‘Simply politics’: Historic Preservation Commission steers clear of library re-naming

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.

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Annie
Annie
2 months ago

And the city council should too. This council will ruin everything Heilman created if they could . All because John D’Amico is vengeful and spiteful which is why he and Erickson are the two fools on the city council.

John Daniel Harrington-Tyrell
John Daniel Harrington-Tyrell
2 months ago

Done move a long,please.

WEHO resident
WEHO resident
2 months ago

As a private citizen, I voted no on the survey to name the West Hollywood Library after RBG. Although I love, respect, and admire her, I think it would make far more sense…if they want to name some thing after her…to name the City Council Chambers after her. After all, that is where the laws are made.

JJ1
JJ1
2 months ago

Bravo to the Historic Preservation Commission (especially Commissioner Levin) for not getting involved in what is obviously a political move. Keep the name West Hollywood Library.

Last edited 2 months ago by JJ1
Manny
Manny
2 months ago

At first glance reading the headline I though the commission was deflecting their responsibility to offer an opinion. But very quickly after reading Commissioner Levin’s thoughts, it made sense to not capture the political can kicked their way.

Don’t mess with Ed Levin fellas, he’s way to formidable and independent.

Purview or Politics
Purview or Politics
2 months ago
Reply to  Manny

Would be good to have a swift ending for this misguided political football.

Art
Art
2 months ago
Reply to  Manny

Agreed!

Purview or Politics
Purview or Politics
2 months ago

Commissioner Ed Levin was 100% correct in his statements. Unfortunately the two commissioners that offered opposing opinions appeared to be wobblers at best, unsure of their purview which is ultimately diminishing to their task on the Historic Preservation Commission. The public depends on well informed competent commissioners.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
2 months ago

Finally! Some sanity!

JJ1
JJ1
2 months ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

YUP.

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