CITY HALL — City Council’s meeting scheduled for today has been called off because at least three council members thought it was too soon to meet following Mayor Ken Genser’s death on Saturday.

Without a quorum of four members, City Hall rescheduled the meeting for Tuesday Jan. 19.

City Councilwoman Gleam Davis said she notified City Hall she would not be attending the meeting out of respect for the mayor.

“It’s just too soon … and I suspect a lot of other people in the city were still coming to grips with our terrible loss,” she said.

Councilman Bob Holbrook said Mayor Genser “was all about taking care of city business” and would have wanted the council to go ahead with its meeting. But he said he understood his colleagues’ decision to postpone the meeting.

“It would not have been an easy night for anyone,” he said.

Genser, who had served on the council since 1988, last attended a meeting Oct. 27 and for the past 10 weeks had been hospitalized. No cause of death has been announced, but friends said he had recently had pneumonia and entered the hospital after experiencing severe back pain and shortness of breath.

In coming weeks the council will have to fill Genser’s seat either by appointing a replacement or by holding a special election. City Attorney Marsha Moutrie said the city charter stipulates that the council has 30 days to make the appointment after declaring the seat vacant. If no appointment is made in that time frame, a special election would be triggered. A majority council vote is required to fill a council vacancy.

On the council’s agenda for the postponed meeting was a proposed agreement between City Hall and the Broad Foundations, which is considering building an art museum next to the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium worth at least $40 million.

City Councilman Bobby Shriver, who has raised questions about the proposed museum deal, will not be present on Jan. 19, so the item has been moved to the next regular meeting on Jan. 26.

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