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    HomeNewsTod Hallman - Why I Stepped Down as WeHo Eastside Neighborhood Watch...

    Tod Hallman – Why I Stepped Down as WeHo Eastside Neighborhood Watch Captain After 10 Years

    After nearly 10 years of serving as the West Hollywood Eastside Neighborhood Watch captain, I have decided to step down, effective immediately. People have been asking me why. Well, I hope you have your popcorn ready.

    When I was first asked to assume the responsibilities of Eastside watch captain by then-captain Roxanne McBride, I was reluctant at first but remembered what my mom taught me about the importance of being an active participant in the community. When I stepped into the role, the Eastside was starting to experience an uptick in transient activity that was impacting the quality of life of its residents. It was a very challenging time; however, I was determined that after making the Eastside my home for nearly 30 years, we were not going to let our neighborhood be overrun.

    I organized countless watch group meetings, which at times saw close to 60 concerned residents show up, and recruited neighborhood watch co-captains throughout our watch group area to be involved. I organized meetings with city staff and sheriffs, and after seeing the first Block by Block Security Ambassador’s kiosk in Plummer Park, I was instrumental in having an additional one stationed in front of The Dylan on the corner of Santa Monica and La Brea. The kiosk was very successful, and we saw almost an immediate decrease in transient activity in the area. Now you see the Ambassador kiosks deployed throughout the City of West Hollywood. Things have improved over the years, but by no means are they perfect.

    Over my nearly 10-year involvement as neighborhood watch captain, I felt getting residents involved was an important aspect of combating crime as it’s the shared responsibility of us all, and our annual National Night Out (NNO) block party was a great way of bringing the neighborhood together. The event, which promotes public safety, was important, not only for awareness, but so that residents could meet one another and get involved.

    Tod Hallman (center) at National Night 2023 – WEHO TIMES

    I also wanted our NNO event to be fun and inclusive, so with a background in production, I said to my co-captains, let’s go big! Over the years I produced “Fiesta Weho East,” “New Orleans Swing,” and last year “Circus Weho East,” which featured a dunk tank that then Vice Mayor John Erickson graciously agreed to get dunked all for a good cause. I’ve enjoyed seeing our Eastside residents, including our Eastside kids, come out and come together for an evening of fun and public safety awareness.

    During our most recent Weho East captains meeting, we discussed and agreed on our 2024 National Night Out theme as well as discussed topics for our spring neighborhood watch meeting which I started to organize with city staff to make sure all the important staff representatives as well as our Mayor John Erickson and sheriffs were on hand to address our agenda topics.

    So, imagine my surprise when it was mentioned at our recent Public Safety Commission meeting, which I currently chair, that an Eastside meeting had been held the previous weekend, organized by Eastside resident Cathy Blaivas and neighborhood watch co-captain Steve Martin, at Plummer Park, billed as a neighborhood meeting to discuss Gardner Avenue and the removal of parking spaces which happens to be in the middle of our Neighborhood Watch area.

    Community gathering at Plummer Park protesting loss of parking spaces in place of bike lanes on Gardner Street – WEHO TIMES

    The meeting’s flyer also promoted Weho East co-captain George Nickle for West Hollywood city council. Now, I assure you from experience that it takes work to organize these meetings. So when I approached public safety commissioner Nickle about the meeting and why I, along with another Eastside co-captain Adam Eramian who is also a Public Safety Commissioner, had not been notified of the meeting while several of our Eastside co-captains were invited to attend.

    George Nickle at community meeting in Plummer Park – WEHO TIMES

    Mr Nickle stumbled and backpedal, and said he sent an email to everyone, which I never received. He also said that flyers had been posted in the neighborhood. Everyone knows that I walk my dog Brea, in the Eastside three times a day, and I never saw one flyer for that meeting. Now, I’m no detective, but it doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to conclude that this was a deliberate attempt to keep me, the current Eastside captain, as well as co-captain Eramian from the meeting to make this a campaign push for George Nickle for West Hollywood City Council, and position him as the leader.

