Sometimes West Hollywood City Council meetings are drama-filled affairs that leave people talking for weeks afterward. Other times, they can be routine meetings where nothing dramatic occurs.
Monday night’s meeting fell in the latter category. In fact, it was such a simple affair, it ended one hour and 15 minutes after it began—one of the shortest council meetings on record.
Mayor Pro Tempore Jeff Prang presided over the meeting in Mayor John Duran’s absence. Duran is participating in the between San Francisco and Los Angeles this week.
The council approved a plan to assess a 1.5 percent fee on hotel room rates to fund marketing activities to attract business and leisure visitors. A spokesperson for the West Hollywood Marketing and Visitors Bureau said tourism is the most important business in the city, reporting that visitors spent $750 million in 2010 in Weho and the surrounding areas.
The council also renewed the Sunset Strip Business Improvement District, an organization formed in 2002 to improve safety and cleanliness along the Strip, for another year.
Similarly, it approved an assessment for The Avenues: Fashion, Art and Design district to be overseen by the Marketing and Visitors Bureau. Avenues Chair Darren Gold listed the many events The Avenues sponsors each year, including , fundraisers and the .
On the consent calendar, the council approved allowing the Elton John AIDS Foundation to hold its 2012 Academy Awards viewing party in , as it has outgrown the courtyard area at the , where it has held its gala in recent years. The city will waive many fees for the event, which will be held in the park’s old baseball field area, currently a parking lot.
During presentations at the start of the meeting, the city recognized June as HIV Prevention Month. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the first case of HIV/AIDS. A new AIDS red ribbon banner was displayed with the number 30 atop it.
The city also officially recognized June as . Rodney Scott, president of Christopher Street West, which puts on the annual Pride festivities, addressed the council, saying, “Thank you for standing with this organization for over three decades.”
This year marks the 41st anniversary of gay Pride celebrations in Los Angeles. The first pride parade, held in June 1970, traveled down Hollywood Boulevard. A few years later, it moved to West Hollywood, where it has remained ever since.
Scott reported that 400,000 people are expected to attend this year’s Pride festivities, many coming from out of town. He pointed out that many people can celebrate their authentic selves because of Pride observances, but said there is still much work to be done.