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Council Appoints Neighborhood Activist to Santa Monica Financial Oversight Panel


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By Jonathan Friedman
Associate Editor

June 16, 2017 -- Earlier this year Santa Monica neighborhood activists complained they didn’t have a representative on the Audit Subcommittee, charged with overseeing audits of the municipal budget.

Now they have one.

On Tuesday, the City Council appointed Elizabeth Van Denburgh, board member and treasurer for the Wilshire Montana Neighborhood Coalition (Wilmont), to the subcommittee.

The vote for Van Denburgh was 4-2, with the dissenters Councilmembers Terry O’Day and Gleam Davis favoring business owner Greg Morena.

Van Denburgh has an MBA and is an inactive qualified California CPA, according to her application.

“[My goal is] to assist the City and its residents in obtaining a clear picture of its financial picture currently and how to continuously improve processes, staff capabilities, data, systems and reporting and implementation of relative recommendations,” she wrote in the application.

Van Deburgh joins a subcommittee consisting of Councilmembers Tony Vazquez, Pam O'Connor and Sue Himmelrich as well as local accountant Frances Ellington.

The Audit Subcommittee was created two years ago in an effort to add transparency to the City’s financial practices (“Santa Monica City Council Approves Audit Subcommittee for Budget,” July 30, 2015) .

It had gone mostly unnoticed since then until earlier this year when neighborhood activists began attending the meetings and calling for representation (“Audit Subcommittee Meant to Ease Public Distrust of Santa Monica City Hall Faces New Challenge,” March 29, 2017).

They also have called for the panel to be expanded. That has not happened. Van Deburgh's appointment was to fill a vacancy.


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