WeHo Councilman Sal Guarriello Dead at 90

West Hollywood City Councilman Sal Guarriello died Thursday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center at the age of 90, city officials announced.

Guarriello "passed away after a sudden illness," according to a city-issued statement, which did not elaborate on the cause of his death.

Guarriello had served on the West Hollywood City Council for 19 years, including three terms as mayor, and was one of the oldest elected officials in the United States.

"On behalf of the city council, we are saddened by the loss of our friend and colleague. Sal was truly an American original. He was plain-spoken, principled and a relentless fighter for the issues and causes he held dear," said West Hollywood Mayor Jeff Prang.

A former Army combat medic who served in World War II, Guarriello moved to West Hollywood in 1964 with his late wife Rita.

Guarriello worked for Farmers Insurance Co. as an independent agent, retiring at the end of 1986.

He began working on public issues 1983 as a member of the Coalition for Economic Survival, a renters' rights organization, and became a member of the CES steering committee in 1986. That year he also joined the board of directors of the West Hollywood Community Housing Corp., a nonprofit organization working to increase the supply of affordable housing in the city.

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Guarriello was elected to the West Hollywood City Council in April 1990, and was subsequently re-elected to the post four times, most recently in 2007.

As a councilman, he promoted affordable housing, environmental issues and crime deterrence, and authored a no-cruising ordinance to reduce gridlock on Sunset Boulevard and improve pedestrian safety on the famous street, city officials said.

Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, whose district includes West Hollywood, said he had worked with Guarriello for several decades.

"He loved the people, and he especially loved the people of West Hollywood," Yaroslavsky said.

Guarriello received the President's Award from the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce in 2006 for his support of the West Hollywood business community.

Funeral arrangements were pending.

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