Budget passes 3-1. Meister votes against noting need for hotel ordinance impact study.

The City Council passed a budget resolution without knowing the full impacts of the pending Hotel Worker Ordinance that is set to come before the City Council on July 19th.

The City of West Hollywood is projecting total revenues of approximately $104 million for the current fiscal year and total expenditures of approximately $114 million. A ten million dollar shortfall. Potential impacts of the Hotel Worker Ordinance could impact as much as an additional eight million dollars. City Revenues have declined from a peak in 2019 of $138 million to approximately $111 million last year and project at 104 million dollars for this fiscal year.

Nick Rimedio, Chairman of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce in an op-ed here in WEHOville, questioned how the City Council could pass a budget without knowing the effects of the proposed Hotel Worker Ordinance that could have devastating effects on the hotel tax, which used to be the number one source of tax revenue for the City.

Meister was alone is casting the only “No” vote. Councilmember D’Amico was not present. Horvath made the motion, which was seconded by Council member Shyne and carried with the support of Council member Erickson.

Public Safety expenditures and services with the Sheriff are the same as last year at approximately 20 million dollars, plus an additional half million dollars for rising costs for same services. Additional monies are expected to be set aside for homeless outreach on top of the contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff.

But the big question is the potential impact of the Hotel Worker Ordinance on the TOT tax, which used to be the city’s largest source of income. Unite Here Local 11, with the support of Mayor Horvath, Council member Shyne have brought forth a Hotel Worker Ordinance. Council member Erickson is expected to be the third vote. The impacts of the ordinance would limit the number of rooms a worker could clean based on square footage. In her vote against the budget Council member Meister noted the potential impacts of the Ordinance and playing with the business model of the hotels.

The Hotel Worker Ordinance will come back for a discussion on July 19th. During the Public Comment period, West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Genevieve Morrill made an impassioned plea for reason among the council. Here in its entirety:

Genevieve Morrill

Good Evening Mayor Horvath, and City Council. We are concerned about passing a budget tonight when there has been no study on the economic impact of the proposed housekeeping ordinance.

While the business community is struggling to regain its footing and get back to doing business in west hollywood, city council members are catering to special interest groups which will be detrimental to our full economic recovery.

You have heard from Danielle from Unite Here local 11 and you will see under public comment that the special interest group who is dictating the council’s actions, submitted a petition from workers who state they need this law to protect them from the horrible things you stated the hotels were doing without any outreach– not even a call to a hotel to verify these outrageous accusations. Let alone the fact that of these 100 signatures 26 are from a closed hotel – the standard; and the majority 64 are from the 2 union hotels of which the Union is asking for an exemption. If the amount of square footage in a workplace assures employees safety from onerous workloads why is it that they themselves are exempt? How is this special interest group different than any developer?

After working here for 22 years I know our West Hollywood community is not stupid. They cannot be conned by these ruses and attempt to bamboozle the West Hollywood public with an ordinance that does nothing to benefit them..

It is astounding that an ordinance of such mega import with such has an enormous impact to our hospitality community would be passed without discussion or study of its economic impact. A kick in the gut to say the least to a group of business leaders who helped found this city – frankly a dockless bike program and traffic calming measures get more study than this ordinance – which impacts so many workers as well as the 40% of the city’s budget which comes from the hotels tax. These unrestricted funds for our social service programs. What is the rush? Why are you jamming this through? If this is so important for the people of West Hollywood then be transparent and do a study and show how this rally under the guise of social justice for the workers benefits our residents.

How can you in good conscience pass this budget without understanding the impact of policies you are enacting

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Randy
Randy
3 months ago

I watched the entire segment for this item last night. I payed careful attention to Meister’s comments. I believe they did agree to a study. It was acknowledged by the incoming City Manager that a study will take 2 to 3 months. Our fiscal year starts on July 1. Contract with the Sheriff’s department starts on July 1. Meister did not really provide a reason for a “no” vote. If it was because of the need for a hotel study, then the budget wouldn’t be passed until August or September, minimum, and the city wouldn’t be able to operate for… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Randy
Larry Block
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Randy

No the study was not approved. The item on the agenda was the budget.

