It is not a field of a few acres of ground, but a cause, that we are defending,
and whether we defeat the enemy in one battle, or by degrees,
the consequences will be the same.
- Thomas Paine
On Monday, November 21, 2011 West Hollywood’s City Council voted 3:1, with one absentee, to pass a ban on the sale of fur apparel within city boundaries. If you read just the headline, you would believe the battle is over. But with almost two years until enactment and a plethora of legitimate loop holes, it has really just begun.
How could the five individuals who make up the city council wreak such unnecessary havoc in a time when small businesses everywhere are hanging by a thread, you ask? Well, if you listened to West Hollywood’s own Mayor John J. Duran in Monday night’s meeting, you would have heard him say, “We are just playing politics, and that is what we are here to do.” Really? “Playing” by way of Merriam-Webster’s means “to engage in sport or recreation.” Does that mean Mayor Duran sees this as a game to be played for his own amusement, on the backs of small business and residents of West Hollywood? The politics part we understand loud and clear, because by John Duran’s own admission, he doesn’t agree with most of the wording of the ban, doesn’t comprehend the full economic impact, and can’t fully commit to enacting the ban once due diligence has been met. Yet still he approved the ordinance!
Let us not forget that Mayor John Duran has also committed significant financial resources of West Hollywood to complete the economic impact study and address any litigation. His support also sends a message that has damaging long term implications for city businesses and property owners, not to mention West Hollywood’s overall image. Yes, that’s the smell of politics at work. God complex, or perfect grandstanding for personal political gain?
The Fur Insider was duly surprised that another cast member Jeffrey Prang, Mayor Pro Tempore of West Hollywood, with his illustrious career and professional background in city management, would put the city’s tax base and available revenues to fund city programs and improvements at risk, simply to “vote his conscience” – in other words, his own personal moral agenda. This is especially surprising in light of recent front page news coverage noting that cities throughout Southern California are facing near bankruptcy fighting litigation from the closing of medical marijuana clinics – and this was an issue that didn’t receive nearly as much public opposition as the proposed fur ban. Mayor Pro Tempore Jeffrey Prang’s actions suggest a lack of commitment to the principles of his chosen profession, as well as a violation of the very principles of freedom of choice and tolerance on which West Hollywood was founded. What kind of conscience does Jeffrey Prang have?
So, with a fur ban passed, enactment nearly two years in the future, results from an economic impact study looming, eminent lawsuits dripping with unnecessary spending, a deeply divided West Hollywood City Council and a full election cycle before this comes to rest - chaos ensues. Things That Make You Go…Hmmm!
For more information on the West Hollywood fur ban, read The Fur Insider’s complete coverage:
Still want more? Try these articles:
- NBC Los Angeles.com | Angry Businesses Delay West Hollywood Fur Ban
- NYTimes.com | Ban Fur? Then Why Not Leather?
- LAWeekly.com | West Hollywood’s Fur Ban: Is it Unlawful?
- USAToday.com | West Hollywood votes to ban fur sales
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