OpEd: The Grass is not always Greener

Today at 5pm is the final deadline for Candidates for the 2022 City Council election to submit their nomination papers. Melissa Crowder, the City Clerk will announce the final slate of candidates after all signatures are verified at the County level. The final list should be made public this Friday.

The nomination period was extended to August 17th, after Council member John D’Amico and Council member Lindsey Horvath opted out of running for another term on the West Hollywood City Council. As of 5pm, August 12th, the only candidates that had qualified were: Mayor Lauren Meister, John Heilman, Chelsea Byers, Bennett Savage and Zekiah Wright. Other candidates were still in the process of getting signatures verified at the County Registrar.

I am not a candidate in this City Council election. Yes, I was ‘compelled to run’, and it with heartfelt thanks to so many of you for your letters, love, and support. My late decision to run followed a very difficult period of contemplating West Hollywood, WEHOville and my personal life.

The choice to get into the race was clear two weeks ago. Tremendous encouragement from so many of you. Letters dropped off to the shop. Volunteers encouraging me to step in. One’s personal ego can take over and get lost in the admiration. One’s priorities are also lost when our ego gets in the way.

Over the course of my life I’ve tried to dig deep into myself to find solutions to my problems or those whom I love. Past partners had alcohol and drug issues that brought me to the 12-step program for understanding in those most difficult moments. With the deadline approaching, hardship in my personal life, and a city on the line I found myself at the Log Cabin, tucked into the back row quietly listening.

One women spoke of community and being evicted from her apartment and was thankful to have a neighbors couch to live on. Another man spoke of his sadness fighting alcoholism and homeless people in front of his apartment building. Others stood to lift those who were down and out. As the meeting came to a close I left that room thinking it was a call to public service.

One person that helped me appreciate the efforts of Brandon and I was County Supervisor Candidate Bob Hertzberg. A bond formed through these pages. When I told Bob that I was thinking about running he told me that ‘you are building something incredible with WEHOville’, ‘officials all over the state are reading us’ and that it would ‘hurt my credibility’, I took Uncle Bob’s advice to heart.

There was also the advice of the most important person in the world. My mom. A miracle woman who is surviving on her own after three strokes. I said ‘mom, I’m thinking of running for city council again’, and she said, ‘I wish you wouldn’t’. It seemed hard to go against that. Trading a campaign for even a day with my mom wasn’t making me feel good.

But more than all of that, it took letting something go, and being ready to give up WEHOville, that was the final motivating factor. Last Saturday I met a buyer for this publication. They talked about monetizing it, they spoke of its reach. They spoke to this publication’s influence. This reader whom I had never met before extolled the improvements since we took over.

Council member John Erickson’s vendetta attacking our advertisers, meddling in the business of city contractors is against the law and will be dealt with. Sepi Shyne’s two faces call for a better discourse as she stirs racial tensions in our city, or shuts down public input and debate are part of this city’s disgusting politics. Lindsey Horvath’s sneaky backhanded slaps at victimhood all became clearer when she voted not to televise this years Candidate Forum. Horvath and D’Amico wanted to screen the questions. They are all acting like Trumps! And in that light it was clear that WEHOville is the ‘Resistence’. We are a public forum that encourages all to share their thoughts. It is a badge of honor that we will wear proudly going forward. When the City Council shuts down a Candidate forum the need for WEHOville is ever-more important.

My goals for this publication remain the same. An open community forum for all to express their thoughts and their views. We are a small operation with one part time editor and one part time board monitor. The only benefit to our time spent daily here is for the public good.

In my personal last will and testament, which can be verified by Steve Martin who is the attorney on record, upon my death WEHOville is left debt free to community stakeholders. Those stakeholders include a wide range of public officials including many of this years candidates for City Council. Lauren Meister, John Heilman, John Duran, Steve Martin as well as community activists such as Manny Rodriguez, Elyse Eisenberg, John D’Amico. Also editor Brandon Garcia, part time writer Linda Cauthen, Jerome Cleary and other residents who have supported and contributed to keeping WEHOville strong. WEHOville is not me, or for my benefit. It is for us, and those who wish to contribute to the dialog. WEHOville is US.

I”ve had a hard time absorbing WEHOville into my heart, and executing the vision. But sometimes you have to let something go before you really appreciate it. I crossed that bridge and took a look back. The grass is not always greener on the other side. What seemed like a great idea to have a vote on the City Council was not worth trading the value of this publication for all of you.

We have work to do, thank you for your participation and support.

