Billboard Companies Declare War on Measure A and Mike McNeilly

'The NO on A campaign is solely funded by the nation's largest Billboard Companies, to avoid paying $5 Million in taxes to the people of West Hollywood,' says McNeilly in a letter to the people.

Mar 03, 2011, 16:32 ET from Mike McNeilly

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif., March 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is a statement from Mike McNeilly.


People of West Hollywood,

As the person who started Measure A, I can tell you a few things about it, that those against it won't.

Measure A was written by Constitutional and Tax Law Experts to make sure that it is ironclad and create the most benefit for the people of West Hollywood. In short: Measure A is CONSTITUTIONAL, it DOES NOT allow ANY new billboards or digital signs and the city WILL see an estimated $5 million a year – money that goes into the fund for critical city services.  So why are the NO on A campaign lobbyists and the politicians lying to voters? Follow the money.

The NO on A campaign is solely funded by the nation's largest Billboard Companies, which want to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. The mail from the NO on A campaign comes from the lobbyist of the billboard companies – their highly paid lobbyist, Steve Afriat, whose job is to protect the profits of the Billboard Companies.  Because Measure A will make Billboard Companies pay a tax to the city on their millions in profits, they've declared war on Measure A and me.

The Vice Presidents of CBS Outdoor and Clear Channel Outdoor (the largest Billboard Companies in the U.S.) are also the Chief Executives of "Concerned Neighbors Against Illegal Billboards", the front for the Billboard Companies to deceive the voters of West Hollywood into voting No on Measure A, so they won't pay the city an estimated $5 million dollars from the tens of millions they make from their billboards in West Hollywood.

It is disappointing that the politicians have taken money from the Billboard Companies and then decided to help them defeat Measure A.  It is hardly because they oppose wall signs or billboards. In 2010, the City Council unanimously approved the largest tall wall in the city's history and 6 super large billboards, bringing the total to 12 walls signs and hundreds of billboards. The Council knows very well that Measure A is constitutional and that three Judges have ruled so. They have shown you NO proof otherwise. They know very well that the city will see the money and that is their best hope for generating new revenue that Sacramento can't rob us of. The Council knows very well that if they went against the Billboard Companies, they would retaliate and possibly ruin a political career or two as has been done in other cities where courageous political leaders have taken on the Billboard Companies.

Measure A was started because I was always hearing that it is unfair that West Hollywood allows all these Billboards, but the people get nothing back for it. As an artist and entrepreneur, who has worked in West Hollywood for over 25 years, I believe that those of us who profit from the community, should give back to it. The Alcohol, Tobacco and Hotel Companies pay tax and so should the Billboard Companies. That's what's at the heart of Measure A.

Yes, Measure A allows only one wall mural location in the entire city. That's a fact. But it still must pay tax and go through the city permit process.  Now it's up to voters to make the Billboard Companies pay for the privilege of doing business here. It is up to the voters to decide who will control the future of our city – the Billboard Companies and those they manipulate – or the People of West Hollywood.

SOURCE Mike McNeilly