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More City Council Hopefuls Step into Ring

By Teresa Rochester

The field of hopefuls vying for four City Council seats up for grabs in the November elections hit 20 this week, with two more potential candidates -- flight attendant Jon Stevens and Thomas Herlihy -- joining the race.

Entering his fifth bid for a council seat, Stevens, a Sunset Park resident, said he would once again run on a platform that calls for the city to implement a cyber community, "hardwired to empower a grass roots plebiscite that will monitor local government… and introduce direct participatory democracy."

Thomas Herlihy could not be reached for comment.

The two potential candidates join an already crowded field that swelled late last week when publisher Don Gray and independent tow-truck driver Stewart Resmer pulled papers signaling their intent to run.

Resmer, a vocal critic of the city's crack down on auto repair shops, also worked to bring the Prisoner of War flag to City Hall. He said he decided to run because he believes a "one-party town" - Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights, which has controlled city government for most of the past two decades, holds a super-majority on the council - damages the democratic process.

Resmer also said he would target the funding of neighborhood groups with taxpayer money and traffic as issues in his campaign.

"It's a make or break sort of time when it comes to traffic," Resmer said.

Gray, who ran unsuccessfully for a council seat during last year's special election to fill a vacancy, said he decided to run again because issues such as growth and traffic have not been adequately addressed. He said he supports bringing the controversial Exposition Light Rail to the city as a means of alleviating traffic-choked streets.

"This council is sitting on their hands on this," said Gray about the city's handling of growth issues.

The latest possible candidates join a field that includes three incumbents -- Mayor Ken Genser and Councilmen Michael Feinstein and Richard Bloom. Councilman Paul Rosenstein, whose term also ends this year, said he will not seek reelection.

Other candidates include former City Councilman Herb Katz, former Mid-City Neighbors president and vice president David Cole and Donna Block and community activists Chuck Allord and Jerry Rubin.

Robert Ross, Edward Curnel, Patrick Regan, Betty Jo Oliver, Ed Muzika, Richard Horner, Haleh Khavari and Brian Hutchings have also pulled papers.

Unlike the race for city council, no new potential candidates pulled papers for the city's school board, college board or rent control board this week.

The deadline to pull papers, gather 100 signatures from registered Santa Monica voters and file them with the city clerk is Aug. 11. The filing period deadline will be pushed back to Aug. 16 for non-incumbents if an incumbent fails to file by Aug. 11.

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