D’Amico: ‘We ruined that relationship’ with hotels by passing ordinance

Councilmember John D’Amico also sent a strong indication that he will be serving out his last term as a City Councilmember.

At this past Monday’s City Council meeting by teleconference, Item 2G, the second reading of the Hotel Ordinance, was placed on the consent calendar.

Mayor Pro Tem Lauren Meister registered her no vote on same item. The ordinance has been controversial due to its speed and the impact it may have on West Hollywood’s hotel industry.

During councilmember comments that followed the public comment period, D’Amico echoed his disappointment with the process that pushed the Hotel Ordinance forward without any outreach to the hotels, or without a study session.

” I agree, we lacked leadership on the council for that item (2G-the Hotel Ordinance),” D’Amico said. “There were several other ways at least that we could have addressed the meat of the discussion, but I also know that we are where we are and I hope that together we can begin to repair our relationships with the hotels which I understand is broken and should be, we broke it. We ruined that relationship. So as this councilmember begins to try to mend that in the time that I have left serving this term. I certainly agree that we could have done better, especially in terms of leadership around the ideas, the outcomes, or on the solutions.

The Hotel Ordinance as brought forward by Mayor Lindsey Horvath and Councilmember Sepi Shyne has many provisions that both the Council and Hotels agree upon. The Ordinance was adopted without any outreach to the hotels and without the benefit of a study session that was recommended by D’Amico and Meister as well as the new City Manager David Wilson. Many of the worker provisions regarding harassment and right to work have already been set in place due to state law. The three council members who pushed this through all received support from the UNITE HERE Local 11 in their campaigns.

During the Public Comment period, Genevieve Morrill, president and CEO of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, spoke passionately of her disappointment in the process and politics of the ordinance. UNITE HERE Local 11 had set up multiple independent expenditure committees on behalf of Shyne and Councilmember John Erickson during the 2020 election.

Morrill stated clearly:

“The hotels NEVER OPPOSED any of the workers protections provisions in the ordinance. It is unfortunate that you chose to not make this clear and not provide the full background or allow an economic study, nor take any consideration of the very thoughtful report, or spent time to research and analyze what would be be best for West Hollywood. It is unfortunate that you didn’t have the same goal. The viciousness of your comments about the Hotel Community and that they only care about the bottom line is truly disturbing from a new Council member who was elected to represent all of our community – (referring to Council member John Erickson) not just who endorsed your campaign, and on a personal note your attacks on me and my character were deeply hurtful and and unwarranted. I represent the business community and my job is to represent their interests. We fought against a policy. I hope that moving forward we can agree to disagree without public verbal insults. We should be given the same courtesy that you extended to UNITE HERE. “

Other public comment speakers included Jeff Klein, owner of the the Sunset Tower Hotel and San Vicente Bungalows and Hotel 850.

“I oppose the process and lack of outreach to the hotels,” Klein said. “There was no consideration for the facts we put forward regarding staff shortages or economic impacts for our hotels”.

Nick Rimedio, chairman of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, chimed in: “We said since Day 1 that worker protection and safety is our number one priority. It is now clear that the process was flawed from the start given the lack of transparency as related to requests for information, most of which came back as ‘privileged.’ Why don’t the residents of this community deserve to see what is redacted or withheld? What are you hiding? And create false rhetoric with a platform to endorsing a special interest group, with rigging the system to benefit that special interest group.”

Andrew Maffei, spoke on behalf of Springboard Hospitality Group, and the owners and employees of four hotels representing 510 hotel rooms.

“There was no attempt to find meaningful compromise,” he said, “and it is our belief that adoption of this ordinance will negatively impact our staff and a generation of valuable tax dollars to the City of West Hollywood.”

The principal disagreement in the Hotel Worker Ordinance centered upon provisions that limit the number of rooms or square footage that a housekeeper can clean per day, and a new rule that requires a housekeeper who works more than an 8-hour day to receive “double the day’s pay.”

There are 22 hotels in West Hollywood. UNITE HERE Local 11 is operational in only two of West Hollywood’s hotels, the Andaz and the 1 Hotel. The UNITE HERE Local 11 workers at the Andaz or 1 Hotel are not limited by square footage or “double the days pay” rule. The effect of this ordinance is to make it economically unfeasible for the non-union hotels to operate and force them to join the union.

The Ordinance as written is expected to be challenged in court.

