Last week’s City Council meeting may have set a new record as it drifted into the early hours of Wednesday morning before Mayor Gleam Davis called an adjournment at about 4 a.m. In fact, Davis warned Councilmembers then, that this forthcoming meeting, on Tuesday, October 24, would once again be “jam packed” as a result of a nearly four hour-long discussion on the Healthy Democracy lottery outreach proposal last week pushing other items into this week’s agenda.
A considerable number of items are now listed on the agenda that have been carried over, including a request to support the Justice for Renters Act. The act will be before voters in the November 2024 election and would expand rent control rules throughout the state. The request comes from Davis, along with Councilmembers Caroline Torosis and Jesse Zwick.
Advocates say repealing the law known as Costa Hawkins will help local government address one of the root causes of homelessness–skyrocketing rents and unaffordable housing. The same trio are also asking the City to support and prepare for adoption of a new rule in Sacramento that would allow homeowners to sell small accessory dwelling units separately from the main property.
Councilmember Phil Brock is asking the city to prohibit the use of engineered countertops in Santa Monica following reports that the manufacture of those countertops is dangerous for workers.
However, the 2022-23 fiscal year-end budget review will more than likely dominate most of the discussion items on the agenda. As the summary states, “The year-end budget report is an opportunity to make time-sensitive adjustments necessary to close the City’s books for the previous fiscal year and to ensure programs continue expeditiously in the new year.”
Within this multifaceted discussion item, Staff will recommend among other things, that City establish new classifications salary rates for various municipal positions, including in the City Attorney’s Office; revise certain user fees and charges, including recreational sites across the City; authorize the City to negotiate agreements with developers and existing businesses to provide funding to support coordination of large-scale development projects.
Another interesting item set to be discussed if time permits, is one related to procedure and policies on how a new mayor will be chosen. New rules established this year state the longest continuously serving Councilmember shall be selected as Mayor for a one year term, then rotating each December to select the Mayor in order of the next longest serving Councilmember.
If two or more Councilmembers were elected at the same election, the Councilmember receiving the higher number of votes shall be considered as having served longer for purposes of this provision. If two or more Councilmembers were initially appointed to serve at the same time, then when they each may first become eligible to be selected as Mayor, a coin flip shall decide who shall be considered as having served longer for purposes of this provision.
The Mayor Pro Tempore may be selected by simple majority vote without regard to this provision.
Mayor Davis is asking for the new rules to be immune from suspension by a future council.
Council will meet in City Hall, 1685 Main Street on Tuesday, Oct. 24. Closed session begins at 5:30 p.m. Meetings are available online via the City’s YouTube channel.