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:
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