The Lookout Letter to the editor
Speak Out! Send Letters to

Include Change Slate Member in New Council Leadership

January 11, 2021

Dear Editor,

I am writing to express my hope that the re-selection of the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem scheduled for January 12 will result in a member of the residents’ slate being included in the Council leadership.

This will be a nod to the wishes of the residents who had voted out the three incumbents last November.

During the December 8, 2020 selection I could not help but think that it was highly inappropriate of the newly selected Mayor Himmelrich to cast the deciding vote for Mayor Pro Tem for Council Member McCowan, rather than a member of the slate.

It was a snub that I had not expected from Council Member Himmelrich.
For six years she had been the outsider on the Council, the lone supporter of slow growth for our City.

I heard many residents empathize with her for having no support on the Council to be able to represent the interests of Santa Monicans instead of the developers. I heard many residents justify some of her votes by saying that she had to “play the game” with the majority of the previous Council.

Unfortunately, on December 8, Council Member Himmelrich disappointed me. After the three residents’ slate members were sworn in, and ready to participate in the selection of the leadership, she did not select any of them when voting for the Mayor Pro Tem.

Instead of acknowledging that the residents had expressed their desire for change, Council Member Himmelrich turned her back on the slow growth slate and selected the recently appointed Council Member McCowan instead.

It appears that Council Member McCowan is on a fast track to a political career outside Santa Monica, and is using this City, from which she was gone for many years, to build up her political resume.

Council Member McCowan’s loyalties seem to lie with the developers. She has voted for the Miramar project and for the Plaza twice -- including after Santa Monicans for a Livable City (SMCLC) sued the Council over the approval of the project.

Why would Council Member Himmelrich choose to align herself with Council Member McCowan, rather than a member of the residents’ slate?

Is there some kind of a deal between Council Member Himmelrich and Council Member McCowan? Is that why Council Member McCowan was promoting herself along with Council Member Himmelrich for the leadership positions so feverishly that she violated the Brown Act in the process?

There is a mandate to share the Council leadership positions with a member of the residents’ slate.

I am counting on the Council to get the selection of the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem right this time. The residents/voters are watching.

Shannon Yoshikawa,
Santa Monica

Lookout Logo footer image Copyright 1999-2021 All Rights Reserved.