Condo owners will suffer from minimum wage hike, too

Dear City Council and City Staff,

Regarding the new minimum wage increase law, was there any kind of carve-out for non-profits, specifically for condominium associations?Or was any kind of consideration given to the impact this new law would have on condominium associations?

Our homeowner association, as with many HOAs, are already struggling with very tight budgets.We raise our dues the absolute minimum possible each year and avoid assessments unless absolutely necessary.It is a struggle to allocate enough of our monthly assessments to adequately fund our reserves to cover major repairs and upgrades as required by state law.

Our building is over 50 years old, built in 1974.You have all been to my building but the newer councilmembers may not realize that there are over 100 units here.We have enormous repairs every year just trying to maintain our structure and often have to bring various parts of our building up to code for insurance purposes as well as for basic safety issues.Things like redoing our front steps, replacing all the railings throughout our building, we don’t have wired fire alarms which our insurance company would like us to have.We are currently replacing our original elevators.Our roof needs to be replaced in the next couple years.We are also looking into bringing more electricity to our building so we can prepare for EV’s as we are currently maxed out and cannot have individual chargers in our garages and many owners are clamoring for Teslas.All of this is going to cost our building several million dollars.And we have only 102 units to split these costs.

We are not Sierra Towers or Empire West or even our next-door neighbor Shoreham Towers.Our homeowners are middle class.Many, like myself, have lived in this building well over twenty years when the purchase prices were modest and the monthly fees were low.We have many creative people and people in the entertainment industry whose income is sporadic, who are living on royalties.We have retirees on limited income.

Every year, we have to raise the dues just to cover the increases from the utility companies, Athens, Spectrum, our insurance companies – especially after the two major fires we had which you are aware of and which each cost this building over $1M in repairs, and other services.Cleaning andmaintenancesuppliesgo up every years.We have no control over these costs.Not to mention the salaries we already pay our longtime staff and which we already increase regularly and give annual bonuses to.We also give them special bonuses, as we did for working during the pandemic.

I don’t think any of you live in condos so aren’t aware of the pushback from homeowners every time dues are increased and the burden increased dues place on them.

I believe about 20% of WeHo residents are condo owners.I don’t know how many are large enough to have permanent staff.There are only four or five luxury condos in the entire city.The rest are like Horn Plaza who can ill afford to absorb this wage increase into their budgets.

We do not have the ability to move out of the city.This city makes a big issue about protecting affordable housing for its residents.We are residents too.This city is already turning rentals into high-end housing and forcing long-time renters to move out of our borders.Now the city will be forcing long-time condo owners to sell their units because of increased dues.

Is that really the direction this city is going to take?

If this wage increase law isn’t yet fully codified, I hope that you will find a way to protect non-profit condominium associations for the reasons outlined above.

Please let me know how this new law affects condominium associations.Thank you.

Elyse Eisenberg

President (and Treasurer for 20+ years)

Horn Plaza Condominium Association

1230 Horn Avenue

West Hollywood, CA90069

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Jake
Jake
24 days ago

I think Elyse should have to pay way more than 2 bucks an hour for not spell checking her article and often leaving no spaces after periods. (Really, I think that alone speaks volumes.) Additionally, this complaining is so outrageous. Not one bit of consideration to those getting paid so much less than her and her Tesla-owning condo residents. Completely self-obsessed. Sad.

A. Deru
A. Deru
24 days ago

So the owners can’t manage to pay an extra $2 per hour to lowly housekeepers, gardeners, maintenance people etc? If there are 5 workers working full time that should add up to about an additional $400 a month divided by one hundred condos. that’s what? $4 a month more per condo? An additional $48 a year per condo? I can see where that would cut into the Tesla payment. Wow. I honestly don’t have words. Here’s my math ~ 40 hours X $2 = 80 per worker X 5 workers = $400 a month / 100 = $4. I am… Read more »

Joshua88
Joshua88
26 days ago

O my.
*Our building is over 50 years old, built in 1974.*
Your building is under 50 years. Redo the math.

Your condo owners all want Teslas with personal chargers and they are all middle class? Not such an expensive car, but it just sounds too elite.

https://www.motor1.com/features/313677/how-much-is-a-tesla/

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
26 days ago
Reply to  Joshua88

You’re not being very empathetic to the homeowning Tesla drivers out there. It’s a hard life!

Last edited 26 days ago by greeneyedguy
Randy
Randy
25 days ago
Reply to  Joshua88

Not all condo owners, on Teslas. We have some very old buildings in this neighborhood. This is not a black-and-white issue.

