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HAAS-TA LA VISTA: Outsourcing WeHo
Op-ed by Werner Haas, West Hollywood, California
When I was a member of the Senior Advisory Board, at least once a year our city manager would talk to us and give us the good news that West Hollywood, unlike so many other political entities, was solvent.
Werner Haas is a Wehoan whose latest novel is "Wasps."
The claim was that management of the city’s expenses was prudently handled. Now, of course, there are more and more sources of revenue - annoying ones - that seem to maintain the profitability of West Hollywood.
Longer hours of operation for what is probably one of the major revenue source increases - parking meters. These meters are so ubiquitous that I wouldn’t be surprised to drive into my building’s garage one day and find a meter blocking my parking space. Hey, Mr. Arevalo - just kidding!
However, even as a bond issue has been prepared to pay for the automated parking structure to arise, like Phoenix from the ashes, in the open-air parking space behind City Hall, there are some other expenses that I feel are unnecessary, and favor the friends of someone in power.
Let me begin with the October Book Fair. I’m not sure whose idea it was some years ago, but it grew and grew, got huge attendance and featured prominent authors and celebrities each year.
I do know that, until this year, its guiding force was Cory Roskin of our Social Services department. Year after year, he spearheaded a group of dedicated volunteers. Not this year.
I don’t know the reason. I do know that someone in City Hall outsourced the task to “event managers” - a group of yahoos whose background, probably, never went beyond thumbing through some paperbacks.
I am not sure how much these nonentities are getting paid, but I DO know it’s certainly far more than was ever spent on anyone supervising and guiding the book fair. I have no idea whose friends these “event managers” are, but paying them is a waste of money.
The Book Fair is a West Hollywood institution by now, and deserves to be managed by West Hollywood people and WeHo city hall staff, not some strangers friendly with WeHo politicians. I will not attend in protest. I urge everyone to boycott this year, just to let WeHo politicians know that outsourcing is NOT the answer.
Next, I need to point out the Peter Principle, which states that in many cases in business and politics and the society in general, people rise to their level of incompetence. This Peter Principle is in full force in the so-called WeHo Tourist And Visitor Bureau, under the thumb of someone’s friend named Burlingame.
Admission here: I sent Mr. Burlingame some suggestions about a month ago. He is apparently too busy with long lunches to reply. And, so far, I have not seen or heard of ways and means to bring tourists - foreign and domestic - to fill our inns and hotels, our restaurants and retailers. How much is our “solvent” city wasting on Burlingame’s minions? I have no idea, but I vouch it’s too much.
There is so much talent- creative and industrial, economic and public service-oriented in West Hollywood to have to outsource some major tasks. Where is the drive to get actors, musicians, authors, artists to develop within our city?
I’d rather pay some musicians for weekly concerts, or actors for monthly showcases, than throw money away on “book fair managers” and “tourist consultants.” Is anybody even listening and as upset as I am for all this outsourcingto friends?
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.