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Altchsul Back on Planning Commission

John Altschul, a 16-year veteran of the city's Planning Commission, officially rejoins that commission after a ten-month absence.

West Hollywood elder statesman John Altschul officially rejoined the Planning Commission on Thursday night, being sworn back into office after a ten-month absence.

“It’s like coming home,” Altschul told Patch. “The process is still wonderful. The staff is still wonderful. The community is still wonderful. I’m pleased and happy to be among them again.”

Altschul first joined the Commission in 1996, an appointee of Councilmember John Heilman. He served on Planning Commission until July 2011 when Heilman opted not to reappoint the 75-year-old Altschul, instead appointing attorney David Aghaei.

Many, including Altschul, believe Heilman’s failure to reappoint Altschul was punishment for publicly supporting John D’Amico in his successful bid for a seat on the City Council in the March 2011 election.

Longtime friends, .  

D’Amico was on hand to witness the swearing in.

While many wondered if there would be tension between Altschul and Aghaei, that proved not to be the case. Aghaei lauded Altschul during the meeting, calling him a new “mentor.”

“When I first started on the Commission, I told everybody I had big shoes to fill. It looks like I’m not going to get to fill them just yet and I’m excited about it,” the 27-year-old Aghaei said during commissioner comments. “Thank you very much for joining us again and I’m looking forward to working with you.”

The other commissioners also welcomed Altschul back in their comments.

Noting how natural it felt to have Altschul sitting behind the dais, Commission Chair Alan Bernstein said, “I’ve already forgotten you were away.”

Lauren Meister, who served as D’Amico’s appointee to the Planning Commission for nine months until D’Amico appointed Altschul, was also on hand to witness the swearing in. She made a point of welcoming Altschul back during public comment.

Stay up to date on West Hollywood news and events, by following @WehoPatch and “like” on Facebook.

GoodGriefCharlieBrown April 20, 2012 at 07:41 PM
"It's like coming home!" Proof positive that the poor old guy has no life.
allegra April 20, 2012 at 09:40 PM
I know a lot of insanely busy people & this “poor old guy” literally has more of a life and is busier than almost anyone I know!
Paul April 20, 2012 at 11:25 PM
No offense but this was a disgraceful act that I am puzzled by still all these months after the firing of Miss Miester. This man needs to be home kicking back putting his feet up, golfing, maybe a cruise etc....
Rudolf Martin April 21, 2012 at 05:51 AM
What a sad scene this article ultimately depicts. spiteful punishment for not supporting one council member, backroom deals for re-appointment by the other council member, the unharmed commissioners applauding, and everyone including those shoved aside publicly congratulating each other on how fabulous everyone is. what has happened to this small city? everyone just playing the game and selling their souls and allegiances.
Manny April 21, 2012 at 03:44 PM
It's not sad Rudolf. It's just politics as usual.That's all....If it weren't as ridiculously obvious it wouldn't be as funny.
joninla April 22, 2012 at 08:28 AM
It's amazing how much pride this planning commission gives itself for what has been a terrible process, poor decisions and a total lack of independent and honest decision making. Now that the one new person is ousted in favor of some old cronie there will obviously never be any changes made and the 'process' of forcing revisions that end up looking worse and approving only mega mixed use developments by the same people funding the city leaders campaigns will never change.
Metropat April 22, 2012 at 04:09 PM
When someone volunteers their time and insights to their community, that is not a sign of no life, it is a picture of a man adding layers to their life in order to find more fulfillment, not less. You obviously have no idea of a more than one dimensional life.
michael April 22, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Good grief...what a totally dumb thing to say about a man who has devoted so much to our community.
kab1200 April 24, 2012 at 12:24 AM
joninla- I totally agree with you. I hardly see this as a good thing.

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