‘I think it would be good to give other commissioners the opportunity to speak’

Public Safety Commissioner Balbone takes lead in standing up for process at awkward Public Safety election. Chair Laflen, a Lindsey Horvath appointee, uses her exit speech to attempt to thwart Vice-Chair Berger, a Meister appointee from becoming the next Chair.

It was item 11B on the agenda, Amanda Laflen the current Chair of the Public Safety Commission called the item.

She then asked staff liaison Kristin Cook for a moment to make her exit speech. But instead of making an exit speech, she talked over herself ending by nominating Tod Hallman, a John Erickson appointee, to be the next Chair.

Laflen did not give any other commissioners a chance to talk.

There was no call for nominations. There was no explaining of the rules.

That’s when Commissioner Balbone stepped in: “Can I ask a question of order here please? Isn’t it typical that we ask the commissioners for comments before the Chair speaks? I think it would be good to give other commissioners the opportunity to speak. Isn’t this how we would up here last time we went out of order and I think you nominated yourself so I would like to ask Kristen Cook, as a point of order how this is suppose to work.?”

City liaison Kristen Cook responded, “There is no formal way of order to do this right now but I would recommend giving commissioners a chance to speak.”

Commissioner Roshay chimed in, ” I am also confused and thought we are going to share input and go from there.”

City Staff liaison Kristen Cook was lost, then commented out loud, ” I froze for a moment.” But the process never got on track.

Instead of opening up nominations to the floor and voting for the Chair the meeting took a turn where there was only one motion, to nominate Tod Hallman first, which was seconded by Commissioner Oliver. That nomination was made out of order, before all nominations were open to all commissioners. Laflen is Horvath’s direct appointee to the Public Safety Commission. Hallman is Erickson’s direct appointee to the Public Safety Commission. Oliver is one of Laflen’s best friends, an at-large appointee who carried the votes of both Erickson and Horvath.

The vote for Tod Hallman for Chair ended with 3 yeas, 2 nays, and 2 abstentions, and the motion was defeated. Hallman stated when called upon for his vote, “I apologize, it’s kind of weird to vote for myself, I’m caught a little off guard here, and thanked Laflen,” and then went on to abstain.

After the motion to elect Hallman as Chair was defeated another motion was made by Commissioner Roshay to nominate Vice Chair Berger for the Chair, and was seconded by Commissioner Balbone. The vote proceeded with Commissioner Berger receiving four votes. Voting in favor were Commissioners Balbone, Roshay, Berger and Commissioner Hallman. Chair Laflen voted Nay against the nomination of Vice Chair Berger followed by Commissioner Oliver who abstained. Newly sworn-in Commissioner Roman also abstained. The final vote was 4 yeas, 1 nay and 2 abstentions. At the next meeting Vice Chair Tory Berger will become the new Chairman of the Public Safety Commission.

Chair Laflen took the floor after the vote, despite trying to ram the vote through, and her own vote against Chair Berger. Instead of congratulating the newly elected Chair she defended herself. ” I just to say on behalf of my actions that I understand the way seniority works in a lot of commissions and continued “a lot has happened in the last year and black people are under represented in the community”. Vice Chair Berger has served for 6 years as Meister’s direct appointee. Commissioner Hallman has served for almost 6 months as Councilmember Erickson’s direct appointee.

The vote then went to the Vice Chair. Commissioner Balbone nominated Commissioner Roshay. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Hallman. Balbone, Hallman, Laflen and Oliver voted “yes,” Commissioner Roshay and Roman abstained. And in a sudden twist newly elected Chair Berger who was nominated by Commissioner Roshay in the Chair round voted against Commissioner Roshay as the only no vote. Roshay carried the vote to become the newly elected Vice Chair of the Public Safety Commission.

After the vote newly elected Chair Berger took center stage to discuss his ‘nay’ vote and spoke to being on the Commission for 6 years and being passed over by other Commissioners who had served much less time.

Berger said: “This was really messed up, the way it was done. The way it is traditionally done is kind of by seniority. When we break protocol like that we cause problems and I was going to nominate Commissioner Balbone, she is also outstanding and she has been here longer”.

Berger went on to say “when you do it this way you are going to cause there to be problems. I have had 7 people come, newer than me and become Chair. It is the representation of the people, I am appointed by Lauren Meister and the people voted her in.”

Some will recall a similar incident last year on the Planning Commission when then Councilmember Erickson, nominated himself to be the Vice-Chair in an attempt to deny Meister’s appointee Hoopingarner the Vice Chair title. Upon Erickson’s election to the City Council the Planning Commission voted unanimously to make Hoopingarner the new Chair.

Publishers Note: The Mean girls ‘clique’ is dangerous to a functioning city government.

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[…] Public Safety Commission will have to re-live a particularly uncomfortable moment from their last meeting after the City Clerk’s Office discovered that their new chairperson […]

Danielle Harris
Danielle Harris
2 months ago

Can’t say I’m surprised at this point based on the behavior of the councilmembers who appointed these twits. High school all over again. It’s just getting ridiculous at this point. We need to reform the commission system. Too much drama for a small town of 35K. They think they’re all big shots!

Reality
Reality
2 months ago

People that have no standards are like weathervanes….which ever way the wind blows. That is the most egregious element affecting us all, small town, big city, nationally, internationally. It all starts locally.

Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin
2 months ago

And she doesn’t wear lipstick.

Tracy
Tracy
2 months ago
Reply to  Sarah Palin

Haha

William Seegmiller
2 months ago

Congratulations to Chair Berger, his diligence and thoroughness in matters of public safety is exemplary. Former Chair Laflen once explained to me the importance of Chair in setting the agenda for the Commission, and Berger will be optimally initialized in this well earned role.

Commissioner Hallman is a class act for putting personal elevation aside to act in the best interests of WeHo constituents.

TomSmart
TomSmart
2 months ago

Immature brats. Nanny is going to send you to bed without supper.

JJ1
JJ1
2 months ago

This is what happens when children run the show and appoint other children to commissions. I wish I could give them all a time out until the next election. VOTE. THEM. OUT.

Jimmy Palmieri
Jimmy Palmieri
2 months ago

I don’t like how this played out. It happened to me for several years. It caused hard feelings and was purely political. I will not blame Lindsey or John. Commissioners have their own brains and are responsible for their own behavior. . If they feel the need to behave this way, maybe they need a quick lesson in procedure. Also, a triple call for nominations is the usual. This entire process was done to be political. Commissioners need to behave like adults, not children in a playground. Staff should have made sure there were calls for other nominations. This is… Read more »

Barbara Meltzer
Barbara Meltzer
2 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy Palmieri

Well said, Jimmy. Thank you.

Ruth Williams
Ruth Williams
2 months ago

I am glad that Commissioner Berger is the new Chair and totally agree the Vice-Chair should have been Commissioner Balbone, both have served longer and were very active working on issues of homelessness, domestic violence etc. They attended sub-committee meetings as well as other Commission meetings such as Human Services. Commissioner Berger has been exceptionally active going so far as to going to homeless encampments to try and help people get services. During my last term on the Commission, there were instances when Commissioner Balbone spoke up chastising Chair Laflen for not allowing other Commissioners to speak. Protocol states the… Read more »

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
2 months ago
Reply to  Ruth Williams

Ruth, it is really good to get your perspective on these issues given your incredibly long tenure on the Commission. These Commission elections which should be a pro-forma promotion of the vice-chair to Chair but the elections have become increasing fraught and do nothing to make the Commissions work more harmoniously. Given her stated concerns, perhaps Laflen should resign so the Mayor can appoint a person of color to the Commission.

William Seegmiller
2 months ago
Reply to  Ruth Williams

Thank you Ruth for your service to the Commission and for your valuable insights here

Actions Speak Louder…
Actions Speak Louder…
2 months ago
Reply to  Ruth Williams

Ruth, you were on the commission for 7 years with Tory. Why didn’t you ever nominate him? You nominated and voted for so many other commissioners who were much newer than him every time… Why didn’t you ever nominate him?

Ruth Williams
Ruth Williams
2 months ago

Tory had been approached but had chosen not to be Chair at that time. During the past few years he has gained more confidence and I know he will now make an excellent and fair Chair.

Last edited 2 months ago by Ruth Williams
Art
Art
2 months ago

It’s becoming clear that anyone affiliated with Horvath or Erickson is pure poison in all matters WeHo!

Danielle Harris
Danielle Harris
2 months ago
Reply to  Art

Clear indeed!

Manny
Manny
2 months ago

For lack of anything better to do, I found myself watching this thing. (I should have had a root canal instead) The meeting was very awkward to say the least. The only good part of it was Mr Holman’s gracious comments about his willingness to work with the new chair.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
2 months ago
Reply to  Manny

Tod Hallman is a good friend and has played a key role in promoting Public Safety on the Eastside, but Tod was not apprised that this was in the works and it looks like he was a pawn in some sort of political power play. Being chair of a WeHo Commission is not like being Speaker of the House; these positions should rotate in order to insure we avoid this sort of dysfunctional game playing. Fortunately we can always count on Tod to be gracious.

Reality
Reality
2 months ago

Next: “Murder On the Dais”

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