blvd. and Chair of the West Hollywood Travel and Tourism Board. Their comments reflected the urgency of our economic recovery and the inability of members of the City Council to do a fair economic impact study of the ordinance the Union-supported candidates are approving without regard. The ordinance itself does little to benefit West Hollywood residents.

During the public comment period while speakers were talking the it was clear to many that Horvath had her head down and looked as if she was conferring with Shyne and at times Erickson.

WEHOville chose 4 clips above to illustrate what appears to be a willful violation of the public process. WEHOville has put in a public records request for copies of the text messages of all 5 councilmembers and ask the City Attorney to enforce the Brown Act violations and guarantee the public an honest hearing.

It is also time to get back to the City Council chambers where City Council members cannot hide behind text messages and residents can have honest hearings and a local city council they can trust.

A member of a City Council can be guilty of a misdemeanor under certain circumstances. Specifically, under California Government Code section 54959, each member of a legislative body who attends a meeting of that legislative body where action is taken in violation of the Brown Act, and “where the member intends to deprive the public of information to which the member knows or has reason to know the public is entitled” is guilty of a misdemeanor. Please note that the member must have the “intent” to deprive the public of information to which it is entitled.

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DownLoadThis1
DownLoadThis1
5 months ago

Now that we know this kind of activity is going on we need to do a thorough investigation and find out if it is ever happened before where they were conspiring to pass their personal agendas.
TOTAL TRANSPARENCY

Distracted
Distracted
5 months ago

The ads on this page are horribly distracting. I could barely get through the article because of them. I won’t be reading much WEHOville going forward unless you guys dial it down or I find a good ad-block extension.

Curtis
Curtis
5 months ago

Why aren’t they holding these meetings in person since most everything has reopened?

:dpb
:dpb
5 months ago

I would like to hear from the City Manager as to why this blatant violation of the Brown Act has not been addressed by or commented on by her he city. I for one am inclined to file a compliant and ask for investigation. This is blatant. It may be standard operating procedure with this council, but it’s against the law and this city and their free wheeling-rule ignoring-non-protocol following council needs to be more than warned. I’d like persecution of the offenders. The city manager needs to enforce the Brown Act. What is the penalty for violating the Brown… Read more »

Jonathan Simmons
Jonathan Simmons
3 months ago
Reply to  :dpb

The City has always tried to dodge the brown act created long after the incorporation of local Los Angeles municipalities (city of industry, Hawaiian gardens, WeHo was late in 1984.) There’s a bunch. In was A Law Created by the CA State Legislators AFTER BLATANT MASSIVE FRAUD IN A SECRECY LIKE TINY FIEFDOMS BEFORE THE MAGNA CARTA CITY OF BELL (the poor poor poor version of WeHo wealth) was charged with massive criminal fraud. FIRST ACTION OF APPARENT NEW “FRESH BLOOD” AS CITY MANAGER, ACTED OPENLY TO SO OPENLY BLATENTLY AND WITH NO SHAME TO VIOLATE THE LAW TO FORCE… Read more »

Dee
Dee
5 months ago

Lock them Up!

Gregory W. Ellwood
Gregory W. Ellwood
5 months ago

I regret my vote for Shyne more and more every day. Erickson is the girl we knew he was.

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
5 months ago

Amen! Erickson is a bully dressed as a feminist. Sepi has her anti-man agenda. Queen Lindsey is just, well, a royal pain to our once-charming urban village. I came down hard on D’Amico when he violated his pledge not to seek a third term, but I’m now glad he did–who knows what other sophomoric moron might have joined The Three Stooges and then we’d have only Meister to save us from municipal armageddon. I pulled my vote for Sepi at the last minute in favor of Duran and Block, and I’m glad I did.

JJ1
JJ1
5 months ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

Amen.

Chloe Ross
5 months ago
Reply to  JJ1

Just read this one. I could not agree more.

Joshua88
Joshua88
5 months ago

Very interesting.
What is the gist of the ordinance?

Observer
Observer
5 months ago

Councilmembers have been using their cell phones for eons while they were on the dais in Council Chambers. From observation, it appeared that perhaps John Duran used his the most. The solution would be that all Councilmembers cell phones are surrendered to the City Manager prior to a meeting and then returned at the conclusion of same.

gdaddy
gdaddy
5 months ago

No shock here that the 3 most two faced city council members are doing this. Can’t wait to vote them out!

Sinking Fast
Sinking Fast
5 months ago
Reply to  gdaddy

With only 2 council members that have a reasonably mature sensibility however not acquainted with elementary problem solving, it is an uphill climb. CM Meister is diligent but often the morass of information she is required to address, namely the silliness of the 3. The finest mind would have a tough time navigating the waters. CM D’Amico occasionally throws out random ideas that escape the realm of reason.

So here we are sinking fast. West Hollywood A Failed Experiment.

JJ1
JJ1
5 months ago
Reply to  gdaddy

Yes! Yes! Yes! Spread the word to anyone that will listen.

William Seegmiller
5 months ago

Open City Hall NOW!

RR.
RR.
5 months ago

Hope your having fun because the mean girls will get you too.

Jamie Francis
Jamie Francis
5 months ago

This is totally unethical. This is hindering public knowledge of actions of political officials who for the past 15 months have had no in person observation so that in essence it’s like a private chat group gone rogue rather than a city council public meeting. Zoom has allowed people to do things privately and out of public view. This is how zoom and TikTok have distorted reality by way of virtual reality being the norm all because of a Pandemic Virus and an excuse to keep sessions on zoom calls what seems to be a unofficial municipal ordinance. The residents… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Jamie Francis
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