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What was more interesting by far was Tom LaBonge’s response. LaBonge has been the chair of the Council's Arts Parks Health and Aging committee for what seems like an eternity to a lot of Angelenos. When Montag’s people made the request, LaBonge reportedly responded “We rarely accept alterations of an historic monument."
For a man rumored to have a photographic memory, LaBonge's apparently failed him on this. It was just a little over eight years ago when the Mayor and the Clowncil decided to have Hollywood Sign lit up for New Year’s Eve, 2000 as part of the City's widely-panned $6 million Millenium celebration.
In 2001, Eric Garcetti requested that the Hollywood Sign be turned Red, White, and Blue in honor of Veteran’s Day.
In 1987, the Hollywood Improvement Association filed an appeal to stop the Rec and Parks Commission from allowing the Fox Network to alter & illuminate the Hollywood Sign for a period in April as a commercial promotion. City Council didn’t bother to hear the motion until well after FOX’s promotion occurred.
In 1992 the same group filed suit to stop Rec and Parks Commissioners once again from selling out the sign, this time to advertise the film “Cool World”. The lawsuit contended that LAMC 63.44 -- which is the LAMC that outlines most dos and donts in City parks -- prohibits this kind of use. The City Council had the LAMC changed to make it clear that the City can indeed do this, and then proceeded to do it. A giant cartoon character from the film was then unceremoniously stuck on the sign, cheesing up the icon for months.
There are many more documented changes to the sign, both official and unofficial. So...hmmm. Maybe Montag's people didn't offer enough in campaign contributions?