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Westwood Community Council Asks Village BID to Help with Westwood LIVE!

Assemblyman Mike Feuer also spoke to the council about his health insurance bill at regular meeting. The council also approved a new budget and a volunteer dues schedule to raise money for the council's activities.

The Westwood Community Council heard a presentation from Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-42nd District) and resolved to look for additional help putting on Westwood LIVE community events in its meeting Tuesday night.

Feuer answered questions from the council and stumped for his health insurance bill, now on the floor of the State Senate. The council also approved a motion to begin negotiations with the Westwood Village Improvement Association about having that group sponsor the monthly Westwood LIVE! event.

Ren Hirosi, chair of the Westwood LIVE! committee, suggested the council work with the Westwood Village Improvement Association (aka the recently installed Westwood Business Improvement District or BID) to sponsor the event, since even with the hiring of an event company, there was too much work for the committee.

Council member Wolfgang Veith expressed concern that with the BID being limited to the Village area, the event might not be as profitable to other Westwood business districts.

"If [the BID] is the lead agency, I think there's going to be a change of priority," Veith said.

His concerns were echoed by council member David Hekmet, who also owns a business south of Wilshire Boulevard.

Nonetheless, the council's motion to begin negotiations with the BID passed.

During his presentation, Feuer focused on his bill to cap health insurance rates in the state, on which he had spoken at length before the Brentwood Community Council earlier this month.

"On this issue, you either support the insurance companies or the people in this room," he said.

But Feuer was also interested in hearing what the council members were concerned about.

"I'm looking for ideas," he said. "We're in this together."

Councilmembers brought up a variety of topics, including public transportation and the difficulties involved in providing a business-friendly atmosphere in the state to bring in jobs without trashing the environment.

"This year, I'm going to write a law that will expedite the subway construction," he told the group, adding that he's also trying to close a tax loophole for out of state corporations in favor of a tax credit for small businesses. "We're trying to find compromise, trying to find common ground. The Senate is a hard place to find that right now."

Treasurer Jerry Brown presented a basic budget for the council, along with a schedule of dues, which he emphasized were completely voluntary.

"This is not a mandatory thing," he said, explaining that the dues would help fund the few expenses the council does have.

Currently, expenses, such as photocopying agendas and the website, are being paid for by member donations.

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