    Full disclosure: I’m Mayor John Erickson’s Public Safety appointed commissioner, and I proudly endorse Mayor Erickson in his reelection bid for city council. I will be actively supporting him, so you do the math.

    I should also mention that when my first term as public safety chair was coming to an end, it was brought to the commission’s attention by West Hollywood City Staff that our bylaws state that for a commissioner to be considered for the position of chair, they need to have served for six months on the commission, and because of the recent departure of several commissioners, I was the only remaining commissioner with such tenure, which meant I would be holding a second term. Of course, this did not keep newly appointed Commissioner Nickle from challenging our public safety bylaws and he challenged my reappointment to the position in what seemed to me as a clear and personal attack. Now if you’re not familiar with the bylaws process of a commission or advisory board, they must be approved by the city council, and as a result, I was re-elected as chair.

    So back to the most recent incident: I have nothing against anyone seeking city or government office, or volunteering one’s time as I’ve enjoyed being a public safety commissioner as well as Weho East watch captain. But I do feel it needs to be for the right reasons and not for self or personal gain. It’s not easy to be of public service in any capacity. Sadly, we’ve all witnessed within the House and Senate how many have lost the true purpose of service to the people. I have passionately worked for the Eastside and the City of West Hollywood. I’m very proud of my record and accomplishments and plan to continue to be an active part of the community. In the end, residents will have to decide if George Nickle is the right choice for city council. I’ve made up my mind, but will keep my opinion to myself.

    In closing, I sent an exit email to my fellow watch co-captains, city staff, sheriffs, and city council. I’ve graciously heard from many including all city council members except the one who in the past was always the first to respond to any of my emails to let me know my concerns had been heard. That council member is Lauren Meister, a supporter of George Nickle’s bid for Weho City Council. I wouldn’t call myself a conspiracist; I’m just connecting the dots.

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    Tod Hallman
    Tod Hallman
    Tod Hallman is a fashion stylist, fashion show producer, and content creator. Hallman is a former member of the faculty of FIDM The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Hallman was the Weho East Neighborhood watch captain for nearly a decade. He currently serves as the chair of the West Hollywood Public Safety Commission. Hallman has been a West Hollywood resident for 30+ years.

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    Misty
    Misty
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    1 month ago

    Sorry to see you go, Tod.

    But Erickson is an abysmal leader who is pushing Fountain’s bike lanes like nobody’s business, because of a very vocal minority.

    He’s off to gallivant in Paris at taxpayers’ expense, and I for one, cannot wait to see a commonsense leader like Nickel join City Council and quash his hare-brained schemes.

    Jerome Cleary
    Jerome Cleary
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    1 month ago

    wow

    Steve Martin
    Steve Martin
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    1 month ago

    Speaking for all of the block captains and board members of the Eastside Neighborhood Watch, we are saddened by Tod’s departure but incredibly grateful for his years of service. It was not just the fact that Tod ran great National Night Out Events; he was a great organizer and his first and most important accomplishment was in confronting the the unsafe residential streets on the Eastside. Tod had a great rapport with the Sheriff and Block by Block and Tod made the Eastside noticeably safer while helping to foster a sense of Eastside pride. We all feel he is our… Read more »

    Last edited 1 month ago by Steve Martin
    West
    West
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    Reply to  Steve Martin
    1 month ago

    Thanks for the clarification and also the reminder of Tod’s work that is certainly worthy of appreciation.

    say what
    say what
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    Reply to  Steve Martin
    1 month ago

    was Mr Martin a Commissioner on the Public Safety Commission? What Board does Martin refer to that wanted Hallman removed? And the “Defund” claim is a lie. Sheriffs were reduced during the shut down to reflect the lessened activity on west hollywood streets

    Steve Martin
    Steve Martin
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    Reply to  say what
    1 month ago

    No I was never a Public Safety Commissioner; Tod is currently chair and I certainly don’t want him removed as he brings real world experience to the Commission. I defended Tod when he voted to reduce the number of deputies a few years back; if you watched the debate on the Commission you would know that it was in fact an effort to “de-fund” the Sheriff. But why be confused by facts?

