City Council was busy last week.
Aside from a budget meeting that drew boos for council’s decision to cut funding for a nonprofit organization, a Planning Commission appointment process that caused one council member to storm off the dais, and the adoption of a planning document that will dictate land-uses throughout the city for years to come, council appointed dozens of other commissioners, held a public hearing on the creation of property-based assessment districts Downtown and weighed in on proposed state legislature.
A significant majority of the appointments that were made early Wednesday morning were for incumbents but there were a handful of changes.
David Goddard, former chair of the Airport Commission and fierce opponent of the Santa Monica Airport, did not seek reappointment and was replaced by Joe Schmitz.
Notably, Schmitz was an Air Force Pilot with more than 7,000 hours in the air, according to his application.
Aviation advocates have knocked the five-member commission in the past for being absent of pilots. Additionally, they claim the commission is biased in its opposition to the existence of the airport.
“I hope to play a role in bringing people who have very different interests and desires to workable compromises that would benefit the entire community,” Schmitz said in his application.
Noting an incomplete ethics report and poor attendance record, council opted not to reappoint Denise Neal to the Disabilities Commission.
Kathryn Kosmeya-Dodge, who has been in a wheelchair for two decades according to her application, was appointed instead.
Craig Hamilton was selected to replace Kevin Daly, who stepped down from the Architectural Review Board earlier this year.
Anjuli Rachel Kronheim Katz, who sat through council’s marathon meeting for a chance to make a case for her appointment, beat out former City Council candidate Nick Boles for a seat on the Housing Commission. Boles, who was not in attendance, was supported, initially, by Councilmembers Terry O’Day and Pam O’Connor.
“The Santa Monica Housing Commission could play a key role in moving more policies forward to support expanded access to affordable housing and alleviate pressure on folks that want to live in Santa Monica but are on the lower end of the socio-economic ladder,” said Katz in her application. “I think the Housing Commission could start thinking creatively about some possible solutions, especially with its current focus on getting expert and community input to create the next generation of affordable housing policy in Santa Monica.”
Lincoln and Colorado districts
Council closed the public hearing and ballot submission period for the creation of a property-based assessment district on Lincoln Boulevard and an overlay zone on Colorado Avenue.
The City Clerk is still tabulating votes and expects to have the preliminary soon.
Property owners voted on the districts and if they’re approved, they’ll pay into a large fund that will finance improvements to the area.
AB 428 and SB 704
Council voted unanimously to support California Assembly Bill 428, which would allow residents required to perform seismic retrofitting of their homes to do receive a tax credit. Additionally, it voted 6 to 1 to amend California Senate Bill 704 so that it could allow members of an Architectural Review Board to recuse themselves when voting on a project that presents a conflict of interest, rather then being required to step down from the board.