DEAR WEHO: The mayor’s behavior is out of line

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1 / 1Recent reports of Sepi Shyne’s record for retaliating against appointed officials who dare disagree with her, or who ask legitimate questions in their pursuit of their appointed duties, or who fail to bow down to provide her credit for public policy are cause for great concern.  The treatment of Keely Fields is the most recent example of this petulant abuse of Shyne’s office of public trust.  Three other heterosexual women were similarly bullied or mistreated by Shyne in her official capacity as an elected public servant—Lynn Hoopingarner, Lynn Russell and Mikie Friedman.  Ms. Hoopingarner was a valued member of the city’s planning commission whose expertise and analysis served the city well, and I note that she continues to provide her valuable insight.  Ms. Russell is a pillar of the community and active in civic affairs on many levels.   Ms. Keely has worked valiantly and continues to work diligently to bring awareness to the issue of drink spiking in bars and clubs and for the introduction of drinking spiking test kits.  Keely deserves the plaudits heaped on her by many.  The city lost the valuable voices of four women on appointed bodies and in civic activities that they served honorably for many years.   

Shyne’s contempt for the public every time she denigrates the revered democratic tradition of civic engagement and discourse through her written and verbal attacks on those who dare speak up in local media is a stain on democracy itself.  It is also the tyrannical behavior of despots like Donald Trump, to whom one chastised former official compared Shyne’s behavior.  One can disagree with an op-ed here, or a commentary there, but one cannot summarily dismiss the concept of a town square where everyone has a voice.  It is the free expression of ideas that alone will foster a healthy democracy full of robust and respectful debate. 

The city is watching.  Will the city bureaucracy and elected council hold Shyne to a different standard and let her abusive, corrosive, divisive, oppressive, vindictive, and destructive behavior go without discussion of appropriate official reaction, or even mention from the dais?  Will the council self-police and call out the rot that is metastasizing by the day?  Will the pattern of Shyne’s clear and demonstrable bias against straight women continue unabated?   Several years ago, I privately told Shyne that she is an anti-gay-white-male bigot.  I repeated that publicly in a recent WEHOville op-ed and I repeat it here with the added emphasis that gay white men are not the only targets of her negative bias.  Shyne continues to divide, rather than unite. 

Shyne continues to violate multiple sections of the City’s own code of conduct, yet the City Manager, City Attorney, and City Clerk remain feckless in the face of citizen demands for enforcement of the code.  Residents of West Hollywood deserve better in the character and integrity of those who serve us in public office.   Residents of West Hollywood deserve the voices of Hoopingarner, Russell, Friedman and Keely in the wide-ranging civic discourse that occurs not just at council meetings, but in the pages of this version of the town square and more.  Democracy is not something that happens one day in November, it is an everyday obligation of every citizen with a voice.  We must use those voices to always hold accountable those to whom we have temporarily given the keys to offices of public trust. 

Shyne sees and hears only those voices that agree with her.  That’s not leadership, that’s an arrogance that in her case manifests in bullying and attempting to silence dissent.  It is un-American, it is un-patriotic, it is un-democratic, and it is disqualifying for holding any office. 

Will anyone hold Shyne to the same standard that the community and council at the time held John Duran when it expressed moral opprobrium for his personal sexual transgressions? After a robust hearing in the media and dozens of residents showing up to council meetings and speaking out, Duran did the right thing at the time by standing down from his titular office of mayor. 

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There’s something rotten in West Hollywood.  Who will stop the stench?   

Alan M. Strasburg
31-year resident of West Hollywood

3.8 9 votes
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About Alan Strasburg
“Alan Strasburg is a thirty-one year resident of West Hollywood who has served on a number of non-profit boards seeking to improve the lives of other people through quiet, humble and meaningful impact. He also believes in the spiritual doctrine to do good work and not boastfully draw attention to oneself. He continues to serve (with gratitude, humility, and without ego) on the board of a national 501(c)3 organization bringing arts education and career opportunities to children on the autism spectrum."

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JF1
JF1
11 months ago

Thank you for standing up and speaking out!!!

Cindy
Cindy
11 months ago

John Duran anyone? Nobody cared about his disgusting behavior. Not to mention the widespread corruption within this city council over the years.

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
11 months ago
Reply to  Cindy

I refer you to the full paragraph that addresses the overwhelming community engagement surrounding Mr. Duran’s personal sexual transgressions. If one is going to deflect, one should rely on facts to support that deflection.

WeHoBruin
WeHoBruin
11 months ago

I wish WeHo Times would label opinion articles as such so I’m ready to see assertions without sources or evidence.

There may have been some facts in the article, but I stopped reading it after seeing the phrase, “Three other heterosexual women…” I wondered what the gender of the staff had to do with the asserted bad behavior, let alone their perceived sexual orientation. Did the author’s guess they were heterosexual make the damage worse?