    West
    West
    Offline
    1 month ago

    So a candidate organized a community discussion as a campaign event, and his opponent’s commissioner stepped down because he didn’t feel included.

    I’m sorry he feels bad, but Tod has never spoken up about the relentless bullying of numerous residents by the man that appointed him, either. I can’t count the number of public events I’ve been actively barred from, or ostracized at, by sitting Councilmembers… and I’m a private citizen.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but I simply cannot relate to Tod’s sense of entitlement here.

    Last edited 1 month ago by West
    Weho artist
    Weho artist
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    Reply to  West
    1 month ago

    This wasn’t explicitly billed as a campaign event though. Why did you skip over that part?

    It’s slimy.

    Enough!
    Enough!
    Offline
    1 month ago

    George Nickle for City Council. Bring common sense back to the council. Let’s get rid of the extremist policies that are destroying our city.

    P S
    P S
    Offline
    1 month ago

    Another day, another drama in WeHo.

    I think the fact that George Nickle is running for one of the two open seats on city council is getting under the mayor’s thin skin.

    Enough!
    Enough!
    Offline
    Reply to  P S
    1 month ago

    yup.

    voter
    voter
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    1 month ago

    Shameful article from a really paranoid whiner. He has no business making decisions on behalf of our community. Please remove him from our Public Safety Commission asap.

    Kiss it
    Kiss it
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    1 month ago

    Who is he? I’ve never heard of him

    Weho artist
    Weho artist
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    Reply to  Kiss it
    1 month ago

    Did you even read the text? Why ask a dumb question like this?

    hifi5000
    hifi5000
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    1 month ago

    I think Mr. Hallman have some justifications for his suspicions on what happened regarding the recent neighborhood meeting that was conducted without him knowing about it.However,he needs to do this one thing. Before Mr. Hallman starts really pointing his finger at supposed campaigners,he needs to check the spam folder of his e-mail account to make sure the message that was sent to him inviting him to the meeting didn’t end up in that folder. I had important messages end up in that folder for my account,so they had to be retrieved and put in the incoming folder to be saved.Mr.… Read more »

    Weho Artist
    Weho Artist
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    1 month ago

    Now this is a story you will NOT see on that blog formerly known as “WeHoVille”

    hmmm I wonder why?!

    Jim Nasium
    Jim Nasium
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    Reply to  Weho Artist
    1 month ago

    Because it’s a non-story?

    Waaahh
    Waaahh
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    Reply to  Jim Nasium
    1 month ago

    Right. It’s a non-story. Nothing to see here. Rather convenient don’t cha think?

    PEM1881-copy
    Lee
    Lee
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    Reply to  Waaahh
    1 month ago

    ooooh! damning evidence. Larry block, unlike, council majority, shows up to events. any other QAnon-like bs you’d like to peddle? spare us the dramatics!

    Waaahh
    Waaahh
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    Reply to  Lee
    1 month ago

    ooooh! So we wanna play dumb now? If Tod had written this about Sepi and saying he was resigning because she was being sneaky and hosting meetings behind his back, Larry would be all over it. We all know this to be fact but because Larry and Nickle are friends then weho artist makes a valid point.

    Weho artist
    Weho artist
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    Reply to  Lee
    1 month ago

    Larry’s politics are very well known

    It’s also well known he loves to publish negative stories about his political rivals. He endorses Lauren Meister on his blog and has NEVER uttered/published one negative word about her.

    So why would he start now?

    Steve Martin
    Steve Martin
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    Reply to  Weho artist
    1 month ago

    You are right: Why would anyone want to say negative things about Lauren Meister?

