City Council will be fulfilling two long-term commitments in Tuesday’s meeting: the hiring of an Inspector General to assist police oversight and reform efforts and the finalized draft of the Housing Element update.

The meeting will also feature two new faces, City Manager David White and Interim City Attorney Joseph Lawrence, who will both be recognized at the beginning of open session.

An Inspector General was promised when the Public Safety Reform and Oversight Commission was formed on January 26 in response to concerns raised during summer 2020’s Black Lives Matter protests.

The role of an Inspector General is to be an independent party that can review internal confidential SMPD documents and provide appropriate data to the Commission. The goal is to enable the commission to conduct impactful work without compromising law enforcement or personnel information.

There was an open request for proposal process to fulfill the role and the OIR Group was selected as the best and only bidder. The OIR Group is the same entity that provided an analysis and suggestions for improvement based on SMPD’s response to the May 31 protests and riots.

The OIR Group will be granted $140,000 annually to fulfill the services of an Inspector General, with plans for four one-year renewals contingent on Council budget approvals.

The Housing Element update will outline changes to the City’s plan to meet its Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) in response to comments made by the California Department of Housing and Community Development and Planning Commission.

Santa Monica’s RHNA allocation requires the addition of 8,895 units, including 6,168 affordable units, by 2029.

In a Sept. 27 Council meeting, members voted to have the Westside Cities Council of Governments, of which Santa Monica is a member, discuss joining an Orange County lawsuit protesting these numbers. The Orange County Council of Governments believes that recent RHNA calculations were grossly overinflated and bases this on evidence shown in studies by Freddie Mac and the Embarcadero Institute.

Regardless of the ongoing controversy over the accuracy of RHNA allocations, the City and Councilmembers have maintained a strong commitment to meeting Santa Monica’s allocation through the Housing Element plan.

The Housing Element is designed to increase housing production, protect tenants from displacement, incentivize housing near to services and schools and overcome historic patterns of segregation by diversifying housing choices in high cost areas.

The meeting will start with closed session at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 12 and can be viewed live at youtube.com/user/Citytv16santamonica.

Clara@smdp.com