April 17, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

S.M.a.r.t Column: The Battle for the Planning Commission: A Circus of Political Maneuvers

Ah, the wonderful world of city politics! Ladies and gentlemen hold on to your hats as we delve into the wild and wacky world of the Planning Commission. In recent days, the City Council filled three positions on this esteemed commission, and let me tell you, the excitement was palpable! It’s like a game of musical chairs, except the chairs are seats of power, and the music is the relentless buzz of political gossip echoing through the county.

You may be wondering how one becomes a candidate for the Planning Commission. It’s simple, really. Interested individuals fill out a form, which then gets buried in the dusty archives of City Hall until the day openings magically appear. And voila! The announcements are published, calling for candidates to step forward. The Council members, with their pencil-sharp eagle eyes, review these candidate statements and make their nominations. And then, friends, the Council votes. And votes. And votes again. It’s like American Idol but with less singing and more paperwork.

But hold your horses! It’s not just individuals who are vying for a spot on the Planning Commission. Oh no, political groups have their paws in this game too. As soon as the commission openings are announced (and usually even before), these organizations kick into high gear behind the scenes. They’re like frenzied paparazzi, desperately seeking a Commissioner who will represent their interests. People are approached left and right, like talent scouts on the prowl. Suitable candidates’ names are passed around like hot potatoes to gather responses from the faithful. It’s a mad, mad world of influence and leverage, where politically connected candidates rub shoulders with unaffiliated freelancers.

You see, dear readers, these political groups have grand plans beyond the Planning Commission. They see it as a stepping-stone to the City Council itself. Placing a Commissioner becomes the first move in their master plan to develop a future City Council candidate who will represent their views. It’s like a strategic board game where every move counts and the prize is control over city policy. Talk about playing politics on a whole new level!

Now, let’s take a moment to remember the true purpose of the Planning Commission. Picture a Santa Monica where, as the Commission’s mission statement suggests, well-being, sustainability, and equity dance hand in hand through the streets like a synchronized flash mob of urban harmony. The Commission, like a wise conductor, endeavors to strike the perfect balance between the myriad needs and priorities within our vibrant community. They navigate this delicate dance, guided by the sacred texts of the City’s General Plan and Specific Plans—blueprints for a utopian Santa Monica.

Or they should. But alas, in the chaotic world of Santa Monica politics, these noble goals often take a backseat. The Commission often morphs into a battleground for proxy wars between different City Council factions. It’s like a never-ending soap opera where everyone’s fighting for the spotlight, and the residents are left scratching their heads, wondering where their needs went.

But fear not, friends, for this is not a new phenomenon. The politicization of the Planning Commission is as old as Santa Monica’s love for palm trees. Throughout the ages, politicized Planning Commissions have graced this city with their presence. They are as traditional as apple pie on the Fourth of July. Some say it provides a battleground for ground-level skirmishes, a window into the priorities of important constituencies, and a venue for enacting Council policies. But in our dear Santa Monica, divided as it is among political camps, a new approach beckons.

What’s the remedy, you ask? Well, we need to make the Planning Commission less of a City Council redux and more of a strong government body that actually looks out for the everyday residents. One suggestion is to impose a two-year waiting period for Commissioners whose terms expire before they can run for City Council. Let’s create a healthy separation between their duties as Commissioners and the political circus of campaigning. We need fresh faces, representatives from diverse backgrounds, and–most of all–individuals who have a genuine commitment to the needs of this community. And let’s not forget the fate of these poor planning commissioners who do make it in, juggling an overwhelming amount of work. They need some support, friends. The City should provide independent researchers, untainted by the dynamics between the City Manager, City Council, lobbyists, and organizations. These knowledgeable folks will lighten the load on our Commissioners’ shoulders and ensure they can fulfill their critical role without being crushed under the weight of political pressure and expediency.

