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Local Ballot Measures Receive Names                       
Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark
Roque & Mark Real Estate
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Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP


Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica

 

By Jonathan Friedman
Associate Editor

August 23, 2016 -- Four of the local measures that will appear on the Santa Monica ballot in November have received their official names from the County.

The LUVE initiative, which seeks to make voter approval a requirement for a significant number of development projects and planning documents, is Measure LV.

A proposal for a half-cent City sales tax is Measure GSH. The accompanying proposal that recommends the tax revenue be split evenly on the City’s affordable housing program and the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District is Measure GS.

An update of the City’s anti-corruption law, known as the Oaks Initiative, is Measure SM.

It appears Measure SM will be the least-controversial item on the ballot, despite it originating from an incident that was quite controversial

When the deadline to submit arguments for and against the measure passed recently, only supporters submitted one. But it is noteworthy that four of the five signatures attached to the argument are from people associated with the slow-growth movement.

The slow-growth signatures came from Mayor Tony Vazquez, Councilmember Sue Himmelrich, Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City co-Chair Diana Gordon and Mary Marlow, whose listed designation is chair of the Santa Monica Transparency Project.

Also signing the argument was Carmen Balber, executive director of Consumer Watchdog, which is based in Santa Monica but focuses on issues statewide.

The catalyst for updating the anti-corruption law, which aims to prevent City officials from benefitting by approving contracts and making other decisions as a government agent, was a report recommending doing so from legal and ethics consultant John Hueston ("Santa Monica Ethics Review Finds Lapses in Judgement," April 20, 2016).

He was hired in the wake of the Elizabeth Riel affair, in which an employee was fired under controversial circumstances before her first day on the job.

Hueston’s report determined Councilmember Pam O’Connor, a prime nemesis in the eyes of many slow-growthers, of taking actions that were not “mindful” of the anti-corruption law, although it stopped short of accusing her of violating it (“Santa Monica Ethics Review Finds Lapses in Judgement,” April 20, 2016).

Many of the proposed changes to the law are technical.

The details that sparked the most debate among council members and local activists during the many lengthy and debate-filled sessions in which the measure was drafted were removed before it was finalized.


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