The Santa Monica public safety organizations released City Council endorsements for the November election, adding another peg to an already powerful list of candidate backers.
The SM Police Officers’ Association and Santa Monica Firefighters Local 1109 announced three endorsements for four-year seats and two endorsements for the two-year seats.
Not surprisingly the public safety endorsements go to incumbents Kevin McKeown, Bob Holbrook, and Pam O’Connor
running for another four-year term. Incumbents Gleam Davis and Terry O’Day received backing for the two-year term seats.
All of the candidates except Holbrook are also endorsed by the Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR), another group with powerful driving force each election.
Endorsements are based entirely on public safety, said public safety association representative Sgt. Jay Trisler. It’s not just police and fire that ensure public safety, he said, it’s keeping sidewalks maintained, tree trimmed, and looking towards the best interest for the public.
A panel of six fire and police employees split evenly between the two entities interviewed candidates in order to place a unanimous vote for endorsements, Trisler said. The board receives the recommendations and makes the final endorsement decision.
“We felt that our incumbents have a proven track record on public needs based on public safety,” Trisler said.
The incumbents also received endorsements from the Coalition of Santa Monica City Employees Association. Both the city employees and public safety workers are entities that did not see any position cuts during a year where municipal bodies across the state saw pink slips.
Trisler said the support to keeping fire dispatch running and keeping personnel “definitely” influence the endorsements.
In June, the city council reject a proposal to eliminate two police lieutenant positions brought by City Manager Rod Gould and Police Chief Tim Jackman. In the face of a diminishing budget, the council decided to enforce a hiring freeze that allows for an easier transition of funds if and when funding is increased.
The body also supports Measure Y, a half percent tax increase measure to support City services and possibly schools. The proposed measure could generate up to $12 million for the City with a raise on a transitional and use tax, a broad type of sales tax.
“Passage of these measures will ensure that public safety will maintain its high level of quality service that residents of Santa Monica deserve,” an association press release said.