Santa Monica City Council voted in new Mayor Gleam Davis and Terry O’Day as Mayor Pro Tempore at its special meeting Tuesday.
Davis will serve as Mayor from 2018-2019 and Councilmember Kevin McKeown will serve as Mayor from 2019-2020, the council decided in a 4-3 vote. Four Councilmembers voted in Councilmember Terry O’Day to serve as Mayor Pro Tempore from 2018-2020, while three supported Councilmember Sue Himmelrich.
“Serving the community is an honor and wonderful opportunity to elevate Santa Monicans priorities during an exciting time in the City’s history. We have a lot of work ahead of us,” Davis said in a press release. “Our beachside city is an inclusive and progressive place. We need to celebrate our successes and tackle the challenges that we face with equitable vigor. Santa Monica is a community that I care for deeply and as mayor, I will listen, learn and provide thoughtful consideration to community questions and ideas that arise during my term.”
Davis has served on the council since 2009 when it selected her to fill the seat left vacant by the passing of Herb Katz and was elected to an additional two-year term in 2010. She was re-elected in 2012 and 2016. At the time of her appointment, Davis was a member of the Santa Monica Planning Commission and was the Co-Chair of Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights.
O’Day was first elected to the council in November 2010. He served as Mayor Pro Tempore from 2012 to 2014. He has been active with community organizations throughout California and Mexico, including Waterkeeper Alliance, Coro Southern California, The USC Center for Sustainable Cities, Environmental Entrepreneurs and as the Board Chair of the Coalition for Clean Air.
O’Day initially nominated Davis as Mayor for the entire duration of the two year term, but Councilmember Tony Vazquez, who will step down in January after being elected to the State Board of Equalization, put in a substitute motion to select Davis as Mayor in the first year and McKeown in the second, with McKeown as Mayor Pro Tempore the first year and O’Day in the second.
Councilmember and outgoing Mayor Ted Winterer voted against that proposal, as did Davis, O’Day and new Councilmember Greg Morena. Vazquez then nominated McKeown for both years, which he did not accept.
“Over the years, there have been times on this council where somebody who has served well for many years, including as Mayor Pro Tem, was then blocked from becoming Mayor,” he said. “I was on the receiving end of that a number of times. I will not do that to (Davis).”
Vazquez then made a motion to select Davis as the 2018-2019 Mayor and McKeown as the 2019-2020 Mayor, this time without nominating a Mayor Pro Tempore. Councilmembers Morena, Himmelrich, Vazquez and McKeown passed that motion.
Morena then nominated O’Day as Mayor Pro Tempore for two years. The motion eventually passed with the support of Davis, Winterer, O’Day and Morena, but not before Vazquez introduced two substitute motions that failed. The four Councilmembers who supported O’Day voted against nominating McKeown and then O’Day as Mayor Pro Tempore, and against Himmelrich serving in the role for the 2018-2019 term and O’Day in 2019-2020.
At the meeting, City Clerk Denise Anderson-Warren certified Santa Monica’s 2018 election results and new board members were sworn in, including Sue Himmelrich, Greg Morena and Kevin McKeown for City Council, Naomi Sultan, Nicole Phillis, and Steve Duron for the Rent Control Board, Laurie Lieberman, Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein, Oscar de la Torre and Craig Foster for Santa Monica/Malibu Unified School District Board and Louise Jaffe, Nancy Greenstein, Sion Roy and Barry Snell for the Santa Monica College Board.