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[…] doing so hot. The West Hollywood City Council recently found itself divided over controversial union-backed legislation, leading one Councilmember to declare the city had “ruined” its relationship with local […]

Dave Beckton
Dave Beckton
2 months ago

Lol. Sepi. What a joke of a council member. But, you get what you vote for.

TomSmart
TomSmart
2 months ago

Ruined the relationship with the hotels eh John? What’s wrong buddy, aren’t campaign donations from developers and billboard companies enough for you???

Michael Grace
Michael Grace
2 months ago

John D’Amico is all over the place, very wishy-washy. First, he’s with Meister and then hooks up with the 3 WOK-E-HOLICS voting yes on everything Shyne, Horvath and Erickson are pushing. D’Amico’s not to be trusted. He was conservative on development and then took money from developers in the last election. He sat around and did nothing about Ed Buck for 2 years. Buck helped put him in office over some issue regarding selling furs in West Hollywood. Recently, he cautioned the other council members on overspending stating he was in charge of millions of dollars because of his job.… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Michael Grace
Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
2 months ago

I really want to like John D’Amico as one of two voices of intelligence, reason, respect for community, and good judgment left on the council. It is annoying that he speaks out of both sides of his mouth on so many issues. That said, please stay for another term John! We can’t afford another buffoon and stooge hijacking the work of the people for their personal agenda. We got snookered and duped by Shyne, but we knew exactly what we were getting with Erickson. The arrogance and condescension in their dismissal of norms of civilized representation should disqualify from continuing… Read more »

Stevie
Stevie
2 months ago

The Conservatives that reside in the city and oppose this issue should start an Amendment to the city charter and pack the city council like the Democrats want for the SCOTUS. That way the 3 Mean Girls can’t have their way.

Eric Jon Schmidt
Eric Jon Schmidt
2 months ago

Just remember: Stormy Daniels has a key to the City. I hope they changed the locks. That was a very subtle way of saying that our (yes. I said “OUR”…. I snatched up some comprop ((commercial property)) in WEHO during the pandemic) “City Council” decisions are made on a whim and with little to no research or community impact studies. Most of the Decisions (in my opinion) are based on personal financial gain. I’m not in LA now, I’m going to be abroad for a few more months. When the shoes start hurting, I’ll be back. That was a shout… Read more »

Matthew Flanagan
Matthew Flanagan
2 months ago

These liberal save the world implementations are going to destroy
WeHo. So sad

Ralph
Ralph
2 months ago

Good words from The Chamber. Whatever comes of this, be glad the person running our Chamber has never assailed anyone’s character behind their back, or undermined anyone’s professional knowledge and integrity, or participated in backstabbing, or made any unethical arrangements with powers that be, or put dollars above the public’s safety and well being. WeHo should be proud.

hifi5000
hifi5000
2 months ago

After reading this article and watching Mr. D”Amico during city council meetings,I come to the conclusion he is getting tried of being a councilman.He appears distracted and not focused during council arguments. He does have sparks of thought,one of which when he talked about the influence of cannabis businesses on existing rents on Santa Monica Blvd. during the last city council meeting. I agree with the author’s observation that this could be Mr. D”Amico’s last term in office.Having to deal with the nonsense of Shyne and Erickson,not to mention the ongoing pandemic can wear on you. I would not be… Read more »

WeHo Rocks!
WeHo Rocks!
2 months ago

SEPI SHYNE IS THE LEAST QUALIFIED OF THEM ALL… According to her website, for only $225 “Reiki Master Sepi provides Ascended Master Channeling sessions, including an Archangel Michael Reading. During a session, you will be asked to focus on one or two areas of your life where you are wanting guidance from your Spirit Guides, Guardians and the Ascended Masters that will communicate to you through Reiki Master Sepi.” Maybe she can channel some common sense and know when she’s in over her head. #RECALL

Worth questioning
Worth questioning
2 months ago
Reply to  WeHo Rocks!

Reiki is characterized as a pseudoscience but look it up for yourself and find your own level of comfort.

WeHo Rocks!
WeHo Rocks!
2 months ago

Sepi’s statement that “Spirit Guides, Guardians and the Ascended Masters that will communicate to you through Reiki Master Sepi.” is definitely a crock… Im more likely to find Pee Wee’s missing bike in the basement of the Alamo.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
2 months ago

I’m SO glad they passed the ordinance.

Art
Art
2 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Well . . . your endorsement of their action is all I need to know that what they did is WRONG!

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