Santa Monica Lookout
|Parks and Rec Chair Announces Bid for Santa Monica City Council|
By Jason Islas
A native of the bayside city and vocal opponent of proposed major development in his home town, Phil Brock announced that he would run in November for one of the three open Council seats.
Brock’s announcement comes the day after political newcomer Ken Robin, another local and former classmate of Brock’s at Santa Monica High School, said he would seek election.
“I am beyond distressed at the simple lack of listening, absorbing and responding to the current citizens of Santa Monica by the majority on the dais,” Brock wrote in an email announcing his campaign Wednesday.
“As I start to define myself as a candidate I wanted to share a few words with you. I'm not a Politician and I never want to be one,” wrote Brock, who has been on the Parks and Recreation Commission since 2003.
“Our renters and our owners both need to be heard. Rent Control is sacrosanct in our city but this election isn't about rent control,” he wrote.
“It's about regaining our control of our city from outside interests, from developers who are willing to break our style of living to make a sweet buck and from our employees in City Hall who act as if they are working for the developers instead of the citizens of Santa Monica,” reads the email, with the original emphasis included.
Most political observers were almost certain Brock would run this year.
He has been an outspoken opponent of several major developments proposed in the bayside city, including plans by the Fairmont Miramar for major renovations to its property at Wilshire Boulevard and Ocean Avenue.
Owners of the 86-year-old will seek Council approval in the near future for a $255 million project that would replace two building’s on the hotel’s two acre campus with three, including a 21-story tower.
Brock also opposed plans by Texas-based developer Hines to build a five-building complex of apartments and commercial office space near the future light rail stop at Bergamot Station.
“We are Santa Monica. We don't want high rises on Ocean Avenue, We don't want towers of condos in our city or a canyon of buildings on each of our boulevards. We need to celebrate our small businesses and incubate more of them,” wrote Brock, who runs his own talent agency in Santa Monica.
With two other major hotel projects in the works and veteran council member Bob Holbrook uncertain whether he will seek a record seventh term, this election is likely to be a heated one.
Still, it will likely be some time before Brock, who was named Parks and Recreation Commissioner of the year in 2013 by California Association of Park and Recreation Commissioners & Board Members, is joined by other candidates.
From July 14 to August 8, potential candidates will be able to pull papers to run, pay a $25 filing fee then collect the requisite 100 signatures from registered voters needed to make the ballot.
Between now and then, Brock will be campaigning.
“Santa Monica is a treasure...let's keep it that way,” he wrote. “I hope I will have your support.”
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