I am proud to be a longtime member of Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights and serve on its steering committee. At least one local news organization has speculated that the spouse of a candidate for City Council might not be technically required to recuse herself from the deliberations and any votes of the steering committee in its process for deciding whether to support that candidate and others running for seats on the Council.
I perceive a conflict of interest and have discussed this with my husband, Councilmember Kevin McKeown. He too feels that a conflict of interest would exist. Whether this situation in fact comprises a conflict or not, we choose to avoid even the appearance of impropriety that might arise. I therefore will not participate in the SMRR steering committee process on Kevin or any other candidates for City Council.
I hope that others with potential conflicts or appearances of conflict will agree that preserving trust in the process is of the utmost importance, and guide their decisions accordingly.
Genise Schnitman, Santa Monica