STEVE MARTIN: Re-fund the sheriff by voting in November

The City Council narrowly voted to remove four sheriff’s deputies from our contract with the sheriff, without serious discussion as to how that will impact public safety. It was an ideologically motivated vote meant to pander to a woke-audience of activists who largely live outside of West Hollywood.

This will bring our staffing to about 56 deputies, which is down by approximately 64 that patrolled our streets a few years ago. These cuts are being made during a historic rise in crime in West Hollywood, a rise that has been blatant and particularly vicious.

But it does not have to happen and as far as I am concerned, it is not going to happen. The budget has to come back for another vote in July.

While I don’t expect the council to reconsider Monday’s vote, the first two deputies will not be cut until January, 2023, six months from the budget’s approval. The remaining cuts will take place in June, just as we enter the high tourist season.

In November I expect Mayor Lauren Meister will be overwhelmingly re-elected. John Erickson, who expressed his opposition to defunding, is not up for election. There are two open seats and if a single “re-fund the sheriff” candidate gets elected, the cuts can be stopped.

If I am fortunate enough to get elected in November, the first act I will do upon taking office in January will be to introduce an emergency measure to “re-fund” the sheriff, repealing the cuts made this week. At Monday’s meeting, two other City Council candidates voiced their opposition to defunding the sheriff.

Marquita Thomas spoke in favor of the city manager’s prudent proposal, while I spoke in favor of restoring funding to 2019 pre-COVID levels.

Public Safety Commissioner Robert Oliver repudiated his vote on this issue and supported the city manager’s proposal. Oliver is instructive. He has been vigorously campaigning for the last couple of months, talking to scores of residents. Obviously, Oliver has concluded that “de-funding” is not only bad policy, but also bad politics.

While other candidates have not found their voices in regard to this issue, it is clear that the residents have an opportunity to elect common sense leaders who will restore the sheriff’s budget and work with the department to find innovative policing policies to better protect our residents and the people who visit our city.

I am sure that Thomas or Oliver would join Lauren Meister, John Erickson and myself to immediately restore the cuts to law enforcement. The city’s budget is not chiseled in stone; I know this as I served eight years on the city’s budget subcommittee. If a new City Council contains people who are seriously committed to putting the public’s safety before political agendas and ambitions, we can repeal these cuts immediately.

This entire “de-funding” process has been corrosive to City Hall’s relationship with the residents. The council’s pandering to outside activists and willingness to let politics interfere with common sense has left the city angry and divided. The perception that an endorsement from the Los Angeles Times was the thirty pieces of silver resulting in a betrayal of the city will scar the public psyche for a long time.

If a poll was taken today, the city’s 39 percent “disapproval rating” which was reported in May, would skyrocket. I have never seen such a politically toxic atmosphere in West Hollywood. I say this with a sense of sadness as I know people have invested a great deal of faith in our elected officials and that the election of 2020 seemed like a the end of one era and a fresh new start of a new one.

The next City Council will have its work cut out for it simply restoring a sense of integrity and responsiveness to City Hall. Re-funding the Sheriff is just the first step toward restoring faith in City Hall. It will not be an easy process. It is really time to take stock of where the City Council is taking the city and there is a need to reflect how to restore faith in our local democracy.

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WeHo Resident
WeHo Resident
2 months ago

I will definitely be voting for Steve, and either Robert Oliver or Marquita Thomas.

Integrity is Everything
Integrity is Everything
2 months ago

Mr. Martin, why no response on the question of your integrity?

WeHo Resident
WeHo Resident
3 months ago

I’m voting for Lauren Meister and Zekiah Wright.

There’s reasons why Steve Martin didn’t get re-elected in the past.

Do your homework, residents!

Melanie A
Melanie A
3 months ago
Reply to  WeHo Resident

I know Lauren but who is Zekiah Wright? Does Wright support or oppose this sheriff’s cut? What are Wright’s policies exactly?

WeHo Mary!
WeHo Mary!
3 months ago
Reply to  Melanie A

Wright’s policy is trying to be a D.C. politico by saying things like “coalition”. “Look at my neat bowtie, I’m on the political fast track!” The coalitions formed will be with all of the abolitionists who came to the city council meeting.

Ayayay
Ayayay
3 months ago
Reply to  WeHo Mary!

Did Zekiah speak on defunding?

WeHo Mary!
WeHo Mary!
2 months ago
Reply to  Ayayay

They most certainly did, and were in support of defunding law enforcement.

