Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Voters Elect Sue Himmelrich, but Embrace Pam O'Connor

Voters returned Pam O'Connor to office for a 6th term, despite the repeated protestations of neighborhood groups such as SMCLC that she has never seen a large development project she didn't like.

SMCLC tried to put the best face on it:

"Pam O'Connor squeaked by in a distant third. In a city of almost 59,000 registered voters, she received 4,933 votes. Not a lot of support, but in an over-crowded field, just enough to win.

"Ms. O'Connor enters what likely will be her last term with greatly diminished influence given the wide exposure of her anti-resident voting record and her having illegally accepted thousands of dollars of campaign contributions from developers."

The same voters rejected Measure "D", which said the future of the airport land should be decided by voters, and instead enacted Measure "LC," which says the City Council should decide what to do with the airport.

Phil Brock finished 4th in a large field, actually a rather good showing for a first time Council candidate, especially one not endorsed by SMRR. In campaign literature, Brock pointed out that 62 staffers at SM City Hall earn over $300,000 per year, which of course is why they like intensive development-they hope to draw enormous pensions for decades in retirement, and us residents can just put up with the additional traffic.

SMCLC claims that the new council will have an anti-development bias. More from their latest e mail:

"The election results are in and it's terrific news for Santa Monica. Finally, we have a pro-resident majority on the City Council, committed to a sustainable, livable city, and reining in over-development and the traffic it brings.

"Kevin McKeown and Sue Himmelrich-both strongly backed by SMCLC-won decisive victories. They join Tony Vazquez and Ted Winterer to form a new majority that won't just rubberstamp every developer project that comes along.

"Sue's victory was particularly sweet, representing a rejection by voters of the well-funded all-out attempts by the Miramar Hotel and other developers to keep her off the Council. Voters emphatically said no to them and yes to Sue.

"Richard McKinnon, whom we also endorsed, ran a strong, principled campaign. We're sorry he won't be joining Kevin and Sue as he would have made a fantastic addition to the Council."

SM Voters also enacted Measure HH, which triples the transfer tax to .6%. So if you sell your condo for $1,000,000, you have to contribute $6,000 to SM City Hall pensions. If you voted for O'Connor, you deserve it.

Other Races.

Probably the most closely watched Santa Monica race, Measure D was defeated, 7,646 to 10,691. Measure LC, turning over development of the airport to the City Council, was almost the inverse result, with 11,181 voting yes and 7,539 voting no.

Measure FS, which increased rent control fees, won by a closer margin, 51.5 percent to 48.5 percent.

Nicole Phillips, Steve Duron and Todd Flora were elected to the rent control board, which was not too surprising, considering they were unopposed.

Santa Monica's native son Ben Allen, former SamoHi ASB president, was elevated from school board member to State Senate. Allen defeated Sandra Fluke, who tried to tar Allen's reputation by pointing out his supporters included millionaire businessman Bill Bloomfield, who at one time was registered Republican (Bloomfield is now an independent).

This writer has known Allen, 36, since his Bar Mitzvah, and I can personally assure you the 26th district made an excellent choice.

On the other hand, picking Sheila Kuehl, a party apparatchik who launched a career from a 1960's TV child acting job-well, we get the government we deserve.

--David Ganezer


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