The Apparently Never-Ending Wilmont Elections Saga

Formal elections for the embattled Wilshire-Montana Neighborhood Association could be held as soon as October—but several months after a disputed election in June.

Updated at 2:35 p.m. Thursday with quotes from Valerie Griffin.

It's been nearly three months , but there's been no changing of the guard.

The Board of Directors has routinely met, but the meetings haven't gone smoothly. A group of residents dissatisfied with the board——have continued to show up to the public meetings.

The Wilshire Montana Neighborhood Association, called Wilmont, is one of four neighborhood associations in Santa Monica. It represents residents living between Montana Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard and 21st Street and the beach.

There's been at least three meetings, but none have included an election. The association's bylaws state elections shall be held at its annual meting and that directors are elected in two-year terms.

Chairwoman Valerie Griffin told Patch on Thursday that she expects the meeting will be held in October, but no later than December.

"There are security concerns," she said. "But obviously, we've got to do it this year."

The most recent meeting was conducted Monday via conference call and avoided confrontations between the sitting board and those who maintain they were elected in the unofficial election June 9, the Santa Monica LookOut has reported.

"They claim this so-called 'meeting' was 'open to the public.' But the notice containing the call-in number was only made public 2 ½ hours before the teleconference began,” Reinhard Kargl, one of the eight who was elected June 9, told the LookOut.

When a meeting in mid-June was canceled in response to plans from the "Wilmont Rebels" to storm into the meeting in protest, Griffin said "there's probably a level of discomfort... we don't want to be yelled at and have our meetings disrupted."

She said this week that the board still needs to find a space where it could meet without disruption. Griffin also noted the annual meeting is important because it's when the membership passes resolutions, such as its 2010 decision to ask the city council to allocate money to enforcing its leaf blower ban.

In the spring, the city manager's office intervened to remind Wilmont—which received a $4,000 grant from the city this fiscal year—to "adhere to their bylaws... to follow the rules and to act in good faith," said city spokeswoman Robin Gee.

Stay connected with Santa Monica Patch throughout the day on Facebook and Twitter. Subscribe to our free daily newsletter for email updates.

Brenda Barnes August 31, 2012 at 09:40 PM
I think all the neighborhood councils are important. However, they could be more important if they reached out to the people in the communities and did what the people actually want. Wilmont supported the obscene buildout of the Miramar. That is why this rebellion is happening. People forget when they are the only ones they see doing anything, that the people they are acting for are watching. The neighborhood associations, SMRR, and all the individuals working in any commission or council also have to stop accepting money from the City and/or taking paid jobs that depend on pleasing Council members. The corruption in Santa Monica is a microcosm of the country and governments throughout the planet. Money must be eliminated from government. Until then, taxation (or approving development) without representation will lead to further and further unrest and finally revolution.
peter betts September 01, 2012 at 02:32 AM
The comment by Brenda Barnes says it all.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »