Council member Chelsea Byers co-stars in Heilman’s first act

Item 5D: AMEND CITY COUNCIL AGENDA to MOVE COUNCILMEMBER COMMENTS TO END OF MEETING  [J. HEILMAN, C. BYERS, Y. QUARKER, A. LOVANO]:

On Dec. 19, Council members John Heilman and Chelsea Byers were sworn into office. The “people’s business” did not start until 2 1/2 hours later.

A reserved, newly elected Heilman held his first council member comments to the end of the meeting, respecting the time of the night and the business of the city as priorities. Mayor Pro Tem Shyne then spoke for over 16 minutes, seemingly oblivious to the main principles of the West Hollywood City Council meeting. Shyne spent a majority of that time putting the people of Iran’s business ahead of the people of West Hollywood.

At the end of the night the second Council member comment period began, Heilman led off: “My first order of business will be to bring forward an item to move Council member comments to the end of the meeting.”

But Heilman needs two other votes.

Together with newly elected Chelsea Byers, they are bringing an item forward to move Council member comments to the end of the meeting. It’s a potential breakout moment for Byers to put people and process ahead of politics.

Byers is quick-speaking and to the point. During the debates, many wondered if she was reading off a computer screen. But, she’s a whip, thinks fast and speaks fast. Byers does not ramble or self-indulge.

With Heilman and Byers bringing items 5D forward they can count on Meister as the third vote. Erickson can quietly agree with majority or find cover with his friend but rival Shyne.

The item directs staff to amend the order of the City Council meeting to completely remove the first “Council member Comments’ Section and keep only one Council member comment section at the end of future meeting agendas.”

The staff report moves on to state that, “During City Council meetings, important decisions are made regarding various issues inthe City. These issues include budgetary allocations, land-use decisions, public works activities, social service contracts and the implementation of transportation and public safety initiatives. City Council meetings often involve required public hearings on assessments, amendments to codes and land use matters. Members of the public, City staff members, and outside consultants may be present at Council meetings to address the City Council on these scheduled items.”

Over the years, various members of the public have expressed frustration that these important topics are often not addressed until late at night after lengthy comments from members of the public and the City Council.

This item gives direction to staff to draft a solution to remove the first Council member Comments section and keep only one Council member Comments section at the end of the meeting in order for the Council to address the agendized items in a timelier manner.

The staff report goes on to say that the City Manager can answer many residents’ questions that need to be directed to a staff member. If Council member Comments are moved to the end of the meeting, the attendance reports will also be at the end of the meeting and the City Clerk can clarify what meetings Councilmembers are legally required to report.

Council member comments should be…

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Davedi
Davedi
14 days ago

They should also draft a proposal to limit memory adjournments to one minute each due to Shyne recounting everything from 1st grade report cards to the offspring of the deceased party’s pets.

Chafed
Chafed
15 days ago

Although Sepi Shyne marginally acquiesced, she still chafed at the idea of CM comments at the end. She seems to has a perpetual chafe with God. She will only become a more resentful victim/savior.

Josh Kurpies
Josh Kurpies
15 days ago

This is good. I am particularly happy that the item includes having the City Clerk clarify what meetings Councilmembers are legally required to report their attendance. Although meant to report on attendance where the Councilmember represented the City (often outside the City) and may have incurred an expense (mileage, meal, registration, etc), it seems the past few years this attendance report has diverged into a list of every community event and ribbon-cutting one attends. There’s no one member to blame for this happening, it has just slowly transformed into this over time so that now it’ at the point where… Read more »

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
16 days ago

Good start! Next should figuring out a way to limit the number of speakers during presentations. If a group is honored, only one person should be allowed to speak for the group. There also needs to be a way to post what items have been moved from the agenda to the consent calendar. I have seen people get to a meeting late, (often because there is no parking), and sit for hours only to discover their item was put over to consent. I appreciate that Heilman and Byers are asking the Council to be considerate of the public.

Really...
Really...
16 days ago

If Duran had been elected again, I am almost certain he would vote NO. He loved to drone on and on and on… Yes, this item should have happened years ago.

JF1
JF1
16 days ago

THANK YOU JOHN HEILMAN (and has much as I find it difficult to say, thank you to Chelsea Byers). This is LONG over due and in light of the fact that some of the blow hearts on the council who like the sound of their own voice, this would be a welcome move. Erickson, this is your time to step up and show the people that elected you that you care more about them than your own agenda.

Tom
Tom
16 days ago

I hope it passes. If it doesn’t perhaps they could ask a local DJ to “play them off” when they go over 3 minutes like they do for awards acceptance speeches. Or have a wall timer and give members of the audience spitballs to pelt them with when they go over.

Perhaps when comments are moved to the end of the meeting when people have left or tuned out the inclination of dome Council people to pontificate and grandstand will die out.

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
16 days ago

Bravo to Heilman and Byers for this sensible and over-due change in meeting structure. Get the people’s business done and then move on to the Stage-crafted Self-indulgent Sepi Snorefests.

JF1
JF1
16 days ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

YES!

WeHo Mary!
WeHo Mary!
16 days ago

She’s quick speaking? She’s nothing compared to Jackie Steele!

Speaking of Jackie, how about some changes to public comments while they’re at it. I propose limiting the number of times someone can give public comment within a year and excluding commissioners.

Joshua88
Joshua88
16 days ago
Reply to  WeHo Mary!

Yes, limiting public speakers at a town hall meeting is a stellar idea.
What else you got up your sleeve, WHM?

Mute Button
Mute Button
16 days ago
Reply to  Joshua88

How about muting speakers when they wander off topic 🙄or start ranting😱 Thank you, you are excused!

Joshua88
Joshua88
15 days ago
Reply to  Mute Button

I could endorse that.

WeHo Mary!
WeHo Mary!
14 days ago
Reply to  Joshua88

Hopefully you watched the last council meeting where Annie Jump commented on everything and said absolutely nothing. Let’s start by limiting public comments to one time per meeting.

Eastside Straight Girl
Eastside Straight Girl
16 days ago

It’s good to know that even CB became weary of the lengthy, self-indulgent, whining Sepi shows! They were such a Yawn.Glad to see that CB off to a good start!

Manny
Manny
16 days ago

Good move by CB. A teeny weeny sign of hope.

JF1
JF1
16 days ago
Reply to  Manny

Yes, a surprise but a welcomed one.

Get on With it
Get on With it
16 days ago

In addition it would be helpful if the council members would publish a list of their attendance, less chance to boast.

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