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'Scrubbing Down' West Hollywood

February 09, 1986

As a resident of West Hollywood, I read with considerable interest your article (Times, Jan. 26) that our city's image has been harmed due to the media attention.

First of all, an image is not created, it is developed, and before we . . . polish our image, we should probably give thought to a good "scrubbing down." Otherwise, a surface polishing would not benefit our city anymore than some of our City Council's surface decisions.

Before any area can become a "model city," it takes . . . interest, dedication, experience, motivation and above all goals. Our city was formed for the sole primary reason to gain control over a rent control program, and the city's progress or future was definitely secondary to the primary issue. . . . Since city inception,with the exception of the (Santa Monica Boulevard) median strip, total dedication (has gone) to rent control and domestic partnership programs. . . .

The media, in my opinion, has presented objective releases on this new city with reference to its progress, without dominating the news with gay emphasis. About 30% of the West Hollywood residents are presumed homosexual, making them a minority, yet, . . . according to the voice of the council members, 60% of our members are homosexuals, with the majority of them endorsed by the Coalition for Economical Survival. . . .

When politics are involved, it is quite evident that a representative must act in behalf of the majority, otherwise they could not be reelected. But (for) our council members (to survive), they must not only act for (the) majority, but (must) satisfy the requirements or preferences of a radical group.

The city of West Hollywood became what is know as the "City of Eternal Socialism" by gaining total control over landowners' property. . . . It is now their voiced intent to provide incentives to retain and increase commercial property; however, this growth will be hampered because of the uncertainty of not just today's actions, but future actions of the council.

A city cannot become a "model city" without a certain degree of monetary investment. When you take into consideration that about 80% of the residents have no monetary investment within the city, our primary objective in development of a "model city" should have been incentives to encourage investment in West Hollywood property. All cities need . . . a balance (of) singles, couples, children and senior citizens, with that balance having a substantial monetary investment within the city. . . .

To my knowledge, we have a . . . City Council without investment on a monetary basis within our city.. . . .

A governing body must act in the best interest of a city without . . . personal preferences. . . . and our council members have demonstrated . . . that they cannot, at times, distinguish between personal and objective decisions. Yes, they gained media attention by omitting Christmas from our city calendar, total evidence of a personal preference . . . so we probably should be thankful that they did not omit Thanksgiving from the calendar also. It is this type of decision that has gained media attention, not the gay issue as claimed by a considerable number of our city representatives.

(City Manager Paul) Brotzman makes reference to our various trades that represent 50% of the city's revenues, yet, if (the city deals) with commercial landowners as they have with other landowners, it will only add to deterioration within the city. The 200 restaurants referred to in the article have already been plagued with enormous increases in insurance rates . . . and the commercial vacancy rate can be a determining factor in future commercial property investment.

The city of Santa Monica has claimed its image was hampered by the slogan, "Welcome to the Republic of Santa Monica." Therefore, we should have anticipated a sluggish image as our council's first action, rent control, was done without any originality, but (was) merely a carbon copy of Santa Monica's rent control.

. . . As we all know, three council members are running for reelection this April, and hopefully, it will not be the Coalition for Economical Survival (but residents) that give the council members their next performance evaluation. . . .

Our image, "City of Eternal Socialism," will continue to gain momentum unless our City Council refrains from surface decisions tailored to its personal interest and desires.

MEL WICK

West Hollywood

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