Danielle Harris
Danielle Harris
3 months ago

See news today. Garcetti’s chief of staff Ana Guerrero on leave w/o pay for insulting public and political figures on Facebook. A true Mean Girl. Sound familiar? Aren’t these Lindsey’s mentors?

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
3 months ago

How is Unite Here different from any developer? I can’t believe that is a serious question. The Unite Here proposal is a progressive way to protect workers from injury and exploitation; a developer is usually only concerned about making profit. I would think that the intellectual dishonesty of that statement would be apparent. While I believe that this process should be deliberative and I would have preferred the entire Council debate the proposal, this is not some wild, unproven concept; it is something that progressive cities such as Santa Monica and Long Beach have adopted without having adverse impacts to… Read more »

Mike
Mike
3 months ago

The “unisex anti urinal three” aka Horvath, Shyne and Erickson didn’t wait for John D’Amico because they are the little cabal of busy NO-bodies who want no interference on their WOKE nonsense. They reek of incompetence and self will run riot. At least Shyne listened to the people calling in along with Meister while He/Him John and She/Her Horvath looked down the entire time. Probably reading likes on Instagram.

Last edited 3 months ago by Mike
JJ1
JJ1
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Very disappointed in Horvath. She has aligned herself with the wrong two.

Randy
Randy
3 months ago

I can’t believe that they didn’t table one of their most important votes of the year, passing a budget resolution, knowing that D’Amico would not be present. This should have been tabled until his return, even if it probably would have passed 3 to 2. They tabled the outdoor entertainment item on their agenda until his return, so why not this? Which has more impact on residents, local businesses and the local economy? The budget, obviously.

Never Surprised
Never Surprised
3 months ago
Reply to  Randy

Shocked but never surprised.

Acting without respect for their fellow council member D”Amico on such an important item especially since they knew of his announced absence prior to the meeting.

Thank you Council Member Meister for your critical eye and backbone. If these qualities could become contagious, that would be beneficial to all.

Don Jones
Don Jones
3 months ago

As usual, Mayor Pro Tempore Lauren Meister is the only adult in the room.

JJ1
JJ1
3 months ago
Reply to  Don Jones

True.

Last edited 3 months ago by JJ1
Joseph M. Clapsaddle
3 months ago

As a former Chair of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, I concur with the statement of current Chamber president Genevieve Morrill and applaud the vote of Council Member Lauren Meister. Madam Horvath and Mr. Erickson should be severely sanctioned for their self serving rush to pass the Hotel Worker Ordinance. Mme. Horvath knows better but is letting her ambitions prevail, which is not good for West Hollywood. Mr. Erickson is a mystery to me. He brings nothing to the City Council and is an embarrassment to have represent us. Ms. Shyne has a political future, but… Read more »

Randy
Randy
3 months ago

I thought they tabled discussion on the Hotel Worker Ordinance until the next meeting? When D’Amico is back? Everyone is saying there needs to be a study, which I agree with. I’m confused.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
3 months ago
Reply to  Randy

I believe the vote on the hotel ordinance is coming in July. While I would have preferred the entire council vote on the budget, I don’t think the hotel ordinance will bust the budget. That just seems like fearmongering.

Randy
Randy
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

That’s right.

Aaron
Aaron
3 months ago

Unprofessional rantings from someone who collects a fat paycheck but doesn’t even live in WeHo will not help our cause.

Vote them out
Vote them out
3 months ago

Horvath Ericsson and Shyne had little to do with building the city but everything to do with its demolition.

JJ1
JJ1
3 months ago
Reply to  Vote them out

Shout it loud and wide! Everyone needs to hear this!

:dpb
:dpb
3 months ago

I am at a loss… and the City of West Hollywood is the big loser. Irresponsible and negligent. These children will continue to play until they burn down the house. Recall each one.

Manny
Manny
3 months ago

Welcome to the new “Robertson Closure, Just Do It” style of governing and policy making.

JJ1
JJ1
3 months ago
Reply to  Manny

So very true. VOTE. THEM. OUT.

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