Tiny Beverly Hills stands up to Goliath LA County on its outdoor dining ban
Beverly Hills surprised many with its large numbers of Trump rallies ahead of the election.
Now with COVID prompting a huge power grab from Los Angeles County, which under the pretext of containing COVID, has ordered all of the county's restaurants shut, banning even outdoor dining, tiny Beverly Hills has stood up to the behemoth, vowing to defy what's effectively a death sentence on its new and old restaurants. The city plans to force the County to reconsider its nonsense as an agenda item, set up its own health department, and may well take the County power grabbers to court.
#BREAKING - Beverly Hills City Council unanimously approved a resolution opposing the LA County order that restricts outdoor dining - they say they're now considering legal action & exploring "the potential for the creation of a local City Health Department in BH. @FOXLA— Alexandria Hernandez (@AlexandriaFOXLA) December 2, 2020
Wow— Beverly Hills City Council unanimously approved a resolution tonight that opposes LA County’s ban on outdoor dining, citing lack of scientific evidence. They demanded a motion be placed on the Board of Supervisor’s agenda next Tuesday to reverse the controversial ban.— Christina Pascucci (@ChristinaKTLA) December 2, 2020
According to local Fox11:
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - Beverly Hills city leaders are demanding Los Angeles County to repeal its outdoor dining ban.
On Tuesday night, Beverly Hills City Council unanimously approved a resolution to oppose Los Angeles County's public health order that prohibits outdoor dining at restaurants across the county. Beverly Hills city leaders said in a press release the county's order leaves a "detrimental impact on local businesses and lack of scientific evidence used by [LA County]."
Because this whole ban on outdoor dining is nonsense, zero-science stuff, given that social distancing is just as possible in a restaurant as it is in a WalMart or Target, where people are still permitted to go. LA County has an arbitrary list here. Los Angeles County, of course, has few Walmarts, having chased them out from even middle-class, mostly black Inglewood, so Beverly Hills, a small city of about 33,000 that relies on mostly local, long-time established small stores and restaurants isn't left with much. For behemoth Los Angeles County to tell the relatively small and prosperous city to self-impoverish and shut down is outrageous, a death sentence, since small stores and local restaurants are all they've got.
Beverly Hills is one of the well-run independently incorporated cities outside the behemoth of Los Angeles (Culver City, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood are some others), but still in the country. It was set up explicitly as a city of hotels, restaurants and shopping, incorporating in 1914, after its founders were unable to strike much oil there (A pumpjack, if you look, still stands near the famous Beverly Hills 90210 high school). These hotels, restaurants, and shops, many in business for decades, are basically why the city exists. They're also the city's tax base. According to the Beverly Hills city site:
In the post World War II years, Beverly Hills continued to develop as one of the most glamorous places in the world to live, eat, play and, especially, shop. The Golden Triangle, with Rodeo Drive at its center, was built and marketed to the rest of the world as the shopping destination of a lifetime. Many other glamorous hotels opened, notably the Beverly Wilshire, attracting visitors from all over the world. The City's iconic image was enhanced with the spread of television shows and movies set in Beverly Hills, among them The Jack Benny Show in the 1950s, The Beverly Hillbillies in the 1960s and, more recently, Beverly Hills Cop in the 1980s and Beverly Hills 90210 in the 1990s.
It's very possibly a power grab from the Los Angeles County governing centralizers who have always had their eyes on taking over Beverly Hills. The history of Beverly Hills shows that they tried to take over in 1923, and more recently shoved a subway line just perfect for transporting looters and rioters, onto an unwilling city's edge. And don't think it couldn't happen. Los Angeles earlier this year sent in rioters and forced Rodeo Drive to board up its shops, made threats and did damage this year.
To see some pushback from the small city against a badly run corruption apparatus such as Los Angeles County is welcome to see indeed. And it might get their attention, given the amount of money that is around the city for political campaigns, The shutdown isn't about containing COVID, it's about exerting power. One hopes that other places where the local government is still coherent, will see this and take up political arms, too.
Image credit: PXHere public domain