Editor’s note: Santa Monicans have critical decisions to make come November when they will be asked to cast votes for candidates running for the City Council, SMMUSD school board, the Santa Monica College Board of Trustees and the Rent Control Board. To help make those decisions easier, the Daily Press created a questionnaire that asks candidates to give their opinions on key issues affecting the city by the sea. Here they are, published in the order in which candidates will appear on the Nov. 2 ballot.
• Name: Terence Later
• Age: [Declined to state]
• Occupation: Entertainment consultant/producer
• Marital status/children: Pending
• Your neighborhood? How long have you lived there?: Dogtown. All my life.
• Your mode of transportation/model, make and year of your ride?: I have many, my favorite being my ‘74 bio-diesel Beemer and my Haro bike.
• Own or rent?: Rent
• Do you support Measure Y, the half-cent sales tax increase? If so, do you think half of the money generated by the increase should go to local public schools?
No. I stand with Mayor Shriver’s belief that a better budget from the City Council would relieve the need to once again raise taxes on our citizens.
• What are you reading?
“The Complete Letters of Vincent Van Gogh,” “The Book of Five Rings,” “Ethics for the New Millennium,” “The Art of Seduction,” The Santa Monica Mirror, and saving the best for last, the Santa Monica Daily Press.
• Do you believe there is enough parking Downtown? If not, what do you plan to do about it?
No, I don’t believe there is enough parking Downtown. First of all, I would make parking free to all residents. At the freeway off-ramps to the city I would build a park and ride transit system much like Disneyland.
• Now that the Broad museum is out of play, what should City Hall do with the Civic Center parking lot?
Build underground parking and more green area above ground.
• When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
At the age of 11, I was on the road with Jimi Hendrix, so with him and others as mentors I knew the sky’s the limit. I had a very tough childhood living on the mean streets of Santa Monica so all I dreamed to be was mayor of this fine city.
• Local businesses provide the majority of the city’s general fund revenues, yet Santa Monica has a reputation for being a difficult place to do business. How would you entice more businesses, different businesses, to open up shop? How can City Hall help those businesses that are struggling in the current economy?
I would make independent businesses and local-owned businesses a priority. I would also streamline the permitting process. [I would help] businesses by not adding to the already burdensome taxes and fees.
• L.A. recently greatly reduced patients’ access to medical marijuana. Do you support medical marijuana dispensaries in Santa Monica?
I am an advocate for decriminalization.
• Should smoking be banned within apartments?
Any and all cigarette or drug smoke should not be an inconvenience or a danger to residents or their children.
• What would you do to make Santa Monica more bike friendly?
My dear friend Roger Gunson was an advocate in the early ‘70s for turning the former railroad tracks that connected Downtown L.A. to Santa Monica into a bike path. My Samohi school chum and current Park and Recreation Commissioner Phil Brock has picked up the torch and I stand behind him.
• What’s the biggest threat facing the quality of life in Santa Monica?
With no term limits the current City Council, with the exception of two members, continue to red line the city’s budget then turn to the residents with more bond issues and taxes.
• Downtown properties owned by City Hall. Should parking be the top priority or should housing come first?
I believe the city should not be in the real estate business. All properties currently owned should be greened, or sold with the money placed in trust for our schools, children, and future resident-voted projects.
• Do you support the closure of Santa Monica Airport in 2015? If so, what would you like to replace it with and how would you make up for the loss in revenue generated by airport operations, lease agreements?
No, I don’t. In the event of a natural disaster or, heaven forbid, a terrorist attack the historic Santa Monica Airport could be a transport area to bring first responders in and to transport necessary medical assistance needed.
• Do you believe in pension reform and should Santa Monica employees contribute more toward their healthcare and retirement benefits?
Yes. I believe also that city employees other than first responders make concessions in their pensions. I believe the fire and police departments should always be separated from City Hall desk jobs.
• When it comes to getting public benefits from developers, what should be the top priority: affordable housing, public art, cash money, bike lanes or carpooling?
Cash money, bike lanes, and carpooling. The city in the past has a poor track record in collecting from developers. Mismanagement needs to stop.
• Would you support placing a limit on the amount of time council members can speak on a particular item during meetings?
I believe in Mayor Shriver’s family-friendly timing plan for business before the city.
• When was the last time you rode a bike or took Big Blue Bus?
I encourage those I work with to bike or bus to any of our projects. I enjoy a good ride on either daily.
• Does the housing-first model work for addressing the homeless issue or should we focus on building more emergency shelters to get people off the streets immediately?
Once again Mayor Shriver has been exemplary in working with the V.A. for housing the homeless vets. I believe in the hand-up programs coupled with enforcement.
• Free form: What’s putting a burr under your saddle?
The constant waste and mismanagement of resources in our city, to the point we haven’t set aside a rainy day fund for our schools. We are a city with an annual budget of over a half a billion dollars yet our students have to turn to selling lemonade and candy outside our grocery stores and on street corners to save their arts and recreation programs. It’s a travesty.