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Davis, McKeown to Split Two-Year Mayoral Term


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December 12, 2018 -- The Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday voted to split the two-year mayoral term between Gleam Davis and former mayor Kevin McKeown in a 4 - 3 vote that reflected a divided council.

Newcomer Greg Morana was a decisive vote in every round, while Councilmember Tony Vazquez, who will leave the council next month, was the author of nearly all of the motions.

Davis, who joined the City Council in 2009, will serve the first year, while former mayor McKeown will return to the post he held four years ago in the second year. Councilmember Terry O'Day will serve for two years as Mayor Pro Tem.
Gleam DavisGleam Davis (Courtesy City of Sanyta Monica)

The round of voting kicked off with a motion by O'Day to nominate Davis for two years as mayor. But the motion did not go to a vote after Vazquez immediately made a substitute motion.

He nomainated Davis to serve the first year as mayor with McKeown as mayor pro tem, and McKeown as mayor the second year with O'Day as mayor pro tem.

The motion failed after Morena asked the clerk to repeat the motion before voting no.

Vazquez, who will step down from the dais January 13 after being elected to the State Board of Equalization, then nominated McKeown for two years, which McKeown declined.

"I will not accept that nomination," McKeown said. "Over the years there have been times on this council when somebody who has served well for many years was then blocked from being mayor.

"I was on the receiving end of that a numberr of times, and I will not do that to Gleam."

McKeown served 16 years on the Council before he was unanimously elected mayor in 2014 ("McKeown Named Mayor, Vazquez to Take Top Spot Next Year," December 10, 2014).

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Vazquez then again nominated Davis for the first year and McKeown for the second, making no nomination for mayor pro tem.

This time Morena switched his earlier vote and the motion passed, with Davis, O'Day and Councilmember Ted Winterer dissenting.

Morena then successfully nominated O'Day as mayor pro tem for two years.

Although the mayoral post is mainly ceremonial, the mayor can set the council’s agenda and represents the City at local events, as well as at meetings and conferences across the globe.

“Serving the community is an honor and wonderful opportunity to elevate Santa Monicans priorities during an exciting time in the City’s history," Davis said in a statement issued after the meeting. "We have a lot of work ahead of us.

"Santa Monica is a community that I care for deeply and as mayor, I will listen, learn and provide thoughtful consideration to community questions and ideas that arise during my term.”

Davis joined the Council after Councilmember Herb Katz died in January 2009 two months after being elected to a fifth four-year term ("Davis Picked to Fill Katz’s Seat," February 25, 2009).

Davis made headlines in May 2014 when the City Council rescinded its approval of the 765,000-square-foot Bergamot Transit Village after she changed her vote ("Council Repeals Approval of Controversial Development," May 14, 2014).

She again made news last year when the City argued in a voting rights lawsuit that Davis was Latino, a contention that became key in the case filed by Latino plaintiffs ("Santa Monica Has Two Latino Council Members, City Officials Contend," July 10, 2017).

Davis assumed the mayoral post held by Ted Winterer, who was elected mayor in 2016, finishing a pact hatched two years earlier ("Council Member Ted Winterer Chosen as Santa Monica Mayor," December 14, 2016)

“It has been a wonderful two years to have served the Santa Monica community and as I look back, on my time as Mayor, it has been both exciting and challenging,” Winterer said in a statement issued after the meeting.

“There is a long list of accomplishments and a long list of things yet to be done. I look forward to supporting Mayor Davis in her role as our new Mayor and know she will be a strong voice for Santa Monica.”

O'Day will replace Davis as mayor pro tem after having served two previous years in the post.

He was appointed to the City Council in 2010 after Councilmember Ken Genser died during his 22nd year on the Council ("O'Day Picked for Vacant Council Seat," February 24, 2010).

The Council will begin the process of appointing a replacement for Vazquez next month.


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