After weeks of debate, scores of meetings, and one press leak culminating in a selected candidate withdrawing his acceptance, council has secured a new City Manager and will be discussing his contract on July 27.

Other important items on the agenda include altering the City’s noise ordinance to protect residential neighborhoods from sustained noise during protests and the appointment of almost 50 individuals to various Boards and Commissions.

David White was announced as Council’s pick for the City Manager during a special meeting on July 22. White is currently the Deputy City Manager for Berkeley and previously served as the City Manager of Fairfield.

His new position in Santa Monica will come with an annual salary of $340,000. His compensation also includes some moving expenses and the offer of a loan to purchase a home in Santa Monica.

White’s start date is marked as Oct. 11 and will be the first time Santa Monica has had a permanent City Manager since April 2020.

City Council will also hear the first reading of an amendment to the City’s noise ordinance during Tuesday’s meeting. This proposal was brought about in response to the fall 2020 protests that targeted County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s residence and disturbed multiple neighbors through the prolonged and often nightly use of amplified sound.

According to the staff report the proposed ordinance, “seeks to balance the First Amendment rights of those who wish to engage in expressive activity through public events and assemblies with the City’s significant interest in protecting residential privacy and tranquility.”

The amended ordinance limits the use of sound amplifying equipment within 50 feet of a residence and imposes time restrictions on targeted residential protests. These protests may not occur between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. on weekdays or 8 a.m. on weekends.

Santa Monica has a long history of adjusting its noise ordinance to allow freedom of speech while also protecting quality of life.

In 2004, the City was divided into three zones with different decibel limits. In 2015, this rule was amended to exempt activities on public property from the decibel limits. In 2017, the ordinance was further adjusted to prevent excessive noise at a permanent residence or a hospital or a school between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.

During the July 27 meeting, Council will also appoint almost 50 individuals to serve on boards and commissions. Some of the higher priority appointments include one spot on Planning Commission, two spots on Housing Commission, and two spots on the Architectural Review Board.

Council will also discuss a pair of bond measures including Library General Obligation Bonds and Water Enterprise Revenue Bonds.

The meeting’s closed session will begin at 5:30 p.m. and there are four litigation items that will be discussed in closed session prior to the opening of public session including an audit by the Internal Revenue Service of the City’s settlement payments from years 2017 – 2019.

Clara@smdp.com