Democratic Club Picks Its City Council Candidate

After three rounds of voting, the Santa Monica Democratic Club makes just one endorsement for the Nov. 6 City Council race.

Ocean Park resident Ted Winterer secured a resounding endorsement from the Santa Monica Democratic Club Wednesday night, the only candidate to clinch a majority from the club's membership in three rounds of voting.

The Planning Commissioner did it in the first round with the 81 percent of votes. He was one of 10 Democratic candidates—including the two incumbents—who sought the club's endorsement for the November election. There four seats are up for grabs.

Club President Jay Johnson said the one-candidate outcome is common when there's a large field of candidates. In total, .

"In years past it is very frequent because of division in the [club] over particular candidates," Johnson said.

He speculated Winterer was bolstered by , which left him 56 votes shy of taking office.

"I wasn't surprised," Johnson said. "I felt Ted had very strong support."

Before casting their votes Wednesday, club members were given time to ask one question of the candidates. It was asked by Santa Monica College Board of Trustees Chairwoman Margaret Quiñones-Perez:

You talk about buildings, you talk about environment, you talk about transportation... I wanna talk about the people who clean your houses, who take care of your children, who clean your offices and library. What are you going to do for your people here in Santa Monica, who are people of color, who feel inclusive in Santa Monica?

Quiñones-Perez asked to hear first "from the candidates of color." Tony Vasquez, a former City Council member, and the only Latino elected to the body, said he would focus on improving the Pico neighborhood and building affordable units citywide to giver lower-income families a wider variety of housing options.

In answering, Winterer touted his voting record on plans to. He claimed to be the only Planning Commissioner to cast a dissenting vote when the project was first floated, because the developer had said he would not agree to paying workers a so-called living wage. With an eye toward the future, Winterer noted he wants to "radically" improve and enlarge


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Brenda Barnes October 24, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Ted is a nice guy. He may be OK when he has independence. One just cannot know. However, we do know he has been complicit in the overdevelopment we have seen. I heard him wimp out completely when the Council started questioning him about conditions the Planning Commission HAD attached to a commercial project it HAD VOTED NO on. I therefore think he will be like Kevin McKeown, talk big if he is in the minority, but never confront or tell us about the corruption in the majority on the Council so we can end running the City for development and tourism, not its residents.
Brenda Barnes October 24, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Seldon and Mann have already agreed to sign a commitment to vote against destroying Village Trailer Park and also to rescind moving the Senior Center from Ocean Avenue, another back-room developer deal. From talking to him I am sure Smith will, too.
Ted Winterer October 24, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Dan, I was an author of Prop T in 2008 which would have put an annual cap on commercial development. I have never voted for a mall or business park. I voted against the Miramar expansion, the apartment complex at Pico and Cloverfield, the Jerry's Deli project at Wilshire and Stanford and many other projects which I believed would adversely impact the quality of life in SM. And to suggest the Democratic Club, a grassroots organization operating on a micro-budget, is in the pocket of developers, is patently absurd. I suggest you attend one of the Club's meetings to learn more about them before casting baseless assertions. The truth is the Club endorsed me because they share my concerns about overdevelopment.
Dan Charney October 24, 2012 at 10:26 PM
Yes- and the way around it they have found is to require a certain amount of low income units- like Community Core- it is so "perfect"- they can look and sound like they care about low income people while not funding the one program that will help them- Section 8- CC is a sorry replacement for it- and I am sorry - but I think there are people who are just as worthy of a voucher as anyone else- they make exceptions to the rules for the mentally ill, homeless and battered women- no credit checks, no move-in costs etc- but force others to adhere to so many rules- to get a CC apt at 3 times the cost it would be if they just gave them Section 8- I hate to say it but this rent board and council was probably ecstatic when Section 8 lost it's funding - at last- a way to get rid of these people and units while looking like we care - it's perfect
Brenda Barnes October 25, 2012 at 12:26 AM
When I asked why Winterer voted for the Village Trailer Park destruction project, not only he but also Kevin McKeown wrote me that I didn't understand the process, that voting yes did not mean the Planning Commissioner was in favor of the project. Now he says he voted no on the Planning Commission on all these other things to show he opposed them. People are what they do, not what they say. I also have noticed people can talk big and vote no when they know they will be in the minority. That is the case with the whole list above, and with everything I've seen McKeouwn do on the Council. Now, however, we have a real chance to put anti-development people in the majority on the Council. That would mean they would have to come up with some other way to run the City besides taking developer's fees (and getting matching money from grants, foundations and other levels of government using those fees), and higher funds from higher property taxes paid by bigger and more developments. It is time to put up or shut up, to use another cliche. I think only Smith, Merkelians, Seldon and Mann have indicated real plans to run the City without developer money. Seldon and Mann have agreed in writing to vote against the Village Trailer Park closure and to move the Senior Center back to Ocean Avenue. I am sure Smith will agree in writing, too. They are therefore my choices unless someone comes up with something real to indicate otherwise before Nov 6th.


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