• Name: Robert Kronovet
• Age: 55
• Occupation: Real estate broker, TV and film DP/director
• Neighborhood in which you live: Sunset Park
• Own or rent: Own
• Marital status/kids: Married/three kids, all Samohi grads
• Obama or Romney: Romney, because the current unemployment numbers are unacceptable
• Education: Where did you attend and what degrees do you have? B.S., Ohio University
• Why are you running for the Rent Control Board and what would you like to accomplish if elected?
To promote better policy. Over the last four years as your Rent Control Board commissioner I have promoted a superior level of performance, now it’s time to step it up. When re-elected I pledge to make our parking problems my priority. We will introduce the following: All Preferential Parking Zone stickers that allow you access to on-street parking throughout the city, as well as discount parking in all municipal parking and beach lots throughout Santa Monica.
• What is your definition of a “fair return” for landlords and do you believe the current formula for calculating annual rent increases or adjustments provides a fair return?
No. The current formula is junk science designed to frustrate our housing providers and cripple tenants. A fair return is based on a 100 percent of CPI, just like the annual salary increases Santa Monica city employees receive every year.
• Should the annual rent adjustment or increase be based on real costs (such as registration fees, bonds, parcel taxes) and the consumer price index or on a percentage of CPI as has been proposed by the current board?
The annual rent adjustment should be based on 100 percent of CPI. This will save us staff expense and allow a mature, predictable rent increase.
Golf, skiing, traveling, motorcycles, cooking
• Should rent control be based on a person’s income instead of length of tenancy? If so, do you think that will ever happen or is rent control pretty much set in stone?
Yes, but every time I have proposed an income threshold it has died due to receiving no second from my colleagues. Rent control is currently part of the City Charter. It can only be unlocked by a vote of the people, or outlawed on the state level or found un-constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.
• As more apartments are rented at market rate, is the board’s role being diminished?
Yes, of course. The board’s purpose must be to provide true resident benefit programs. Currently the rent board mostly provides 25 staff jobs and a fortune in retiree benefits.
• What is your plan to trim the Rent Control Board’s budget? The board recently approved a budget that is over $360,000 in the red.
1) Fire the lobbies in Sacramento.
2) Stop fighting and losing un-winnable court cases.
3) Tie the annual CPI at 100 percent level to rent increases, thereby saving a least one to two staff positions.
4) Enact a hiring freeze.
• What is a fair amount landlords should be able to ask for when collecting a security deposit?
Per state law: Unfurnished rentals have a set limit that cannot exceed two months worth of rent. Furnished property allows up to three months rent as security deposit
• What are you reading?
The autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.
• There are stories of wealthy people holding onto their rent-controlled apartments in Santa Monica so they can use them as summer houses when they actually live in another city or state. How often should a person be sleeping at their rent-controlled apartment to maintain it? Should these tenants be evicted?
Simple: If it is not their primary residence they should either pay market rate or move.
• 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?
John Adams; private property rights and freedoms we hold sacred. Nehemiah, the man who jumped in to see if it was safe for Moses and the Jewish people to enter the splitting of the sea; summoning courage. My great grandfather Samuel Kronovet; about coming to America as a child in 1875 and the hopes and dreams he and his wife Sara had for their new life and those of their future children.
• The Rent Control Board must give its approval for the owner of the Village Trailer Park to close up shop and build a mixed-use housing development. Will you vote in favor of closure or not?
Yes, I’m in favor of closure. It is a fair deal for those tenants being displaced, due to the new housing they will move into and the cash relocation payments they will receive. The development should be small in nature and not impact traffic, parking or adversely affect the quality of life of the neighborhood.