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Eastside Straight Girl
Eastside Straight Girl
3 months ago

Larry, you are a special person that is giving & “one of a kind!” Your Mother is correct, always listen to her wisdom! I know many people that are very grateful for this platform and we all have you to Thank for it! You ARE appreciated very much!

Tom Smart
Tom Smart
3 months ago

Mama always knows best! Plus you can do more from the outside by questioning the status quo when needed.

Mikie F.
Mikie F.
3 months ago

Bravo Larry! I know this was not an easy decision for you to make! I know that running Wehoville is not easy. In fact I think you said something to the effect that it is a pain in the butt! But I think you really made the right decision! I value Wehoville and I value your love and commitment to the city of West Hollywood! I think you will accomplish more off the city Council by holding their feet to the fire and working to try to keep transparency in our city than you would by being part of that… Read more »

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
3 months ago

I appreciate that for the first time, we get to have an honest and open discussion somewhere. A prior owner/editor of a local forum used to censor and edit almost everything. That person thought they knew best, and they didn’t. So I give you a big “hat tip” for doing something really great here. Sadly, it’s mostly a thankless job, but I know I am not alone in my appreciation for the news here, and more importantly, a genuine open discussion forum.

Elyse Eisenberg
Elyse Eisenberg
3 months ago

Congratulations, Larry. I think you’ve made the right decision for yourself personally, for your mother most importantly, and for WeHoVille which this community needs. Thank you!

carleton conin
3 months ago

Bravo, Larry! The need for responsible local journalism has never been greater as so many community voices throughout the c country re absorbed then diluted and eventually silenced by corporate takeovers. wehoville.com can be both the monkey on your back and the reason you rise each morning with good intent every day. You have excited the community with the vigor of strong reporting by Brandon and the increasing number of residents able to use your platform to join voices. Excelsior! Onward,

Randy
Randy
3 months ago

Larry, good luck to you. We discussed this about three weeks ago. I think you should let it go, especially with the stress it is causing you. I’m sure you’ll leave it in good hands.

Richard K.
Richard K.
3 months ago

Keep up the great work with WEHOville and your involvement in making WeHo better.

JF1
JF1
3 months ago

YES!!!!! to ALL of THIS…”Council member John Erickson’s vendetta attacking our advertisers, meddling in the business of city contractors is against the law and will be dealt with. Sepi Shyne’s two faced call for a better discourse as she stirs racial tensions in our city, or shuts down public input and debate are part of this city’s disgusting politics. Lindsey Horvath’s sneaky backhanded slaps at victimhood all became clearer when she voted not to televise this years Candidate Forum. Horvath and D’Amico wanted to screen the questions. They are all acting like Trumps! And in that light it was clear… Read more »

:dpb
:dpb
3 months ago

I’ve been pushing you to run for over six months now. That said, your commentary this past weekend on running and leaving Wehoville really stayed with me. I can’t imagine not having a place to care out loud like I do in Wehoville. I can’t imagine not having your voice – in every detail 🙂 – not break everything down about a situation, good or bad. And so I’m happy you made the right decision for yourself, your mom and all of us in the choir. There’s more than one way to lead.

resident
resident
3 months ago

Thanks for the great work you do on behalf of West Hollywood, Larry. I think you are heroic!

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
3 months ago

Larry, you are a community gem. You do love this city and your commitment to it is legendary. Your vision for WEHOville remains a noble one, despite the arrogance of those in officialdom who dismiss it with their commentary. Sometimes it gets a bit silly, or heated, or personal, or worse, on here, but it is a place where we can share ideas, thoughts, criticisms, praise, and very often the good that is West Hollywood. Illegitimi non carborundum! Now for my oft-repeated plug that I wish there were more commentary from people who attach their names to their thoughts. A… Read more »

Anonymous
Anonymous
3 months ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

Alan please consider the quality and substance of the comment rather than attempting to qualify the commenter by name. Small minds talk about people, mediocre minds talk about events and great minds consider ideas

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
3 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Thank you for that thoughtful and respectful comment. While there are many fine comments made under guise of anonymity, there are also far more that are of less than high quality. Much of the anonymous commentary is what gives fodder to folks to lump all of them together, and mix them with a smattering of social media and direct commentary to councilmembers who then lazily dismiss WEHOville in its entirety.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
3 months ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

I am right-of-center, Alan, and if I used my name here there are people who would make my life difficult. Please try to understand that and don’t dismiss those of us who don’t attach our names to our comments. Sadly, the principle of tolerance does not extend to those of us who do not toe the line of liberal ideology.

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