WeHo Resident
WeHo Resident
2 months ago
Reply to  WeHo Mary!

WeHo Mary, your microaggressions are showing gurl, bye!

Narrow Aggrieved Positions
Narrow Aggrieved Positions
2 months ago
Reply to  WeHo Resident

Zekiah Wright most likely will vote in lock step with Sepi Shyne. The is their credo regardless of what is sensible for the entire community. Their narrow vision only reflects their own narrow aggrieved positions.

Jeff Lane
Jeff Lane
3 months ago

Of course, as others have said, that more sheriffs doesn’t at all mean they will be on the street or respond to calls. There are those that would say that even doubling the budget and force wouldn’t change the current. Though 10 cars do routinely show up in force when someone falls off their heals in front of Abbey.

Integrity is Everything
Integrity is Everything
3 months ago

Mr. Martin always turns up with a plausible argument in words but not necessarily in actions. For years after his departure from CC he often spoke from the podium in a very sarcastic manner insulting the council with his better than thou attitude which irritated the council and the public. As a private citizen he might have found a more fruitful strategy in contributing to solutions. Now he is hoping people might choose him as the lesser evil. No thank you. Integrity is everything.

WeHo Resident
WeHo Resident
3 months ago

Joe – you’re full of ‘bologna,’ if you think the defunding motion affects safety. WeHo-City-Council-Hopeful-Steve-Martin (along with other candidates, including the Grindr-Trickin-John-Duran are using fear mongering over this motion to get some votes.

(There’s reasons as to why these jokers weren’t re-elected.)

Want facts? Read below. And next time, do your homework on what was actually passed. Bye, Felicia!

https://wehoville.com/2022/07/01/sepi-shyne-reducing-sheriffs-budget-is-a-compromise-that-provides-a-different-solution/

Michael on Havenhurst Drive
Michael on Havenhurst Drive
3 months ago

Denounce your support for Lindsey Horvath as LA County Supervisor. She was one of the three votes defunding the Sheriff for WeHo. She would probably do the same thing if elected Supervisor. Her only great talent is being a streetwalker for developers. She deserves the title: Miss Pay To Play!

Steve L
Steve L
3 months ago

I’ve had my differences with Mr. Martin in the past but anyone who supports re-funding will be on my short list.

Davedi
Davedi
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve L

Sane here.

Joe Bologna
Joe Bologna
3 months ago

I am absolutely supporting this guy! Intelligent, sensible, has common sense, unbiased, and a true leader. Doesn’t hurt that he’s a handsome gent, too. He seems almost too good for what WeHo has become. But I’m voting and hoping WeHo becomes awesome again….but I’m not holding my breath. And no, I don’t know this guy, but I am truly excited by an intelligent man who is set on creating a fair, safe environment even for gay men who don’t have pink hair and nose rings. We don’t need roller rinks; we need the old WeHo back.

Last edited 3 months ago by Joe Bologna
Peter Buckley
Peter Buckley
3 months ago

Well it’s clear that public safety will be the #1 issue this fall. Every candidate should make their police funding position clear without any ambiguity.

Rodrigo
Rodrigo
3 months ago

Well said, Steve! You’ve got my vote!

WeHo Resident
WeHo Resident
3 months ago

Steve Martin is a lavender warmonger and extremist. As long as he gets an endorsement from the Sheriff, Mr. Martin is okay with six sheriff SUVs and 12 deputies responding to a single, non-life-threatening incident. Mr. Martin is okay with this waste of tax payer dollars that pays 10 out of 12 of these responding deputies who stand in the street playing on their phones and making homophobic remarks toward residents. I guess Mr. Martin is also okay with deputies who can’t even be bothered to write police reports in instances of DV and IPV. Mr. Martin, you served your… Read more »

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
3 months ago
Reply to  WeHo Resident

Would you back up your opinion with some concrete evidence?
What in the world is a lavender warmonger?

WeHo Resident
WeHo Resident
3 months ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

Gimmeabreak, why don’t you do research for yourself instead of being an uninformed and lazy internet troll. Bye, Felicia!

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
3 months ago
Reply to  WeHo Resident

So ….. ya got nuthin’, huh! That’s what I thought!

Joe Bologna
Joe Bologna
3 months ago
Reply to  WeHo Resident

I’m ok with all of that too! Steve Martin can make WeHo awesome again.

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