EDITOR’S NOTE:Since this article was written, a fifth applicant, Gene Galvin, has been posted on the City Council’s Website. Attempts by the Mirror to reach Galvin have been unsuccessful.
The open seat on the Santa Monica City Council attracted four official expressions of interest as of Wednesday, February 3. Sandra Tootalian, Robert Kronovet, Ted Winterer, and Terry O’Day had each notified the City Clerk’s office by that time of their interest in being appointed to the vacancy created by the death of Mayor Ken Genser.
The City Council is expected to make an appointment at its February 23 meeting. Notices of interest will be accepted by the City Clerk through February 17.
Even before Genser’s death, Kronovet had made known his intent to run for the Council in the November 2010 elections. Elected to the City’s Rent Control Board in 2008, he says he is the first professional real estate broker on that board as well as the first to win election without the backing of Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR). “I think it’s time for a moderate and a centrist on the City Council,” he told the Mirror, “someone who will put the interests of the citizens and the residents above all.”
City Clerk Maria Stewart confirmed that Tootalian chose not to disclose any contact information when she notified the clerk’s office of her interest in the appointment.
Winterer and O’Day are two of the four names mentioned by Councilmember Bobby Shriver at the January 26 City Council meeting as being likely candidates for the appointment. Both submitted applications a year ago for the council seat made vacant by the death of Herb Katz, the seat that was filled by the appointment of Gleam Davis.
Winterer is a Planning Commissioner who was president (now vice president) of the Ocean Park Association; he was one of the authors of the 2008 RIFT Initiative to limit commercial development, and he finished fifth in the 2008 Council race for four open seats.
O’Day is executive director of an environmental organization, and was a member of the Planning Commission. He was a leader of the fight against RIFT in 2008, and a Council candidate in 2006 when he finished fourth in the race for three open seats.
Regardless of who the Council selects, the seat will be open in the first general election, this November, and the winner will then serve the balance of Genser’s term through 2012.
The February 17 date by which the City Clerk will accept expressions of interest and post them on the City website is not an absolute deadline, inasmuch as the City Council made it clear at its January 26 meeting that it could appoint any eligible person, whether they met the deadline or not, or notified the City Clerk at all for that matter, when the selection comes up at the February 23 Council meeting.