With the City Council set to meet next week, the upcoming meeting may look a lot like the last as Council’s abrupt departure from their Sept. 12 meeting caused most agenda items to be pushed to Sept. 26.
Last Tuesday’s meeting included a proposal made by Councilmember Phil Brock and Mayor Pro Tempore Lana Negrete to regulate noise within the city. A provision that would have put new controls on protest noise drew strong opposition from Unite Here Local 11 who are in the midst of a protest against several local hotels.
Brock attempted to pull the controversial item from the agenda but many union members remained to speak about the issue.
What followed was a somewhat heated, lengthy back and forth discussion involving Brock, Negrete and Mayor Gleam Davis over what is allowable public comment when an item has been removed from the agenda or when speakers deviate from the agendized items.
Upon conclusion of the then multi-hour discussion, a motion was needed to continue the meeting beyond 11 o’clock however, councilmembers Christine Parra, Oscar de la Torre, Brock and Negrete all voted against continuing the meeting with de la Torre criticizing the Mayor for the way she had run the meeting and saying it would be best to take a break for the time being.
The unprecedented decision postponed the vast majority of the council’s business including a negotiation with housing developers over a new 570 unit project adjacent to the Downtown Santa Monica Expo line, debate over allowing virtual participation in Council meetings, changes to the city’s taxi industry, extension of rules governing scooters in the city, new laws prohibiting open carry of knives, local gun control measures and efforts to abate blight caused by vacant property.
City Clerk Denise Anderson-Warren said the city’s rules automatically roll over items unless otherwise specified by council.
She said the council can, and has, voted to wholesale cancel meetings in advance or has had to reschedule discussions for various reasons.
“As far as not continuing, again, the Council usually will decide when they vote to continue past 11, which items will be heard, and which items will be continued. In this case, because there wasn’t a vote to continue, all items will be moved to the next meeting as Continued items.”
In this case, all of the orphaned items from Sept. 12 are now rescheduled for Sept. 26.
However, other items of interest will also be heard next week including a report from the Housing Commission on ways to increase home ownership in the city.
The Commission outlines a variety of ideas for encouraging home ownership. Specifically, they want to shift incentives from building rental units to encouraging construction of units that will be for sale and at the same time, explore ways to convert existing rental units, including some of the city’s rent controlled apartments, to owner-occupied units.
All of the Commission’s proposals are targeted at creating housing for lower-income residents and that would be available for sale below current market rates.
Council will meet on Tuesday, Sept. 26 in City Hall, 1685 Main Street. Closed session begins at 5:30 p.m.