Randy
Randy
26 days ago

Honestly, I’ve not read the ordinance, but I doubt this will apply. Your maintenance, gardeners, pool maintenance, etc., are independent contractors. You don’t have a payroll, I am guessing. This question is worth asking, however. I can’t imagine you’d be subject to this ordinance. If so, they need to change the writing, before it becomes official.

Peter Buckley
Peter Buckley
26 days ago
Reply to  Randy

If the cleaning business is based outside WeHo, the minimum wage wouldn’t apply. Only if the HOA employed individuals on W2s which is rare as they employ a cleaning service. The min wage really hits chain stores, hotels and restaurants so they will also adapt and set up a business address outside WeHo. Bet the commissioners didn’t think of that.

Randy
Randy
26 days ago
Reply to  Peter Buckley

Really? All they do is have to “base their business” outside of WeHo? Like, the little Thai restaurant on SMB near Sweetzer, they file for different address? How does Pavilion’s get away with saying they aren’t in WeHo, when they have a location here, along with hundreds more, across the country. I’m confused.

Scott
Scott
25 days ago
Reply to  Randy

There are plenty of full service buildings (like mine) that have full time employees as front desk staff, security, management, maintenance, etc in addition to the outside vendors you mentioned.

Randy
Randy
25 days ago
Reply to  Scott

Thank you for the clarification. I own a duplex, and I’m glad I do not have to deal with any of these HOA issues. Quick question, how many of those people do you think actually make under $17.64 an hour, already? In your building? I’m not saying they don’t. If you are a member of the HOA, wouldn’t that be something that would be available to you?

John Wu
John Wu
26 days ago

They don’t want people like you living here, only luxury hotel guests that can’t vote them out.

Robert Switzer
Robert Switzer
26 days ago

I, too, own and live in a condominium in West Hollywood. Our building has 35 units and is 40 years old. I am an original resident of the building. (It is not a conversion.) For more than half the time I’ve been an owner, I served on our HOA board. Yes, budgets are tight, and no one wants to have their dues raised; however, I see no reason why HOAs should be allowed to pay less than minimum wage. To do so is to exploit our employees. A carve-out for HOAs seems selfish to me.

Randy
Randy
26 days ago
Reply to  Robert Switzer

That seems fair. But who is on your payroll? Gardeners? Pool maintenance? Are they independent contractors?

:dpb
:dpb
26 days ago

Dear City Council, This is but one of the consequences of your uninformed, non-impact study, no long-term economic report and your ignorance have caused. Yes. Ignorance. Ignorance of West Hollywood and it’s inter-workings, it’s citizens, it’s economy. We are NOT San Francisco nor are we Santa Monica. We are West Hollywood, a 1.9 mile sliver of a town with a diversified population and economic base. You think one size fits all. You are extremely wrong. You remove one ingredient or add one or change one and the thing can turn. All five council members need to stop. Shut up. And… Read more »

Last edited 26 days ago by :dpb
Matti
Matti
26 days ago
Reply to  :dpb

Is it just me, or does the city council, especially the newest members, appear to come to the meetings already decided? As if the discussion happened elsewhere and the meeting is just a formality. Why not assess the impact and potential outcomes for all the interests in the city? That is responsive and responsible governance. Self-righteous policy making, rather than building policy starting from the needs of the community, will inevitably have blindspots

:dpb
:dpb
25 days ago
Reply to  Matti

You are 100% correct. It’s obvious that Horvath, Erickson and Shyne had an pre election addenda between the three of them and they haven’t deviated from it at all. They have no concern with what residents, businesses, the chamber of commerce or research offer. They are all about their own agenda at the expense of the city. Covid restrictions that city hall maintained well after restrictions opened up played right into their plan.

Risky Business
Risky Business
26 days ago

Unintended consequences. Something this city council, and this city manager, seem to not understand.

Rick
Rick
26 days ago

Kudos to Elyse Eisenberg, well said.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
26 days ago

Basically, with these forced so-called minimum wages, the Council is sending the message “WE WANT WEHO TO BE A PLACE ONLY FOR MILLIONAIRES”. Condo fees, store rents, prices in stores, prices in restaurants will all go up, everything will be more affordable outside of Weho. Wages for employess who mostly live outside Weho will benefit. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer, that is the message of our city council. A bunch of hypocrites who appear not to think anything through. I’ve tired of their fake and phony compassion, with other peoples’ money. It used to be only apartments… Read more »

Last edited 26 days ago by WehoQueen
greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
26 days ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

What is the name of your business in West Hollywood?

