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First Candidates Submit Applications to Fill Vacant City Council Seat
By Jorge Casuso
January 10, 2019 -- (UPDATED) A former Rent Control Board member and a newcomer to Santa Monica politics are the first candidates to apply for an empty seat on the City Council.
Robert Kronovet, who made history in 2008 when he became the first rent control opponent to sit on the City's Rent Board, and Troy Harris, a civic volunteer, submitted their applications Thursday morning.
No one applied on Wednesday, the first day the City Clerk began accepting applications.
By 5:30 p.m. Thursday, four other candidates had submitted applications. They were:
* Susan C Caruso, a former secretary for the Darien, Connecticut Fire Foundation, who has lived in Santa Monica for two years,
* Jonathan Mann, a 40 year residents who has made a record 13 bids for City Council,
* Jeff Mirkin, a television producer who has volunteered as a parent for Santa Monica schools, and
* Patrick Regan, a retired assistant director and production manager, who was active in school issues.
Candidates have until next Thursday at noon to apply for the seat vacated when Councilmember Tony Vazquez resigned after being elected to the State Board of Equalization.
A Realtor and and former chair of the Pico Improvement Organization (PIO), Kronovet said he brings "30 years of honest and even dealing with landlords, developers, elected officials, and tenants."
In his application Kronovet outlined an "action plan" to tackle three key issues -- homelessness, the lack of parking and the need to be more friendly to business.
Among his proposals is to "rebuild the civic center to a 4500-6000 seat sports arena and
Harris, who has lived in Santa Monica for five years,heads NOW Santa Monica, a community organization that sponsors "networking mixers and community building projects," and is a salesperson for UPS.
He said his goal is "to make positive changes to the status quo, allow for issues to be resolved fairly and serve the people in need," according to his application.
" I believe that a city thrives when its people are happy and healthy with access to tools to reach their goals," Harris wrote. "I want to help bring Santa Monica to be a top tier city to attract people to live, work and play."
The Council will vote to appoint an applicant at its meeting January 22. If no candidate wins the four votes necessary, the Council could re-open the application process and vote again on January 29 and, if need be, February 5.
Previous efforts to fill a vacant seat have drawn more than a dozen applicants, with the leading candidates often waiting until close to deadline before submitting.
The Council has 30 days to choose a new council member, otherwise voters would choose a replacement in a special election November 5.
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