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Katz Seeks Fourth Term

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 two decades.

“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 council.

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.





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