January 30, 2023 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Councilmember Kevin McKeown Abruptly Announces Retirement

Retirement will be effective as of June 11 

By Sam Catanzaro

Longtime Santa Monica City Councilmember Kevin McKeown abruptly announced his retirement during a meeting this week. 

The 72-year-old McKeown–first elected to Council in 1998 and has served as Mayor twice including most recently in 2020–made the announcement at the end of the May 25 City Council meeting. 

“Before we continue I have a brief announcement. This is something I wanted to say at the same time both to the Council and to the community. I have decided to retire. You have all been very kind about me not looking my age but I am well into my 70s. I am profoundly grateful for the many years that I had the privilege and honor of being able to be a service to this city which I deeply love, but I have decided to retire, effective two weeks from Friday,” McKeown said during the virtual meeting. “I thank you, goodnight, and good-bye.” 

According to McKeown, his retirement will be effective as of June 11. 

The announcement caught other lawmakers off guard and was met with moments of stunned silence. Councilmember Phil Brock can be seen with his hands in the air in disbelief. Mayor Sue Himmelrich began to say “None of us…” but did not finish her sentence. 

Interim City Attorney George Cardona broke the impasse by informing Council that in order to continue someone would have to motion to re-adjourn the meeting. Council instead optioned to re-adjourned Wednesday evening at 5:30 p.m. via teleconference. 

McKeown was not immediately available for comment. 

As reported by the Santa Monica Lookout, McKeown participated in a virtual Ocean Park Association (OPA) Wednesday evening and said only that health was not a factor and that it was the right time for retirement. 

“You’ve watched me so you know that I’m a pretty thoughtful guy, not all that impetuous,” reads a transcript from his remarks published by the Lookout. “So I’ve been thinking about this for some time.

“At the moment there’s a lot of change happening in the city. Our city manager’s about to leave, we’re about to adopt a housing element, a budget.

“These are all actions that should be voted on by people who intend to continue on, so this seemed like the time, the moment, having completed as much as I wanted to, as I could.”

MKeown, a Santa Monica renter for 45 years, for 25 years served as Macintosh computer consultant for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. On City Council, where he is in the third year of his sixth term, he has been an advocate for renter rights, affordable housing, and environmental sustainability. In 2015, McKeown made a presentation on behalf of Santa Monica to an international audience at the United Nations climate conference where the Paris Accords were agreed to. He served as Mayor in 2020, which was a uniquely difficult year in Santa Monica history. 

McKeown is also Santa Monica’s Director on the Board of the Clean Power Alliance of Southern California, and serves on the State of California’s Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission, and as the current chair of the regional Westside Cities Council of Governments. 

 “Kevin has dedicated his life to making Santa Monica stronger, greener, and more equitable. I personally was devastated to learn about his plans to retire, and our City Council will sorely miss his depth of experience and his punny humor. Kevin has had a unique ability to coalesce the Council around our shared values and goals and has tirelessly worked to meaningfully advance protections and support for vulnerable tenants and residents. His active correspondence with constituents has been a model of public service,” said Mayor Sue Himmelrich. “This is a man who loves Santa Monica in his bones and demonstrated unrelenting integrity and dedication to the community as a tenured Councilmember. It is hard to imagine a meeting without his perfect radio voice and comedic timing.” 

Santa Monica’s City Charter requires that Council has 30 days after a vacancy is declared to appoint an individual to fill the vacancy.  Next steps in that process will be discussed at the Council’s next meeting in early June. In the event that the City Council fails to fill the vacancy by appointment within 30 days after the seat is declared vacant, a special election would be held to fill the vacancy.  

in News
Related Posts

SMa.r.t Column: Widespread Issues Put Santa Monica in Danger

January 28, 2023

January 28, 2023

Following are 5 issues which, along with homelessness and crime, should take priority over all else in our city’s immediate...

1980s Rustic Canyon Home Hits the Market for $7.5 Million

January 28, 2023

January 28, 2023

Property checks in at over 5,000 square feet featuring five bedrooms By Dolores Quintana A home designed by fine artist...

New Two-Story Commercial Building Proposed for Main Street in Santa Monica

January 28, 2023

January 28, 2023

Project at Marine and Main would replace current parking lot A new two-story commercial building has been proposed for Main...

260-Acre Property Comprising 6% of Bel Air on the Market!

January 27, 2023

January 27, 2023

Last-ditch effort to sell Senderos Canyon spread By Dolores Quintana Bel-Air, one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in the United...

Massive 24,000-Gallon Raw Sewage Leak Closes Local Beaches

January 27, 2023

January 27, 2023

Wednesday leak near Admiralty Way and Palawan Way cause of closures A massive 24,000-gallon raw sewage leak shut down several...

Debris Washed Ashore at Santa Monica Beach

January 27, 2023

January 27, 2023

Debris Washed Ashore at Santa Monica Beach During Last Week’s Storms. @smmirrornews Debris Washed Ashore at Santa Monica Beach During...

Popular Health-Conscious Restaurant Closes Downtown Santa Monica Location

January 26, 2023

January 26, 2023

Flowerchild no longer at 1332 Second Street By Dolores Quintana A popular health-conscious restaurant has shut down its Downtown Santa...

Iconic Roscoe’s Chicken ‘n Waffles Shutters its Pico Location

January 26, 2023

January 26, 2023

LA-based chain to focus on flagship on La Brea and Washington By Dolores Quintana For everyone who loves Roscoe’s Chicken...

Santa Monica Road Rage Incident Results in Shooting and Arrests for Attempted Murder

January 25, 2023

January 25, 2023

Manuel Jaramillo-Heredia and Emilio Reyes were arrested in connection to Tuesday incident By Sam Catanzaro A road rage incident escalated...

Column – A California Positive: Kids Swarm Extra Classes

January 24, 2023

January 24, 2023

By Tom Elias It’s become a cliché, the shibboleth that California has lousy public schools and most of the kids...

New Sourdough Bagel Shop Now Open in Ocean Park

January 24, 2023

January 24, 2023

Layla’s Bagels by chef Sergio Espana (formally from Tartine and Gjusta) has opened a shop on Ocean Park. @smmirrornews New...

Westside Food Bank Struggling to Find Eggs

January 24, 2023

January 24, 2023

Avian flu outbreak and inflation have been driving these shortages Westside Food Bank is turning to alternative suppliers to try...

St. Joseph Center President & CEO Leaving Organization to Lead LAHSA

January 24, 2023

January 24, 2023

25-year veteran of St. Joseph Center will service as serve as CEO of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Dr....

Michigan Man Extradited to Santa Monica for Beach Parking Lot Murder

January 24, 2023

January 24, 2023

Mohamed Abou-Arabi faces murder charges for November killing By Sam Catanzaro A Michigan man has been extradited to Santa Monica...

Million Dollar Listing To Sell Local Luxury Estate: Santa Monica Real Estate Report – January 23rd, 2023

January 23, 2023

January 23, 2023

Property, Developments, And Listings On The Westside.* Million Dollar Listing To Sell Local Luxury Estate* New Data Shows Luxury Brick...