Voters cast their ballots at City Hall during an election. (File photo)

Thankfully the results are in, there was a mild blue wave that took over the House, the Senate remains red and the Santa Monica City Council has at least one new face. I suppose that Pam O’Connor, who didn’t make the cut this election, could be appointed to fill the seat to be emptied by soon to be State Equalization Board Member Vazquez. I would hope that the council would be more creative than that though. It seems to me that Ms. O’Connor has served her time and should be retired from service since she didn’t generate enough interest in the voters to warrant a seat.

I’m sure that’s not a popular opinion, especially at the O’Connor home, or among her supporters, but frankly, I voted in favor of Term Limits for a reason – I like the idea of rotation of leadership. I’m glad that we have things like the 22nd Amendment that limits the lifetime service of a President to two terms. The wisdom of that is starkly in evidence today.

As much as I respect the council and those who have served for many years upon it, I think that the nature of leadership and society’s needs should be kept fresh and current. I believe it is too easy for a career politician to become immune to the needs of the constituents and tied to a system that demands loyalty to party over the public.

For us to have a robust and vibrant democracy, we need to have an active and engaged voting public. We should have more people willing to step up and take a role in government, to do some public service, but we don’t. The battle lines of fighting for a seat are enormously complex, expensive and far too dependent upon satisfying the demands of large voting blocks to raise money and votes.

If we had more of a rotation of leadership, not only would we have fresher ideas, but also a more vibrant political community that could generate more innovative solutions to the problems that we are faced with today. By having a shorter period for people to be effective they would be more likely to work cooperatively, to fashion solutions that actually served the community.

When we look at national politics, and we see how entrenched some politicians are is it really any wonder why there is such a malaise about voting? When there are congressmen like Dana Rohrbacher who was in the same Congressional seat for 30 years, how can that be good for the community?

I’m happy that Term Limits was approved by the Santa Monica electorate. I could do without some of the bond measures but whatever. I hope that the state of California does move forward to put us on Daylight Savings Time year round – this shifting time thing is a giant waste of effort in my opinion. I don’t see why we do it other than to maintain some semblance of coordination with the other states. It seems to me that we should as a nation, agree that shifting the time is a waste of effort and improves life for no one. It would make it easier for coordination of planes, trains and bus schedules, and easier to deal with international meetings.

The election is over, but already the drum beats are sounding for the Presidential Election year of 2020. The TV pundits are starting to mobilize on who should run, and why, who will be the best candidate to take on the President, and will there be a primary fight in the Republican party? Will Hillary run for a third time? Should she?

Positioning is already happening for Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Beto O’Rourke. ON the local level, I’m sure that the campaign staffs are being booked, the ground campaign to get out the votes will be starting soon, and the same old faces will be on the rubber chicken circuit touting how this year they have a “five point plan for innovative new city services.”

This is why we can’t have nice things. The career politician must make deals with the lobbyist now, to start the funding to lay the basis, of what will be their 2020 campaign. So they never have the chance to actually just ‘be’ in the office and do the job for which we hired them.

David Pisarra is a Los Angeles Divorce and Child Custody Lawyer specializing in Father’s and Men’s Rights with the Santa Monica firm of Pisarra & Grist. He welcomes your questions and comments. He can be reached at or 310/664-9969.You can follow him on Twitter @davidpisarra

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *