Closed Session Votes to Remove Herbert Simmons from the Altadena Town Council

[polldaddy poll=2217637]

harold bissner <>

date Thu, Nov 5, 2009 at 11:22 PM
subject Committee hearing

The committee charged with hearing the issues regarding your alleged violations of Altadena Town Council Bylaws and Ethics standards convened on 11/8/09 and voted in majority for your removal from the

Altadena Town Council.
Of eight designated members there were six in attendance constituting a quorum.
Discussion and voting consumed two hours and forty three minutes commencing at 6pm. The committee meeting incorporated and weighed Roberts Rules of Order, Bylaws of ATC and ATC ethical standards.
This vote is an advisory to the Town Council and not a finality of the matter.
A two thirds quorum of Town Council members must now convene in a closed session hearing as to final disposition of this matter at a date and time to be determined by the Executive Committee. Your attendance is requested so that you may offer your rebuttal to these charges.
Jamie Bissner
Harold J Bissner III

Many have asked the question, What did you do to tick off the Altadena Town Council? My answer is that I informed you.

It is now time for the community to step up, let your voices be heard, and demand answers.

From the very beginning, I have asked that the allegations against me be brought to the community. I, myself, am not even clear on what the specific allegations against me consist of, for they were never provided to me in writing, though the Altadena Town Council Bylaws state in Article IX, Section C, that “a request to consider charges against a Town Council Member must be presented in writing to the Executive Committee.” No such request was ever furnished, although Honorable Ezieme repeatedly pointed it out. So what exactly is being investigated? I can only assume. I requested the allegations in writing on September 18, 2009, and requested a response in 30 days. This request was ignored. I have noticed from the very beginning that the Altadena Town Council never had all the facts nor did they attempt to obtain them.

For those who may not be aware, a Closed Session Meeting was first held on August 18, 2009, to discuss my Student and Teacher of the Month programs. Apparently, I was not aware that I was not allowed to mention that I was a member of the Altadena Town Council when discussing programs outside of the Town Council. As I had just been elected, and had had no formal training or mentoring, I admitted and apologized for my honest mistake. I immediately corrected this mistake. Although I stated in my very first e-mail to the community regarding these programs on July 27th, 2009 at 11:11PM, that they were not affiliated with the County or other Altadena Town Council members, I made it clear again in all communications that the Student and Teacher of the Month programs were in no way endorsed by, or affiliated with, the Altadena Town Council. It was also mentioned that I erred in speaking against another Council Member, Alice Wessen, in regards to comments she made about my attempt to raise funds for the Student and Teacher of the Month programs, for which I also apologized. Although I had done nothing illegal, I returned all funds to all supporters and funded the program on my own.

After this minor glitch, I went forward with these programs with overwhelming support from the community. We began to award students and teachers in our community in September in all seven public schools in Altadena. Meanwhile, the “investigation” was still pending and the Investigation Committee had yet to meet until November 5th, 2009, when another Closed Session Meeting was held.

I have stayed true to my pledge to improve communications among the community, to link us together through technology, and to create an educational awards program to uplift our youth and our educators. I have done my best to serve my constituents and to not be a proverbial “seat-warmer”.

Most importantly, please attend the next Altadena Town Council Meeting and ask questions and demand answers. Stand up for your vote. The next Altadena Town Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday December 15th at 7PM at the Altadena Community Center (730 E. Altadena Dr). But of course, the Council prefers to meet in secret regarding this matter. I wonder why.