Never a dull day for West Hollywood. First, the LA Weekly attacked the city's government and now the WeHo News reports that West Hollywood chamber of commerce president Sharon Sandow was fired on Friday by a member of the Chamber's board, possibly because of Sandow's resistance to a proposed city ban on outdoor smoking, which WeHo nightclubs and restaurants aren't in love with for obvious reasons. An anonymous source told the newspaper that, "“[City Manager Paul Arevalo] asked the Chamber to tone down their opposition to the smoking ban, and [councilwoman Abbe Land and Mayor John Heilman] felt that [Ms. Sandow] was hurting them with the business community, that that was unacceptable, and they even went to certain Board members to threaten them [that] they would pull the money the City gives the Chamber.”
Apparently, the Chamber's finances are a mess, which also may have been a reason for Sandow's termination, but an anonymous board member says Sandow wasn't CFO and that chamber board members mismanaged the money. Former chamber member Steve Afriat said the whole organization is ineffective, doing nothing practical to foster the business climate in the city. Also, a bone on contention in the piece (one thing to remember is that the WeHo News is a member of the Chamber) is that Chamber Chair Joan Henehan was in New York on Friday and released from having to deliver the bad news.
· Chamber of Commerce President Fired for Smoking [WeHo News]
· LA Weekly Takes on WeHo Politics, Planning [Curbed LA]