    Weho artist
    Weho artist
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    Reply to  Steve Martin
    1 month ago

    When you have a website (really a personal blog for Larry Block) claiming to be a community resource for our small city, it really should be unbiased or AT LEAST give the illusion of that. Larry doesn’t even attempt to hide his biases. Op-eds disguised at articles almost daily. Everything written by Larry contains multiple lies and mistruths so he can get on his soapbox and preach to his faithful audience…sound familiar? Steve, he even attacks you personally when you simply disagree with him. Larry is quick to go for the jugular even when simply having a debate on civics.… Read more »

    sam
    sam
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    1 month ago

    Dear Tod Hallman, I believe you are incorrect that you were excluded from this neighborhood meeting. I attended this out of concern what city council members passed without sufficient public notification. I had seen a flyer posted, as I walked the neighborhood, and was happy to see community members organize this. Never once did I view this as a political campaign event. It is sad to see one feel slighted but I’m not sure how stepping down helps your cause. This was NOT a campaign meeting, this was a meeting to discuss what we as a community can do to… Read more »

    Last edited 1 month ago by sam
    Don Jones
    Don Jones
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    1 month ago

    Waaaah! I’m taking my marbles and going home. Yawn.

    Waaahh
    Waaahh
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    Reply to  Don Jones
    1 month ago

    More like waaaah! George Nickle lied about that meeting not being a political campaign. Waaaah! He took advantage of the situation and capitalized on the concerns of residents to insert himself and shamelessly promote his campaign. Waaah! He only invited public safety commissioners and Neighborhood watch captains that support his run for city council. Waaah! Waaah! Waaah!

    Grow up.

    Lee
    Lee
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    Reply to  Waaahh
    1 month ago

    if you attended, you’d know none of this is true. think the dear john letter said it all, he’s erickson’s ride or die.

    Waaahh
    Waaahh
    Offline
    Reply to  Lee
    1 month ago

    Got it. So the Nickle4weho flier calling for a meeting at Plummer Park at the same spot and time was for something else unrelated to the meeting about lost parking. Got it. So the photos and videos I saw of Nickle asking people to vote for him and explaining why he was running for city council was not a political speech. None of it is true you say? Got it. The city did a bad thing in not getting the word out to those neighbors that they were going to lose their parking and Mr Nickle played dirty politics by… Read more »

    Lee
    Lee
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    Reply to  Waaahh
    1 month ago

    “dirty politics” is such a great trigger and again proves you don’t know nickle. cry me a river that a first time candidate perhaps erred on this community event but your leap is both a distraction and dumbfounding from the issue at hand. the city plowed ahead with a poorly thought out plan based on a false narrative that people are clamouring to bike around town at the expense of residents who are already facing parking issues.i’ll take comfort in the fact that you admit the “city did a bad thing,” which is something we agree on.

    Last edited 1 month ago by Lee
    Waaahh
    Waaahh
    Offline
    Reply to  Lee
    1 month ago

    I’m normally a spectator, but I can’t resist chiming in when I see someone else get a taste of what Sepi, John and Chelsea get put through on the regular. You wanna talk about dirty politics? They get viciously vilified and they are never allowed to err, so my kudos to Tod for speaking truth to power and to this blog for evening out the score for a change. also the issue at hand you speak of is not a done deal as Lauren made clear. The city erred and they have a chance to make it right and inform… Read more »

    Long Time East Side Resident
    Long Time East Side Resident
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    Reply to  Don Jones
    1 month ago

    That was unnecessary!

    Catherine Eng
    Catherine Eng
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    1 month ago

    I moderate 2 Weho themed pages on FB. An organizer posted this event and I approved it. It was quickly pointed out to me that was a defacto campaign event. I removed it and DM’ed the Poster and asked if it was a campaign event and why it wasn’t being promoted as such. I did not receive a reply. I hope that his candidacy will be handled with integrity. And I hope the scenario explained above does not repeat. and just a note- Tod Hallman runs a great meeting. I’ve watched! Just Like he plans a great NNO….. credit where… Read more »

    Jerome Cleary
    Jerome Cleary
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    1 month ago

    omg

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