• Name: Terence Later
• Age: 59
• Occupation: Entertainment consultant
• Neighborhood in which you live: Pico Neighborhood
• Own or rent: Rent
• Marital status/kids: Single
• Obama or Romney: Yes
• Education: Where did you attend and what degrees do you have?
I am a product of Santa Monica schools: Will Rogers Elementary, Pilgrim Lutheran Elementary, John Adams Jr. High, Lincoln Jr. High, Samohi, Olympic High, SMC, and UCLA.
• Why are you running for City Council, what makes you qualified to lead, and what role do you see yourself playing on the dais if elected?
Why? I was born and raised in SM and I love this city. What? I’ve been active in many neighborhood organizations on a grass roots level and now it’s time to step up to a larger stage. What? I see myself as the protector of the cultural heritage of my beloved city.
• What are Santa Monica’s three major strengths and weaknesses? What will you do to ensure the strengths remain and the weaknesses contained?
1) We have a larger budget than almost any other city of our size, over $500 million annually.
2) The beauty of our world-famous seaside community.
3) The caring people that are the backbone of our city, especially the wealth of wisdom contained in our senior community.
1) The mismanagement of the city budget.
2) The disrespect to the city’s cultural heritage. Examples: The ban of our 57-year tradition of holiday displays in Palisades Park; the threatened removal of Chez Jay; the pepper spraying of the SMC students; and the shooting of the mountain lion within the city limits.
3) The challenges of the rampant developers seeking a piece of our fair city for their own self-centered purposes.
• Homelessness continues to be a significant concern of many residents and business owners. How would you rate City Hall’s response over the last four years, what will you advocate for and does that mean more or less funding?
During Bobby Shriver’s tenure this challenging issue has been addressed head on and I would continue on the course he has set. The city of Santa Monica currently has more services per capita for the disenfranchised than Los Angeles County.
• Where do you stand on the City Council’s decision to increase the campaign contribution limit from $250 to $325?
I agreed with the well-funded city staff’s study and recommendation of $400.
• Will you sponsor a local law banning smoking within multi-family residential units, i.e. condos and apartments? If not, what would you support?
It’s sad that government has to dictate with laws what should be the result of common sense and human decency. However, no person’s health or safety should be threatened by another’s behavior.
• If elected, would you allow medical marijuana dispensaries to set up shop in Santa Monica?
I believe that any one with a legitimate need should have access to medical marijuana. Surrounding communities provide that access. This “cracking down” is a federal mandated issue that Santa Monica need not address.
• What policies will you support that will enable Santa Monica to deal with the increased competition for resources and the need to be sustainable, particularly when it comes to water and power consumption/generation?
My first priority is what enriches the 89,000 citizens of Santa Monica and their experience in living and being educated here. Slow growth and responsible development.
Organic gardening, yoga with Steve Ross and Ish Moran, hiking and walking in our beautiful city and on our beaches.
• What are you reading?
SMDP, SM Mirror, The Observer, all manner of spiritual literature including, but not limited to, Shakespeare and “The Book of Five Rings.”
• The loss of redevelopment agency funds dealt a serious blow to the City Council’s ambitious plans for the Civic Center, Samohi, and the park in front of City Hall, among other projects. If elected, what projects would you prioritize and how would you finance them?
The city’s budget is in excess of $500 million; $247 million covers all city workers, paychecks and pensions. I believe, with Bobby Shriver, that proper management of the remaining funds should be adequate to make the necessary changes to our community. I would begin with Samohi, because education is the foundation of our future. The Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, another cultural icon, is second on my list.
• City Hall already provides the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District with millions in exchange for access to campuses, mainly athletic fields. Do you believe this deal is good for the city, or should it be revisited and modified? If so, in what ways?
This is already a good deal for the city. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.
• If you could ride the Ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Pier with three people in history, who would they be and what would you want to talk about?
Buddha, John Lennon and Bob Marley.
• Where do you stand on the Santa Monica Airport?
Upwind (just kidding). Santa Monica airport is an invaluable backup safety resource for any number of possible local or national emergencies. Let’s preserve this very special local feature.
• Community benefits as part of development agreements: what is your definition of a benefit? When should the City Council demand benefits and to what degree? And should some be part of a checklist that developers can choose from, or should the council always have complete control in negotiations with developers?
As stated, my first priority is what enriches the 89,000 citizens of Santa Monica and their experience in living and being educated here.
• What is your definition of overdevelopment and what is your plan to prevent it?
I see Santa Monica as a precious small community and would like to keep it that way.
• The sputtering economy and the rise in pension contribution costs have forced some cities to file for bankruptcy. Santa Monica is doing better than most, but if nothing is done to trim costs, deficits will become reality. What’s your plan for controlling public employee pension costs?
Deficits are already a reality. I believe the pensions now existing were negotiated during a period of over-inflated abundance and that they should be re-evaluated with present and future considerations in mind. As citizens we are all tightening our belts. City worker pensioners need to participate in this new financial reality.
• How do you get across town during rush hour? Any tips or shortcuts?
Bicycle, on foot, or Internet. Everything becomes a short cut.
• What should City Hall’s role be when it comes to the creation of affordable housing?
We are far ahead of the nation’s curve on affordable housing. I believe we should focus our affordable housing based on the needs of Santa Monica residents.