The Historic Preservation Commission chose not to wade into the muddy debate over re-naming the West Hollywood Library in honor of late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at their meeting Monday night.
“I believe that we’re being asked to do this for political reasons,” said Commissioner Edward Levin. “I do not believe this falls within our purview.”
Levin made a motion to take no action on the Public Facilities Commission’s invitation to offer a formal opinion on the re-naming.
“This was done preemptively by City Council without any public input at all,” he said. “So now, in order to try to re-constitute some semblance of a public process, they threw it onto the Public Facilities Commission, who threw it to other commissions. I can’t imagine any specific reason to be asking the Historic Preservation Commission to comment on the naming of a building that is not historic and cannot be historic for another 20 years.”
Commissioners Andrew Campbell and Matt Dubin did not agree.
“I saw this in a different light,” Campbell said. “It seems to me what the Public Facilities Commission is asking us is to provide some sort of feedback to help them make their decision. I think it’s more of us being asked as members of the community.”
Levin, however, held firm in his position.
“This is simply politics,” he said. “I don’t believe we ought to get involved in it as a matter of principle. Would we weigh in on a cannabis license if the business license commission asked us to?”
Dubin sided with Campbell in his belief that a formal opinion from the commission would be “innocuous at worst and non-precedent setting.”
Chair King reminded the commission that the city has released a public survey through which the commissioners could provide their individual feedback.
The Historic Preservation Commission voted 5-2 to take no action. The Public Facilities Commission will review the feedback they requested from boards and commissions that participated during their next meeting.