John Heilman’s City Board Appointees Will Be Out on Monday

John Heilman’s 17 appointees to various West Hollywood boards and commissions will be out on Monday. Abbe Land’s will keep their posts until May 31 as will those of Jeffrey Prang.

Former West Hollywood City Council members Abbe Land and  John Heilman
Former West Hollywood City Council members Abbe Land and John Heilman

In a memo to the City Council, the City Clerk’s office said that newly elected Councilmember Lauren Meister has decided to make her own appointments to the boards and commissions and newly elected Councilmember Lindsey Horvath will accept as her own those who previously were appointed by Abbe Land until their terms expire May 31.

Land left the Council last month after deciding not to stand for re-election. Prang stepped down in December after winning the election for L.A. County Assessor. Heilman was defeated in the March 3 election. That has left the appointees of the former Council members, whose terms officially expire on May 31, effectively in limbo. That’s because direct appointees serve at the will of the Council members who appoint them. So a newly elected Council member is able to keep the appointees of an incumbent he or she has defeated or dismiss them and name his or her own. Given that she is accepting Land’s appointees until May 31, Horvath may replace one or more of them after that. Those appointed after May 31 will serve at the pleasure of the individual Council members until May 31, 2017.

The Council also names at-large appointees, who are chosen according to a majority vote. On Monday the Council is expected to name one person to each of the Transportation Commission, the Eastside Working Group, the Senior Advisory Board and the Women’s Advisory Board. Mayor John D’Amico is expected to make an appointment to the Disabilities Advisory Board.

Several of the various commissions play important roles in areas such as development. Members of the Planning Commission, for example, review requests from developers for variances to ordinances for housing and commercial projects.

The decision to oust Heilman’s appointees on Monday while keeping those of Prang and Land until May 31 reflects the tenor of the March election, in which D’Amico, long an opponent of Heilman, worked for the election of Meister. Among former Councilmember Heilman’s appointees to the most influential boards and commissions are David Aghaei, appointed to the Planning Commission in 2011; Paul Rice, appointed to the Historic Preservation Commission in 2008, and David Eichman, appointed to the Transportation Commission in 1994.

Several of Heilman’s appointees have been had tenures of ten years or more. In addition to David Eichman, there is Esther Baum, who has served on the Senior Advisory Board since 1996. David Gregoire was appointed to the Rent Stabilization Commission in 2000. Gregory Woodell was named to the Public Facilities Commission in 2003 as was Andrey Pronin to the Russian Advisory Board.

Other Heilman appointees who will be out include Candice Illoulian-Beroukhim, a member of the Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission; Steven Kay, a member of the Business License Commission; Anne-Marie Williams, a member of the Human Services Commission; Gregory Woodell, a member of the Public Facilities Commission; Chris Clarkin, a member of the Public Safety Commission, and David Gregoire, a member of the Rent Stabilization Commission;

Heilman appointees to the city’s advisory boards who will replaced are: Louise Smith, Disabilities Advisory Board; Jeffrey Waack and Elisabeth Sandberg, Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board; Audrey Pronin, Russian Advisory Board; Esther Baum, Senior Advisory Board; Anne Toole, Women’s Advisory Board, and Coco Lachine, Transgender Advisory Board.

Several of Heilman’s appointees have been had long tenures of ten years or more. David Eichman was named to the Transportation Commission in 1994. Esther Baum has served on the Senior Advisory Board since 1996. David Gregoire was appointed to the Rent Stabilization Commission in 2000. Gregory Woodell was named to the Public Facilities Commission in 2003 as was Andrey Pronin to the Russian Advisory Board.


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[…] Bottini, a member of the city’s Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board, said that Meister’s decision to remove all appointees of John Heilman, who lost in his re-election bid last month, looked like “vengeance.” In an apparent […]

Rob Bergstein
Guest
Rob Bergstein

@larry: Lindsey and Lauren informally agreed upon whom would “inherit” whose appointees, Lauren took on Heilman’s & Lindsey took on Land’s @Cassandra: I have contacted each & every one of Heilman’s appointees, to thank them for their service, to encourage them to re-apply, if they would like to continue serving, and across the board, all of them indicated they did not hear from Lauren in person. Either her deputy, Scott, called/left a voice mail or they received a letter from Lauren. I think the fact that at last night’s Council meeting only THREE of Heilman’s former appointees showed up to… Read more »

David Reid
Guest

If John Heilman is elected the city fell back asleep.

jimmypalmieri
Guest
jimmypalmieri

I believe that he can and will replace Prangs appointees, and rightfully so. Lindsey made the right choice for her, as her and Abbe have a common belief system on many issues. Lauren did what was right for her, as she and Heilman are polar opposites. I think both councilmembers did the best thing for the boards/commissions. When Heilman is elected he certainly can bring back all of his appointees if he wants.

Randy
Guest
Randy

While it might be Lauren Meister’s right to change them out right away, I think it is in poor taste for her to do so. These people are volunteering, in unpaid positions, serving the community. It would not have been much of a concession to let them serve the remaining two months of their appointments. It will be interesting to see if Meister re-appoints any of Heilman’s choices. Just because she isn’t in political alignment with Heilman, doesn’t mean that some of these people aren’t the best choices. So if Heilman wins the June election, does he get to replace… Read more »

jimmypalmieri
Guest
jimmypalmieri

As an elected official Councilmemer Meister can do as she pleases as far as appointments go. If she has her appointees chosen why would there be any issue with her getting them to work immediatley? She said she was ready to get to work, and clearly she is. No one ever owns a seat regardless of when the appointment is over. An appointee can be removed at anytime. I personally can’t see why leaving people on for 1-2 more months makes any sense, when , on some commisiions there are big issues and programs in the pipeline. I also don’t… Read more »

One of Cassandra's Snakes
Guest
One of Cassandra's Snakes

@Jim Nasium – if you watched the last council meeting you would have seen and heard the 4 Councilmembers nominate Horvath for Mayor and Meister for Mayor Pro Tem and vote 4-0 in favor of that. Meister is Mayor Pro Tem Elect until sworn in and Horvath is Mayor Elect until sworn in. No venom here, Jim. Just facts.

Jim Nasium
Guest
Jim Nasium

@Cassandra—–Why do you think the Mayor Pro Temp is Meister?

The venom is getting to your head.

One of Cassandra's Snakes
Guest
One of Cassandra's Snakes

@Rob, do we know for a fact that Mayor Pro Tem Elect did not call the Heilman appointees? It sort of seems like people would have wanted Meister to keep Fran Solomon on as her deputy, too. @Larry what does speaking up and speaking out have to do with losing their commissions? Are you saying that people are afraid to lose their commissions if they speak up? I heard that used to go on and I heard that certain former Councilmembers would call their appointees and tell them how to vote. Thankfully that will not go on now. The changes… Read more »

Rob Bergstein
Guest
Rob Bergstein

How incredibly insensitive, inappropriate and unprofessional of Lauren. While I didn’t support her during her campaign, Lauren and I have good relationship and I didn’t see this kind of behavior coming from her–this is no way to start out her term. She is, of course, as is Lindsey and whomever wins in June, free to make their own appointments to boards and commissions–that goes without saying. And if Lauren didn’t think it was in the City’s best interests to allow the current appointees to finish their terms in May, the very least she could have done would have been to… Read more »

Rick Watts
Guest
Rick Watts

So rather wait a few weeks for board/commission members’ 2-year terms to expire,amd use that time to look at which commission/board members are doing their jobs serving the city and the constituencies whose voices they are to represent to the city, newly elected council member Meister conducts what can only be described as a politically-motivated vendetta/purge, executed by her campaign manager–I mean DEPUTY–Scott Schmidt hiding behind the term “fresh start.” And the result is that we are denied the excellent and services of people like Louise Smith and of the Disabilities Advisory Board, and others, whose only “shortcoming” is that… Read more »

Larry Block
Guest

How did Land’s appointees get turned over to Horvath to choose their fates.., and Heilman’s appointees get turned over to Meister? Who made that choice? Meister’s decision to not allow commission and board members to finish out their terms thru June catches many off guard. I would like to speak for one commission member that I’ve had the honor to work with. Louise Smith of the Disability Board is Vice-Chair and a stellar performer on the DAB. As an ex-Cedars employee for over 30 years she works very hard to produce our first ever Disability Heath Fair that brought free… Read more »