It sounds as if I would agree with the author, as I’m not fond of bullies, but without some quotes of sources, I don’t yet.

Eastside Straight Girl
Eastside Straight Girl
11 months ago

Speaking of Lynn Hoopingarner as an excellent Planning Commissioner who got “cancelled” by the pressure of the Sepi coterie of followers & developers. I want to chime in on the comments below regarding what “should have happened”: a good, sound leader would have gotten behind her appointee & yes an apology for saying: “there might not be enough parking if in fact there is a Persian Wedding being booked in that hotel” or something close to that. Bottom line, I remember this incident quite well & I said to many friends of mine that I thought Lauren Meister was weak &… Read more »

Bleak Moment
Bleak Moment
11 months ago

You are correct is your observation of Lauren Meister. She did not have the back of Lynn Hoopengarner and even if Lynn preferred to resign in dignity, Meister should have renominated her for the position. In order to be a leader, one must step out for values.

hifi5000
hifi5000
11 months ago

I am not going to worry too much about Sepi Shyne’s behavior currently as mayor of West Hollywood.There are others who are watching Shyne’s antics as mayor beside the readers of Wehoville. As she is planning to run for Adam Schiff’s seat for Congress,political operatives of others interested in running for the seat will be taking notes.Anything she does from now until she leaves the mayor’s office will be scrutinized.Any smell of a possible scandal as mayor will bring the dogs to her yard and she won’t be able to contain it. Running for Congress is not the same as… Read more »

JPM
JPM
11 months ago
Reply to  hifi5000

Shyne didn’t run for mayor – no one ever does in WeHo. The “mayor” is strictly a volunteer position that is then elected – or not – by the full council. Tho Shyne made a big production of it, another trait of her gargantuan ego. But I’ve seen some of them do the same thing through the years. Politics even at this starter level, is & has always been an ego & power trip. Unfortunately, other “mayors” have done the same thing

Eastside Straight Girl
Eastside Straight Girl
11 months ago
Reply to  JPM

Sepi has quite the grandiose mindset that fuels her delusion that she will be an asset to the CA & Fed Govn’t all the white of being blatant that she hates white men, especially gay white men as well as straight women! Don’t underestimate her drive for power as she was very successful at Bamboozling WeHo & she will do it again the same way to the rest of the precinct with Unite Here 11 securing her stronghold of the Socialist (Communist) Democratic Party! It worked with Lindsey Horvath, why not her?

Davedi
Davedi
11 months ago
Reply to  hifi5000

At least living up to an Adam Schiff legacy is incredibly easy.

Really...
Really...
11 months ago

Too frequently, I see so many comments about recalling Sepi but I see NO action. It is all words with no follow through. Do it or lose it !!

Joshua88
Joshua88
11 months ago

Her behavior is deplorable. Why people tolerate the loss of fine city employees us beyond me. Her general treatment of others shows a severe lack of leadership and decency. If she so covets elected office so much, she needs an attitude adjustment to ever win election to any future position.
Is there no civil action citizens can take?

Outaged
Outaged
11 months ago
Reply to  Joshua88

They can petition to DEMAND a recall election and engage in massive civil disobedience until it happens. West Hollywood is no place for her Trumpian foul bullying. Enough. GTFO. Let’s get the signatures going and do this. We do not HAVE to take this crap. This is OUR city, not hers.

JF1
JF1
11 months ago

Shyne is no leader.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
11 months ago

Sepi’s campaign for Congress would be pretty much over if she, the mayor, were removed from office in West Hollywood.

How would she explain that to the voters in the rest of the district?

WeHo Mary!
WeHo Mary!
11 months ago

Enough with the Mayor McCheese articles. She’s just going to leverage this by saying “I’m a victim”.

Last edited 11 months ago by WeHo Mary!
Eric Jackson
Eric Jackson
11 months ago

Thanks for speaking up during public comments at the last City Council meeting, Alan. The burden is now with senior City Staff to review and evaluate.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
11 months ago
Reply to  Eric Jackson

If Staff would not step up to enforce the Code of Conduct over John Duran’s ongoing antics we can’t really expect them to act any differently now.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
11 months ago

Septic Sepi makes donald trump seem like an elder Statesman.

Jose
Jose
11 months ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

Septic Sepi behaves like the insider trading con artist herself- Nancy Pelosi.

Unfair Comparison
Unfair Comparison
11 months ago
Reply to  Jose

Your comment is way off base.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
11 months ago

How so?

Jose
Jose
11 months ago

There are those that don’t like hearing the truth. Dictatorial, scammy (like insider-trading) pushing false narratives. Get the picture.

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