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Perennial Santa Monica Council Candidate Will Run Again

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Harding, Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

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Santa Monica Convention and Visitors BureauWhen one lives in a city as breathtakingly beautiful and unique as Santa Monica, inevitably that city will be shared with visitors.

By Jason Islas
Lookout reporter

April 4, 2014 -- If Santa Monica resident Jon Mann gets his way -- which he hasn’t in the two decades he’s been running for City Council -- he would try to recall all elected officials that are part of the “ruling coalition,” stop all development and even scrap the City’s new Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE).

Mann, who describes himself as a “perennial loser” since he has lost all of his record-setting 11 bids for City Council, joined a growing crowd of potential candidates Thursday when he announced in an email his intention to run for one of the three Council seats up for grabs in November.

Though candidates cannot officially pull papers to run until July 14, physical therapist Ken Robin, activist Jerry Rubin and Parks and Recreation Commission Chair Phil Brock have also announced that they will run.

Mann’s email contained many of the same themes that characterized his past campaigns. He wants more transparency and accountability for City government, which he accuses of “rampant corruption” and “cronyism.”

He wants an “immediate moratorium on ALL development NOT approved by the residents in the neighborhoods directly impacted,” according to his email.

He supports closing the airport -- except for a helipad for emergencies -- and “a referendum calling for an immediate recall of all elected or appointed officials that are part of the current ruling coalition, especially the 4 council members endorsed by developers,” he said, though he did not specify the four.

Mann, who finished ninth in a 15-way race in 2012, also celebrated Residocracy, the online organization founded by former Council candidate Armen Melkonians to challenge Council approval of development projects, but said the group did not go far enough.

The group last month submitted signatures to put the 765,000 square foot mixed-use project near the future Expo light rail station in the City’s old industrial district before the voters. (“Santa Monica Referendum Gathers More than 13,000 Signatures,” March 12)

“The Residocracy referendum against the Hines Project is a big step in the right direction, along with the Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City law suit,” Mann wrote, referring to a suit challenging the environmental findings.

“But the issue at hand is far more than just the Hines project in particular and over-development in general,” Mann wrote.

“Residents need to be aware of exactly who benefits from development revenues. Developers are not the only special interest that determine who wins elections in Santa Monica,” he wrote.

Mann, a teacher, has a reputation for speaking his mind and this year is no exception.

In his announcement email, Mann also goes after Santa Monica’s powerful political group, Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR), which he has repeatedly targeted during his campaigns.

“I publicly repudiate any council members (past and present), Santa Monica Renters Rights’ members (and their cronies) employed by the city at six figure salaries, or having received excessive consultant fees (or city contracts),” he wrote as part of his six-point agenda.

“None of this is against the law, but it is highly unethical!” he wrote.


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