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Santa Monica Firefighter Plans City Council Bid
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Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica


By Jonathan Friedman
Associate Editor

June 3, 2016 -- The Santa Monica City Council race is just starting to heat up, and the contest for four seats could include a seven-year veteran of the local fire department.

Firefighter Dominick Bei said he has formed an exploratory committee and intends to run for office. Whether he can serve on the council and continue his role as a City employee is unclear.

The City Charter does not say employees are prohibited from being on the council. City Clerk Denise Anderson-Warren told The Lookout in an email that one cannot be a Santa Monica employee and a council member.

“If he were successful to win a council seat, then he would have to resign from one of the positions,” wrote Anderson-Warren, who specified she did not know Bei or whether he worked for the City.

Bei said his committee had contacted City Attorney Marsha Moutrie about this issue and was waiting to hear back.

“We feel the law is clear [that I can be on the council and work as a Santa Monica firefighter],” Bei told The Lookout.

Bei moved back to Santa Monica in January after living briefly in Marina del Rey. He said he had left Santa Monica after a significant rent increase.

“As a renter whose rent was drastically raised and forced out of the city, I understand the challenges of rent increases and stability for renters,” Bei said.

He continued, “A huge point of my campaign will be to work with the people that rent here and keep them here while allowing our workforce to live here and contribute to this community as our neighbors."

He declined to name his major supporters, but said he would release names of his committee members when his campaign officially launches.

“There are many people that I have come to respect and admire greatly in this city, and I am excited to have some of them in my corner,” Bei said.

Regarding specific policy opinions, Bei said he would share most of those after the campaign launches.

In response to The Lookout’s question about the LUVE Initiative that would place a significant number of development issues in the hands of the voters and will appear on the November ballot, Bei said he supported the “spirit of the initiative,” but opposed it.

“I think there’s valid concerns to make sure that development doesn’t outpace our city's infrastructure,” Bei said. “As it stands, LUVE has a strict height requirement of 32 feet. That needs some revision."

He continued, "I believe in [LUVE's] spirit and the residents behind it, and most importantly having community input. And that’s something I will incorporate into my campaign."

Bei added that he has a good grasp of the important issues in Santa Monica, especially those pertaining to public safety.

“By building relationships and bridging the gap between policy and what is happening on the street, I believe I can make a positive impact and add to this great community that already exists, and most importantly keep our residents and visitors safe," he said.

Bei is the third person to announce an intention to run for council. The others are incumbents Gleam Davis and Ted Winterer.

Mayor Tony Vazquez and Councilmember Terry O’Day are also up for re-election. They have not said whether they plan to run.

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