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Re: A tale of two WeHos: Candidates' forum w/audio
I am deeply disappointed at the lack of factual reporting in your article regarding the West Hollywood Candidates Forum. If you had chosen to interview me, any of the neighborhoods representatives or the volunteers from the League of Women Voters, you would have learned the facts.
As at every forum over the last eight years, a large number of questions were submitted in advance by the Associations. Then representatives from each of those Associations met to consolidate and hone them to 10 questions covering a broad spectrum of topics that would fit into the allotted time.
The League of Women Voters vetted the questions prior to the event—it was even a condition of the City prior to allowing the use of the Auditorium for the Forum. Audience questions were also submitted and given to the League for vetting but there was insufficient time to incorporate them in the Forum. If you noticed, I didn’t even read the submissions from the audience, I only printed out the questions the League chose to make it easier for the Moderator to read. Should you be interested in the facts, I was handed the audience cards after the event. I have them in my office in case you would like to submit them for handwriting analysis.
Ms. Meister approached me once during the event to suggest that the Moderator switch up the order of the candidates more frequently. She was one of the volunteers handing out the parking validations, not writing question cards.
In fact, if you had asked, I would have told you that the joke of the evening was that, after hours of working on all the questions last weekend, I suddenly realized that we had all being accused of putting on this Forum to “harp” about Term Limits and not a single neighborhood submitted any questions on the subject and none of the committee even thought to bring it up. Did you hear any questions about Term Limits?
In fact, the topics covered Traffic, Parking, Public Safety, Eastside Redevelopment Agency, Development Agreements, Housing Stock, Planning Commission, Infrastructure, Budget, Plumber Park and the Candidate’s first priority if elected. A broad spectrum of issues that reflected the top issues identified in any survey ever taken about the City and its priorities.
I am friends with many of my neighbors in this City (though my Facebook page is private), but to imply that I have the ability to control such an event to the benefit of any one person or issue is laughable. If that had been the case I would have made all of the questions about my neighborhood, developments that are touching my home and maybe even an issue about the paucity of women in the management of our City. You did not see that.
Were you there? I did not see you at the Forum, but had you chosen to interview the representatives of the League of Women Voters you would have heard what they told us—they were very impressed by the professionalism of the event, the quality of the questions and the turnout. They are fresh off multiple events for L.A. Mayoral debates and they were “impressed”.
I notice that you have removed the comments section from your publication that would prevent anyone from correcting errors or writing a letter. I would hope that you make the appropriate corrections to your article as this is tantamount to libel.
(Editor’s note: We did not remove comments; but for a couple weeks almost two years ago, we never allowed them. People who wish to comment are free to do so by clicking the link that says, Send A Letter To The Editor at the bottom of every page on the web site. After doing so, they must then provide us with their identity to avoid the anonymous sniping prevalent on other web sites.)
What a godsend your publication is to someone like me. I could not get to the candidates forum and couldn't catch it on TV. The city web site doesn't have it available on demand. It is, I guess, being replayed on the city TV station, but they won't tell you when.
ONLY WeHo News has it on demand to listen to whenever I want to hear the debate. And what a difference actually hearing the candidates tell their sides makes rather than reading about some reporter's idea of what they said.
Like I said, I can't thank you enough for taking the trouble to record and post the forum on line for busy peeps like me. While I'm at it, let me thank you also for brining some steadiness to the political and development news coverage. I find a lot of hysteria and propaganda being pushed by your competitors, who seem to have an ax to grind against the city.