Successful candidates for the School Board, City Council and Rent Control Board will formally take their seats next week following one of the longest election seasons in recent history. 

Due to an extended vote counting process, final results took several weeks to trickle in but with all races now officially in the books, Santa Monica’s elected bodies are planning to reorganize and welcome new members. 

Caroline Torosis, Jesse Zwick and Lana Negrete won seats on City Council. Negrete was the last to declare victory following a tight race to retain the seat she was appointed to when Kevin McKeown resigned last year. Negrete said the election was the hardest accomplishment of her life. 

“I could not have made it through these past few grueling months without the help of my tribe! My support system was deep. There were tears of laughter and joy and lots of tears of pain , downright meanness and growth,” she said. “I wouldn’t change it for anything. I am officially an elected official! I am beyond proud to serve my community and continue to think big, reach far, work together and make waves of positive change!”

Council will hold a special meeting on Dec. 6 to swear in the three new members and say farewell to Mayor Sue Himmelrich and Mayor Pro Tem Kristin McCowan who chose not to run for reelection. 

There will be a reception at 5 p.m. at City Hall (1685 Main Street) followed by the ceremony at 6 p.m. The meeting will be broadcast at or at

Two of the three “new” Rent Control Board commissioners are already on the board as they were appointed earlier to fill unplanned vacancies. Daniel S. Ivanov will formally take his seat joining Ericka Lesley and Kurt Gonska on Dec. 8 when the board meets. 

Current Commissioner Caroline Torosis will formally depart the Rent Control Board when she takes her seat on City Council and the Board will then implement it’s appointment process to fill the seat. Once the reconstituted Board formally declares Torosis’ seat vacant, it will have 30 days to accept applications. 

Those applicants can attend the Jan. 12 meeting to make brief presentations about their desire to join the organization and whoever is chosen will join the Board immediately. 

Applications to fill the Rent Control seat will be available on the Board’s website starting Dec. 9. 

Two new individuals won seats on the School Board (Stacy Rouse and Alicia Mignano) joining incumbents Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein and Laurie Lieberman who won reelection. School Board will reorganize with its new members on Dec. 15.

Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...