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New Council to Be Seated, Mayor Picked Tuesday

Bob Kronovetrealty
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Santa Monica

Santa Monica Apartments

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By Lookout Staff

December 3, 2020 -- The City Council on Tuesday will accept the official results for the November 3 election before three new Council members and two incumbents are sworn in and a new mayor elected.

The newly seated Council is then expected to elect Sue Himmelrich, a slow-growth advocate who was first elected in 2014, as Santa Monica's new mayor.

The certified canvass of votes shows Arts Commissioner Phil Brock finished first with 19,319 votes, followed by incumbent Gleam Davis, who has served on the Council since first being appointed in 2009, with 18,153 votes.

Christine Parra, who heads emergency services for Culver City, finished third with 18,031, while School Board member Oscar de la Torre took the last of the four open full-term seats with 17,570 votes.

Three incumbents failed to hold on their seats, as many as have lost re-election in the past 26 years ("Santa Monica Voters Usher in New Era," November 6, 2020).

Terry O'Day, who has served on the Council since first being appointed in 2010, finished fifth with 16,364 votes, followed by Ted Winterer, who was first elected in 2012, with 16,005.

Ana Jara, who was appointed to the Council in 2019, finished seventh with 15,187 votes.

Kristin McCowan, who earlier this year became the fourth current member first appointed to the Council, won an uncontested race for a two-year seat with 32,440 votes.

Measure SM, which boosts Santa Monica's "luxury" real estate tax to help fund municipal services, easily won with 36,465 votes in favor, or 72 percent, and 14,268 against, or 28.12 percent.

The measure is anticipated to generate $3 million in new revenue in Fiscal Year 2021-22 that will be appropriated into the Fiscal Year 2021-23 Biennial Budget's general fund.

Measure AB, which would amend the City Charter to help diversify the municipal workforce, won with 27,768 votes in favor, or 60 percent, and 18,371 against. Both measures needed a simple majority to win.

The Council on Tuesday also will accept the official results in the races for the School, College and Rent Control boards.

Unlike the Council, which saw three of the four incumbents swept from office, all seven incumbents running were re-elected in the three board races.

In the race for three School Board seats, Chair Jon Kean was re-elected to a second four-year term with 23,623 votes, followed by Maria-Leon Vazquez, who was re-elected to a recond sixth term with 22,430 votes.

Jen Smith -- a former PTA Council President -- finished third in the race for three open seats with 21,299 votes. She will replace School Board member Ralph Mechur, who did not seek reelection after first being appointed to the board in 2007.

Jason Feldman finished a distant fourth with 14,078 votes, followed by Keith Coleman with 13,682 votes.

The two challengers are expected to seek appointment to the seat vacated by de la Torre when he assumes his Council seat.

De la Torre has expressed his preference for Feldman, a fellow member of the Santa Monicans for Change slate ("De la Torre Pushes for "Change" Candidate to Fill His Vacant Seat," November 16, 2020).

The incumbents in the race for two open Rent Board Board seats -- Caroline Torosis and Anastasia Foster -- easily won re-election with 26,555 and 25,429 respectively.

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