Editor:

Anna Sklar is not alone in her “frustration and anger with the present City Council’s blithe advancement of development” in Santa Monica (“Recall now,” Letters to the Editor, April 11).

As for what can we do to take our city back? A recall to elect a completely new City Council, that is not obligated to any special interests, “will not undo the harm already done,” but it will “protect the future of Santa Monica.” A recall to “throw the bums out” will happen. A recall will create a huge backlash against the council, level the playing field and pave the way for seven new council members to take a strong stand against rampant overdevelopment, conflict of interest and cronyism in Santa Monica.

Four current council members have been endorsed by developers even though three of them are members of Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR); now why would developers do that?

All but one current council member were put into office by SMRR; many of whom have been rewarded with plum positions on the city staff, along with other cronies and campaign contributors who have received city contracts and other favors. One such SMRR person was finally forced to resign his position as the head of a local nonprofit agency after blatantly doubling the contribution to his pension plan. One council member was promoted from a part-time position with the local school district to a position with a salary of $120,000.

I was the first City Council candidate to advocate a recall and those who are interested in supporting that effort need only go on Facebook and enter “Recall the Santa Monica Council” in the search window and they will be directed to the page I set up for that purpose.

I have run for City Council 13 times without the support of any special interests because I will only advocate for the interests of the residents. Other candidates advocate “slower” growth that will not exceed the Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE) height limit; I would abolish LUCE!

Those who tell me to not make waves and work within the system don’t understand that it is the system that is corrupt. Kevin McKeown, Tony Vasquez and Ted Winterer may be against the more outrageous overdevelopment, but they will never advocate any real change away from the incremental development provided by LUCE. All three are part of the SMRR machine that has ruled this city for far too long.

Of the non-SMRR candidates who finished slightly ahead of me in the 2012 election (and spent much more on their campaigns), at best they were for slightly slower growth, and none dared challenge the SMRR machine. They all believed they could be elected without upsetting the status quo in this city.

For over 20 years, I have challenged our city staff and government to implement a “Virtual Town Hall” on the city website so the residents of our beachside community could finally have a voice in decisions that have an impact on our lives, but the council is too driven by increasing revenues to limit their power and listen to what the people want.

 

Jonathan Mann

Santa Monica

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