Ladies and gentlemen, the battle for the Planning Commission is, without a doubt, a grand spectacle of political maneuvering. But let us not lose sight of the commission’s true purpose and the well-being of the residents. It’s time to bring some sanity back to the process, separating the commissioners from the madness of City Council campaigns. Let’s attract a diverse group of qualified individuals who genuinely care about this community and its specific issues. Together, we can transform the Planning Commission into a force to be reckoned with, working tirelessly for the betterment of Santa Monica. And who knows, maybe we’ll even add some circus acts to the mix to keep things interesting.

Daniel Jansenson, Architect, Building and Fire-Life Safety Commission.

Santa Monica Architects for a Responsible Tomorrow: Thane Roberts, Architect, Robert H. Taylor AIA, Dan Jansenson, Architect & Building and Fire-Life Safety Commission, Samuel Tolkin Architect & Planning Commissioner, Mario Fonda-Bonardi AIA & Planning Commissioner, Michael Jolly, AIR-CRE.

Related Posts

Girls Learn Self Defense at Empowerment Summer Camp for Girls

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

This summer, girls are invited to explore practical self defense training at SHIELD Women’s Self Defense’s 2024 Empowerment Summer Camp...

Marina del Rey Apartment Shooter Faces 20 Felony Charges, Could Spend Life in Prison

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

The Self-Employed Chef Is Being Held in Lieu of Over $5M Bail By Zach Armstrong A man accused of firing over...

Brentwood Art Center: Kids Explore Fundamentals of Drawing, Painting and Mixed Media

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

The beloved Brentwood Art Center is hosting summer camps at its new location at Olympic and 17th in Santa Monica. ...

Camp Integem: Explore, Design and Innovate with Future Tech

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

This summer, kids are inviting to make magic as they journey into the fun-filled, hands-on world of artificial intelligence (AI),...

(Video) Westwood Premiere of Zendaya’s New Film Challengers, Directed By Luca Guadagnino

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

Luca Guadagnino, stars Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, Mike Faist, composers Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, and producers Rachel O’Connor and Amy Pascal...

(Video) Mayor & Vice Mayor of Santa Monica Speak Out Against Needle Exchange Program

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

The Demonstration was Organized by the Santa Monica Coalition @smmirrornews A Santa Monica rally has held against the needle exchange...

Los Angeles County District Attorney Announces Charges In Brutal Venice Sexual Assaults

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

Charges Filed Against Suspect in Venice Canals Case by LADA George Gascon Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón has...

GoFundMe Raises Over $84K for Venice Canal Attack Victim

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

The Victim Received at Least Eight Fractures to Her Jaw, a Large Laceration to the Back of Her Head and...

420 is coming and our friends at Venice Kush are going to be going all out !

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

420 is coming and our friends at @Venice Kush are going to be going all out ! Check out this...

Kids Learn Local Waters in Aquarium Science Camp

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

This summer, kids have the opportunity to engage in science and learn about the fascinating water systems in Santa Monica...

Saint Monica Prep: Mariner Sports Camps Focus on Fundamentals

April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024

Teams at Saint Monica Preparatory took big wins this winter season.  The coaches leading an undefeated girls’ soccer team, winning...

Sophie Dance West Dance Camp Enrolling Now

April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024

Calling all Swifties! Sophie Dance West, an all-inclusive kids dance studio that welcomes any skill level from beginner to highly...

Theatre Review: Katerina McCrimmon Can Never Rain on Streisand’s Iconic Parade

April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024

Before I launch into a review of director Michael Mayer’s touring production of Funny Girl,  currently on stage at the...

Measles Infected Traveler Visited Santa Monica Pier, Public Health Officials Warn

April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024

Authorities Urge Individuals Who Were at The Specified Venues to Monitor Their Health The California Department of Public Health notified...

Man Arrested in Marina del Rey After Shots Fired from Rooftop

April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024

Witnesses Captured Footage of Multiple Rapid Shots Being Fired Onto the Street and Sidewalk According to multiple reports including from...