Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Mayor Himmelrich Blocks Housing Commission Report from City Council Agenda after Public Admission of Personal Bias

Staff fails to address mayor's abuse of power; City Council must amend city policy to ensure boards and commissions can use existing City Council agenda item 13: Board & Commission Reports without Mayor, staff interference

 

October 29, 2022

Santa Monica Mayor Sue Himmelrich

Dear City Council,

I am submitting the email thread below for your consideration to draw your attention to four issues:

1. Mayor Sue Himmelrich refused to agendize a brief but important Housing Commission report with recommendations for today's City Council meeting. She did this after a) having publicly announced her inability to treat the Housing Commission without bias in light of her husband's inability to continue serving on the commission after a new city anti-nepotism policy, and b) slandering Housing Commission leadership privately and publicly.

2. I do not believe city policy via Resolution 11360 permits the mayor to unilaterally veto agenda items, as explained in detail below. However, repeatedly unanswered questions to the City Manager and City Attorney make it clear the city is not willing to engage in discussion of overreach of power by the mayor or her clear violations of state ethics guidelines for elected officials, which is a larger problem than the bad action of one elected official.

3. I am endeavoring to agendize a different, extremely time sensitive Housing Commission report with recommendations, for the 8 November 2022 City Council meeting. After months of run around, including weeks of unanswered questions in direct correspondence with the City Manager, I have still not been given appropriate directions for doing so. Therefore, I must appeal to individual City Councilmembers to request that this Housing Commission report be agendized as a 13 item for the 8 November 2022 City Council meeting.

4. Obviously, in light of item three, months of conflicting and obstructive information by staff, and no indication that City Council agenda item 13 has ever been used, the process for agendizing reports by city boards and commissions is insufficiently codified in city policy. I look forward to the City Council remedying this disenfranchisement of appointed city officials, and by extension all Santa Monicans, in the coming months.

Thank you for your review and consideration of these serious matters.

Very best wishes,

Michelle Gray

Chair,

Santa Monica Housing Commission

Writing as an individual in the interests of all appointed city officials and Santa Monicans

Editor's Note:

The above is part of a written public comment submitted to the Santa Monica City Council on October 25, 2022.

 

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