CURIOUS CITY — ANGER IS RISING IN SANTA MONICA WITH ELECTION DAY LESS THAN A WEEK AWAY. Not entirely happy with Santa Monica now? Nervous about what the coming election results will bring? Fearful of the future? Let’s flash forward six years and see what Election year 2020 might bring.
Protesters are picketing City Hall, bearing signs reading, “I Can’t See the Palm Trees!” “Buy My Car – I Can’t Use it!” “Is Common Sense Illegal Now?”
But the protesters are, after all, that ever-shrinking small vocal minority, easily dismissed. They will vote in this 2020 election, but will be far outnumbered by all the brand spanking new young Santa Monicans, excited to have in hand their official City Council move-in certificates from their oh-so-affordable micro-studio apartments that entitle them, when affixed with an “I Voted” sticker, to a free Starbucks.
The new zoning code mandates a Starbucks within 50 yards of every polling place. There are now more than 300 Starbucks in Santa Monica, finally outnumbering City Council candidates. Though only three of them still serve coffee. (Jerry Rubin has to have somewhere to go, in between council races.)
Last reelected in 2014, Super Mayor Pam O’Connor is expected to easily win another six-year term. Shortly after her 2014 reelection, the Council, behind closed doors, in a back room, down an alley, under cover of darkness, concocted an ordinance awarding the title of Super Mayor and six-year terms to any mayor who could perform a superhuman feat, like, say, diverting a big ol’ train onto a busy boulevard just crying for thousands more apartments and condos, which she performed handily nearly a decade ago.
Remember all the silly election issues we had back in 2014? Ah, nostalgia. Then-Council member Kevin McKeown actually proposed banning 20-story hotels on Ocean Avenue, when there were only two planned. What a hoot that was! What a kidder, Kevin!
Who gives a second thought now to the 21-story Gehry corkscrew or the 21-story Miramar, when we’re awaiting the magnificence of our own 44-story Trump Tower on Ocean Ave, with ground breaking soon on six more skyscraping hotels there with that fantastic ocean/ocean-blocking view.
Remember how Koolhaas and the gang over at our city property at Arizona/4th-5th complained they wouldn’t be able to see the water now from their 12th story bar/Astroturf yoga mat, and have now applied to double their height? That should work.
The Boles-Luskin-O’Connor-Gruber-McKinnon (BLOGM) What’s Next Party solidified their political overlord status by kicking SMRRidocracy (a desperate consolidation, bought and paid for by Sue Himmelrich – remember her? – that never had a firm chance) to the curb, across the bike lane, by winning every office in the previous election, and implementing unprecedented bike transportation programs (by that terrific Austrian consulting firm), clearing the way for buildings of unlimited height and mass, since no one is driving in Santa Monica anymore. Autos were banned in 2019, when it became impossible to get out of your driveway.
The vote for the former airport area to secede from Santa Monica is a foregone conclusion; twice as many voters reside there as in the rest of the city. It will literally divide us in half, but look at it this way: it will be handy not to have to go all the way to Anaheim to visit a Disney theme park. And those casinos…
Slightly second thoughts (for 2014)
Back to the present now, I’d like to revisit a couple of recommendations made last week.
I have decided, in addition to my unwavering 100 percent enthusiastic backing of Phil Brock for City Council, that I am also voting for Kevin McKeown.
I will be strolling around town today, by newsstands and SMDP street racks, listening for the sound of some of my friends’ heads exploding.
I think he has made some damnable, but not quite unforgivable votes lately. I weigh that against his long years of being sometimes the only Council member who stood up on the right side of issues. He always communicates with citizens and that’s worth a lot. If we give McKeown allies on Council, I believe he’ll do the right thing more often than not and we’ll be glad he’s there. He deserves a little faith, and to be rewarded for all that he’s done right.
Someone pointed out I had a lot of SMRR candidates picked. I believe in the principles and issues upon which SMRR was founded, but today’s version looks barely related to its roots, is power mad and has done a lot of damage, with their willingness to build, build, build, in the name of “affordable housing,” a concept increasingly called into question. Too secretive, lost values, no longer serving tenants or the community as a whole. No more SMRR.
I also decry the political actions of the development (hotels) pushing UNITE HERE union, though I am a lifelong strong supporter of the union movement. Anytime you have a large group with money to give and bodies to lend, but with one issue above all others, the general citizenry usually suffers. So, with caveat, I still will vote for Maria Loya and Oscar de la Torre.
No on H/HH. Bobby Shriver, yes; “Don’t Be Kuehl.”
One last note, a shocker (for me): I will vote for a Republican for the first time in my life. Bradley Torgan. 50th Assembly District race. Seems like a decent fellow, a Log Cabin Republican out of West Hollywood. I will vote for anyone this side of Hannity running against Richard Bloom. Bloom epitomizes the overdevelopment path he helped set us on, and he smirks like George Bush. He must be sent packing.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.” – Calvin and Hobbes
Charles Andrews has lived in Santa Monica for almost 30 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. You can reach him at email@example.com