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Council member O'Day Recovering from Surgery; Could Cast Deciding Vote on Civic Funding Thursday  

By Gene Williams
Lookout Staff

May 26, 2011 -- The City Council was short one member on the dais Tuesday evening, as Council member Terry O’Day followed the proceedings from home while recovering from emergency surgery to remove an inflamed appendix.

The council member hopes to return to the dais Thursday in time for a crucial vote on the allocation of Redevelopment Agency (RDA) funds to pay for renovation of the Civic Auditorium, he told The Lookout Wednesday.

With the six other councilmembers appearing to be fairly evenly split on the question, it is possible that O’Day could cast the deciding vote.

While a staff report in March pegged the cost of the remodel at $25 million, staff now say the Civic Auditorium project will cost the RDA closer to $47 million.

O’Day said he is “not inclined” to support raising the RDA allocation, but he’s going to come to the meeting with an open mind.

“I have a lot of questions,” O’Day told The Lookout.

O’Day’s medical emergency began Monday morning when he checked into an urgent care facility. He was feeling ill but thought it was nothing to be too worried about.

“I thought I had a flu I couldn’t get rid of,” O’Day said.

It turned out it was his appendix. There was some concern that it may have burst, but fortunately it hadn’t, he said.

Doctors at St. John’s Hospital had him in surgery by 11 that morning and “out just before dinner,” the council member said.

O’Day is now resting at home.

The surgery took place one day before the council was set to kick off three days of meetings including an extensive review of the proposed 2011-2013 City budget, as well as RDA allocations totaling some $147 million.

As O’Day completed his first full day of recovery Tuesday evening, the council passed nearly $100 million in RDA allocations for a projects including the Palisades Garden Walk Park, the Pico Library, the Colorado Esplanade and a down payment on a joint-use agreement with the school district that will refurbish Santa Monica High School gyms and athletic fields. ("Council Allocates $100 Million in RDA Funds, Hits Impasse on Civic Auditorium," May 26,2011)

But after lengthy discussion, the council couldn’t seem to come to consensus over the Civic Auditorium project and decided to hold off on a vote until Thursday.

It appears that some council members, who might have initially supported the plan, are now thinking twice about it.

O’Day said he watched some of Tuesday’s council meeting at home via video.

“I hope I’ll be ready to talk with the council Thursday,” O’Day told The Lookout, adding that he might not be able to stay for the whole evening but wants to be there for the RDA discussion.


“I have a lot of questions.” Terry O’Day

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