Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

Home Special Reports Archive Links The City Commerce About Contacts Editor Send PR

July -- Surprise Political Moves and an Old Deed Rears Up

Bob Kronovetrealty
We Love Property Management Headaches!

Santa Monica 2022  Holidays Discounted Hotel Rooms

Santa Monica Apartments

Santa Monica College
1900 Pico Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 434-4000


By Lookout Staff

December 28, 2022 -- In July, local measures crowd the ballot, including rival transfer taxes; a 134-year-old deed can cause an oceanfront property to change hands. and a Councilmember makes waves while another bows out.

On July 1, the minimum wage increases by nearly a dollar to $15.96 an hour for all employees physically working in Santa Monica for at least two hours a week ("Santa Monica Minimum Wage Rises to $15.96," June 30, 2022).

The City is set to receive $16.3 million in State funding for three projects, with another $1.5 million from the Federal Government likely to follow ("Nearly $18 Million in Government Funding Earmarked for Santa Monica," July 6, 2022) .

The State funding -- part of the $308 billion budget -- includes $10 million to help modernize the City yards and $4.8 million to improve a stretch of Lincoln Boulevard.

The Council votes to determine if an old handwritten deed -- authorized on March 3, 1888 by Santa Monica benefactress Arcadia Bandini -- is valid ("Council Votes to Fund Title Search for 1888 Deed to Veterans," July 7, 2022).

If it is, the future of the City-run parking lot next door to the exclusive Jonathan Club would belong to the Federal Government to be used for war veterans.

The City Council is required to place Mayor Sue Himmelrich's real estate transfer tax measure on the November ballot after it receives the required number of voter signatures ("City Council to Place Mayor's Tax Measure on Ballot," July 8, 2022).

Downtown officials announce that Andrew Thomas -- who for a decade was charged with ensuring Santa Monica's Downtown was a clean and inviting place -- is returning to head the agency that runs the city's central business district ("Andrew Thomas Returns to Head Downtown Santa Monica," July 11, 2022).

Starbucks announces it will shut down its store near the foot of the Santa Monica Pier by month's end because it is no longer safe to operate ("Starbucks to Shut Down Store Near Pier Due to Safety Concerns," July 12, 2022).

The store is one of 16 that Starbucks will shut down nationwide, 12 of them in California and Washington, due to drug use, thefts and assaults by customers and members of the public.

Rent Board Commissioner Naomi Sultan unexpectedly announces her resignation less than four months before she is slated to run for re-election and hours after the board appoints a new member ("Rent Board Member Resigns Shortly After Another is Sworn In," July 15, 2022).

The U.S. Justice Department announces that a pain specialist with an office in Santa Monica has agreed to pay more than a quarter million dollars to settle a federal case alleging he took kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies ("Santa Monica Pain Specialist Settles Case Alleging Pharma Kickbacks," July 19, 2022).

A former Navy SEAL faces a minimum sentence of 15 years to life in prison for the 2016 murder of a Santa Monica man after a verbal altercation near the Pier ("Former Navy SEAL Faces Life in Prison for Santa Monica Murder," July 19, 2022).

Under a settlement agreement with the City, Councilmember Oscar de la Torre is free to participate in meetings, deliberations and decisions concerning the voting rights lawsuit his wife and the organization he headed filed against the City (" De la Torre Free to Take Part in Voting Rights Lawsuit Decisions," July 20, 2022).

An unprecedented event takes place in the City Council chambers: A meeting is stopped so Councilmembers can pose for a picture with a proposed development and its architect, Frank Gehry ("Council Gushes Over Gehry's Ocean Avenue Project," July 21, 2022).

Councilmember Kristin McCowan, who rose from being a relative unknown to become a promising star on the local political scene, announces she will not seek re-election in November ("McCowan Won't Seek Re-Election," July 22, 2022).

McCowan's departure leaves only one incumbent -- Lana Negrete -- in the the race for three open Council seats after Mayor Sue Himmelrich has long indicated she would not seek a third four-year term.

Santa Monica voters will face an alphabet soup of measures on the November ballot -- from rival transfer taxes to a cannabis tax and Charter Amendment to change qualifications to the Personnel Board ("Local Measures Crowd November Ballot," July 27, 2022).

The Council places those four measures on a ballot that already includes a college bond measure and a hotel bed tax.

A plan by Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights (SMMR) to lower the annual rent increase at the ballot box is torpedoed at the final hour by Councilmember Lana Negrete early Wednesday morning ("Last Minute Rent Proposal Triggers Political Firestorm," July 28, 2022).

With the Council poised to vote to place SMRR's proposal to decrease the annual rent adjustment from 6 to 3 percent on the November ballot, Negrete floated a radically different plan that had been leaked shortly before the meeting, causing consternation among tenant leaders.

Negrete's move would help make her the target of the hardest hitting negative campaign in recent Santa Monica history.

Back to Lookout News copyrightCopyright 1999-2023 All Rights Reserved. EMAIL Disclosures