February 18, 2013

“Politics make strange bedfellows,” an often-used quotation from Charles Dudley Warner is certainly true in the city council race in WeHo. Moreover, the “strange bedfellows” citation is no intended poke at the sexuality of some in the current council race. It is, rather, that there is so much personal vitriol and nasty words being bandied back and forth that one has to wonder what is it about being on the City council means spending far more than the annual salary of a council member.

Werner Haas is a West Hollywood writer whose latest novel is named "Wasps."

Is life that important that alienating former friends is worth winning? Is being mayor or mayor pro tem or just a council member really worth all the nastiness? Not a single council member in recent years has done anything to startlingly improve our lives. So, why hold on? So why are the current incumbents rushing headlong into unpleasant communication just to retain their seats. Outside WeHo, who really cares? Moreover, given the percentage of actual voter, few within our little village don’t seem to care, either.

What is the “record” incumbents are running on? Walgreen’s is still un-built. Tara has not really been “saved.” Silver spoon building owners are thumbing their noses and wallets at our city, demanding their way or the destruction of classic buildings. Parking is impossible and permit pricing is going up, as are mandated parking fines. Pedestrians cross streets at their peril. New hotels and condos are promised, affordable housing is myth. Eliminating plastic bags and now charging for paper ones is not really helping improve our ozone layer. The Russian community is largely ignored, and gambling in Plummer Park receives no law and order oversight. In addition, is that computerized parking structure behind City Hall really necessary at that location?

The term “term limits” is not really accurate. Rather we need to develop a strategy of giving other people with other ideas a chance to administer them. Like a prized family car, after a while it’s just necessary to trade it in for a newer model.

So, to the current incumbents: Thanks for your service…now concentrate on your day jobs and support change instead of the status quo.



Werner Haas is a West Hollywood writer whose latest novel is named "Wasps." Summary: Long Island is no longer a place for complacent suburbanites. It is now a festering ground for anti-social activity by bored or power-hungry teens.

The Wasps is a story of such a neo-Nazi gang made up of otherwise "ordinary" middle-class young people.

Get "Wasps" here.