By Jorge Casuso
July 22 – Mayor Herb Katz joined the City Council
race Monday, making him the third of four council incumbents to
pull papers for the November election.
Council member Bobby Shriver, the only incumbent who has not thrown his hat
into the ring, is expected to decide this week whether he will run for a second
council term, according to his staff.
Potential candidates have until August 8 to file nomination papers accompanied
by the signatures of at least 100 registered voters. The deadline would be pushed
back to August 15 in races where an incumbent does not file.
Herb Katz, who ran in 2004 as the "voice of reason," has served four
terms on the council -- from 1984 to 1992 and from 2000 to 2008.
Katz, who was appointed mayor by the council last December, said he wants to
see some unfinished City business completed, including the Land Use and Circulation
Element (LUCE) of the General Plan, which will dictate development for the next
“I want to see the land use element through,” said Katz, who is
an architect. “We have a lot of work to do. I think I’m very valuable
to the city.”
An opponent of Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights, the powerful tenants
group that has controlled City Hall for three decades, Katz has long counted
on the support of the city’s business community, and more recently, on
the owners of two luxury beachfront hotels, who have pumped record amountsof
money into local races.
Katz also has been a top fundraiser, with his campaign raising more than $80,000
in $250 donations in 2004.
Katz has dedicated half his life to civic service in Santa Monica, serving
on the Planning Commission, the Architectural Review Board (ARB) and the Bayside
District Board, where he was a member between his two council stints.
As a council member, Katz was a leading force in shaping the Third Street Promenade
and a major advocate of the City’s sign ordinance, which restricts business
signs across the city.
In his 2004 bid for council, Katz ran on a platform that included “a
regional solution to the homeless issue; a range of housing with options that
are affordable for residents at various economic levels; more parks, landscaping
and open space; safer neighborhoods and streets, and less traffic.”
He also called on the council to shorten the length of its meetings, joining
Council member Bob Holbrook in a lawsuit against the City that claimed the marathon
sessions violated the public’s First Amendment Rights. The suit was dismissed.
Also joining the race was Downtown resident Herbert Silverstein, bringing the
number of council candidates pulling papers to 14.
Four of the potential challengers have made previous bids for the seven-member
Jon Louis Mann likely holds the record for the number of council
bids, having run eight times, the last two in 2004 and 2006 as Mann
and the previous six in 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000 as
Stevens, before legally assuming his wife’s last name.
Jerry Rubin, a regular speaker at City meetings and leader of the unsuccessful
effort to save Downtown ficus trees, ran in 2000 and 2002, while potential council
candidate Linda Armstrong has run unsuccessfully in the two past elections.
Jenna Linnekens, who lost in her sole bid two years ago, also has pulled papers.
If the four council incumbents run in November, it will be an uphill battle
for the challengers, if recent history is any indication.
The seven sitting council members have served a total of 91 years,
with Council member Kan Genser serving 20 and Council member Holbrook,
who won his bid for re-election two years ago, serving 18 years.