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West Hollywood Election Heats Up With Accusations Against Mayor

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Tomorrow's West Hollywood election is fixin' to be a showdown. The LA Independent reports that the challengers to the West Hollywood City Council seats have accused West Hollywood's mayor, John Heilman, of misusing city funds. According to the paper:

The candidates — Scott Schmidt, John D'Amico, Steve Martin, Mito Aviles and Lucas John — and community organizer Ed Buck, said in a statement that Heilman should return "tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars wasted on high- end meals and luxurious gifts for City Hall staff, developers and lobbyists.''

City documents affirm that up to $13,000 was spent on these kinds of purchases, much of it spent by Fran Solomon, Heilman's deputy.

The article comes on the heels of a scathing LA Weekly cover story, which paints Heilman as well as incumbents Abbe Land and Lindsey Horvath as puppets of the local Democratic party, and Land and Heilman as relics who are carelessly destroying the spirit of the city by clinging to their council seats after having been in office, respectively, for 27 and 18 years.

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The latter notion is seconded in a New York Times article, which details accusations lobbed against current city representatives that under their leadership, West Hollywood is becoming gentrified, and slowly pushing out young gay residents to make room for families and more affluent, older residents.