West Hollywood's proposed business tax is merely a symptom of a more serious malady that afflicts the city and will occur time and time again until the main cause of illness is cured.
The City Council is sadly lacking business experience. With the minor exception of Paul Koretz's brief tenure selling political memorabilia, only Sal Guarriello has been in the business world, and he is voted down every time he calls for financial responsibility.
Since its inception, West Hollywood has taken in over $150 million in revenue, yet we have no City Hall, we desperately need a fire station, our streets and sewer systems demand repair, panhandlers and prostitutes fill our streets. Now the city, facing a $2-million deficit for each of the next five years, asks hard-pressed businessmen to pay for their follies.
This council exercises no control over our high-paid department heads who continually expand and call in expensive outside consultants on any question, costing us hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. The council has given the Marketing Corp. more than $2 million. Our human services budget of $5.5 million has given over $2 million this year to 35 outside agencies, including $43,000 to educate street prostitutes in using condoms.