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Officials Criticize Decision to Award Key to Kardashians

Councilman John Mirisch and former mayors question whether the reality TV show family is deserving of the 9-02-10 Day honor.

Not everyone on the City Council is pleased that the Kardashian family members, famous for their reality television series Keeping Up with the Kardashians, are receiving a commemorative key to the city at the 9-02-10 celebrations kicking off Thursday.

"The awarding of anything that looks like a key gives the false impression that this is the real key to the city," Councilman John Mirisch said at Tuesday's City Council meeting.

Mirisch went on to read letters from former mayors who were disappointed with the city's decision to honor the popular reality show family, who they feel are not worthy of such a prestigious honor. Much of the Kardashian clan's notoriety stems from the release of a 2007 pornographic video featuring Kim Kardashian and singer Ray J.

"I was truly ashamed to hear that you all were even considering giving the key to our city to the Kardashian family on 9-02-10 Day," said Mirisch, who was quoting a letter from former Beverly Hills Mayor Linda Briskman. "With all the great families in the city, they could hardly be first on the list."

Mirisch made it clear that he wasn't behind the decision to award the Kardashians a "commemorative" key, calling it an "abuse of the city's highest honor," and felt that Mayor Jimmy Delshad didn't include the opinions of the entire council when it came to deciding who would receive a commemorative key from the city on 9-02-10 Day. His request for a special meeting before Thursday's event, to clarify policies regarding special award recognitions from the city, was rejected by his fellow council members.

"I will not request a special meeting," Councilman William W. Brien said. "I don't think it's necessary because in my view, nothing underhanded, sneaky or derogatory—or anything that circumvents the policies of this council—has occurred."

Councilwoman Nancy Krasne was more direct in her comments to Mirisch.

"Mr. Mirisch…once a blogger always a blogger," said Krasne, referring to Mirisch's website BlogBeverlyHills.com. "You made your point early on and you should have quit while you were ahead."

However there were no complaints regarding the council's decision to give the "official" key to Beverly Hills to Janet Salter, wife of former Beverly Hills Mayor Max Salter, who passed away in July 2010. The key was formally presented to her by Delshad at the City Council meeting and will be presented again to Salter during 9-02-10 Day.

"Working with the City Council was [Max's] delight," Janet Salter said." He just loved it and if he's some place up there, he'll know that everybody appreciated what he did and I appreciate this very much."

And with 9-02-10 Day around the corner, the council took some time out to congratulate Delshad for putting together the big event.

"You raised over $250,000 in sponsorships with no direct costs to the city," Brien said. "We're going to have a fantastic event with great food, great entertainment and in a great location."

Delshad said he feels fortunate to be in the right place at the right time.

"I was just lucky to be the mayor at the time that this happened," said Delshad, whose rotating term as mayor includes Sept. 2. "It could've been anyone else, but I'm lucky that it happened and we took the opportunity to do something."

Bonnie Carroll September 01, 2010 at 11:14 PM
The Salter's Family have done more for Beverly Hills than any former mayor or council person in Beverly Hills. Their hard work, dedication to keeping Beverly Hills a viable and growing city, as well as their kindness and assistance to those in need is well known. They without a doubt deserve to be presented a Key to the City of Beverly Hills. The Kardasians are publicity starved 'wanna be's' who have contributed absolutely nothing to the city except an image that promotes misconceptions that there are no 'real people' with values, kids that work, marriages that survive or individuals with a strong faith in God and are committed to talking and walking as loyal Americans. I knew Max Salter and his wife -- they are stellar examples of everything great that a family can possibly contribute to a community. Max was a former Mayor, wonderful activist for good. Mrs. Salter was always raising funds for the needy and bringing community members together in a spirit of love. I'm so sorry this less than thoughtful decision was made. It obviously was arranged for publicity purposes to promote the event, and I feel offended that Mrs. Salter and her family are being honored in tandem with these crazies.

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