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
26 days ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

It’s called “I don’t want to be cancelled even faster by the vindictive city council, Inc.” Hope that helps. I wonder why you need to know. Are you planning on swooping in and saving the business? Why would you need to know? It’s obvious lots of businesses are on the way out and the only guaranteed replacement “business” would be building more million dollar condos, for developers who seem to love to take some of our apparently destitute council members to Craig’s Restaurant. Maybe I’m wrong and the reason the developers love to take them there is cause they are… Read more »

Last edited 26 days ago by WehoQueen
Randy
Randy
26 days ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

It doesn’t. What do you expect to be targeted for, and how? And by who? If you went public with that, it might actually help your situation.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
26 days ago
Reply to  Randy

Your naivete is refreshing and charming.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
26 days ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

I asked because I suspect you are lying. Your response makes that clear to me. Anyone can LARP in these comments including you.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
26 days ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Let’s presume I’m the biggest liar West of Fairfax, based on your perceived ability to psychically divine and be “suspect” of things. What’s sadder is you lack the ability to grasp even the most simple point. Are you doing some kind of cosplay right now?

Eric Jon Schmidt
Eric Jon Schmidt
25 days ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

talk about lying! what is your real name?

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
25 days ago

If someone doesn’t give their real name, that doesn’t make them a liar. I’m glad I was able to educate you. Maybe pull out a dictionary before accusing people of being a liar. It makes them someone who likes privacy. Also, see my above reply about not wanting to be cancelled by a vindictive city council. Try to stay on topic, which is about condos being forced to pay unreasonable fees for the city council’s social experiment in rewarding out of town employees, and punishing business owners within the city. Got it, genius?

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
25 days ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

Please give an example of the city council “cancelling” a business.

I suspected you of LARPing because of your past comments. Sorry I hit a nerve.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
25 days ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

I knew Orson Bean and his wife and I’m wondering what Orson Bean has to do with your argument, how Erickson would be so lucky to be compared to Orson, AND what commonality Orson has with Cole Porter?

Ya’ lost me on that one!

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
25 days ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

Orson Bean was known as a raconteur, a word I used as a clue in my earlier post, meaning a good story teller, that is a fascinating dinner guest. Cole Porter was as a witty person, presumably a good conversationalist. I guess you weren’t able to connect all of this to wondering (sarcastically) if the Developers “entertaining” our city councilmembers at expensive restaurants most residents can’t afford, are taking them there for their wit and charm and story telling ability. Remember, that was rather obvious sarcasm. That is, based on what I’ve seen and heard, none of them are as… Read more »

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
25 days ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

Yes, I am very lucky to have known Orson Bean.

You didn’t need to suggest that your wit is above me.

HOA Board member
HOA Board member
26 days ago

Like this posts’ author, I also sit on the HOA Board of Directors of a prominent ~200-unit condominium community in West Hollywood. We have ~10 direct employees, and ~20 contracted employees that help run our property every day. We’ve raised salaries consistently and beared the burden of increased contract prices for that staff. We provided generous bonuses to all staff during the pandemic, and were glad to do so. While I personally support minimum wage increases for multiple reasons, our HOA also runs on a razor-thin budget. As any small business operator will tell you, wages are the largest monthly… Read more »

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
26 days ago

I want to be respectful but who did your accounting? If you have ten employees and you need to give them each a $2.00 per hour raise to meet the new $17.65 a hour minimum wage that is a wage increase of $16.00 a day or $80.00 a week per employee; ten employees is $800.00 by 52 weeks in a year is $41,600.00. When divided by 200 units comes to $208.00 annually or $17.33 monthly for each unit. Of course that does not take into account costs such as workers compensation or EDD but whatever the number it is not… Read more »

Randy
Randy
26 days ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

Steve, thanks for doing the math. And if this is a property that already pays $800 per unit in HOA fees, and has 10 employees on payroll, they must have extraordinary maintenance, probably a front desk person, maybe even valet services? Yet most of the people are 55+, and have owned their units for 20 years or more? I’ll admit that I know next to nothing about maintaining a building with 200 units, or how many people would be on payroll in such a place. But your math makes more sense to me.

Joshua88
Joshua88
26 days ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

Nobody seems to read the real-world studies after – for example, Sea-Tac raised their minimum wage seven years ago.

Food prices barely went up.

This is just complaining by people who do not want some working people to earn a decent living because it may cut into their profits.

Think of the benefits to the many instead of your own selfish reasons.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
25 days ago
Reply to  Joshua88

It just seems to me that a lot of businesses as well as Condo Associations are paying more than minimum wage already. Nobody wants to pay more for anything but given the times we need to insure that we make the system work for everyone. Frankly the income inequality that we are currently witnessing has hurt our economy.

Happy Girl
Happy Girl
24 days ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

Increased appreciation is on paper only. How doe this help homeowners with increased expenses?

Randy
Randy
26 days ago

Sorry if this is impacting you. If it goes up $80, and that is 10%, does that mean your HOA is currently $800??? Would you mind revealing what building this is? Thank you.

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