On Sunday Aug. 23, at the Ken Edwards Center, City Council received community feedback on the question, "What should be the top 3 to 5 strategic goals for the City with measurable 3 to 5 year outcomes that will make a difference in community safety, well being, prosperity, quality of life, and sustainability?"

The list of choices provided by the new City Manager includes:


To: City Council
From: The Board of Northeast Neighbors
Council Agenda Item 4A, 8/25/15

We are writing again to express our concern about the disconnect between what the City Council and staff regard as community priorities and what
Northeast Neighbors have stated they want to see prioritized in the near term.

The outcome of Sunday’s City Council priority-setting Retreat is troubling to Northeast Neighbors in that it seems to confirm the finding of the Wellbeing Project of 2014 that many Santa Monica residents believe that they are unable to influence decisions affecting our city.

Despite communications from Northeast Neighbors, Council on Sunday identified priorities that were not identified as priorities by a significant number of residents.

Northeast Neighbors conducted a membership survey in March 2015.  More residents responded to our survey than provided public comment at Sunday’s Council retreat. In addition, the priorities identified by our members were entirely different from those proposed and chosen for action by
Council. These differences are more than just semantics.

Not one of our members surveyed identified the public funding of affordable housing as a top priority. Instead, our members identified as their top three priorities the need for the City to address
over-development, traffic and parking problems.

We are confident that if a poll were taken of residents citywide, the results would be the same.

This is not to say that we do not support affordable housing. The issue at hand is the public funding of affordable housing.

In our view, if Council is determined to advance an agenda of public funding of affordable housing without first gaining citywide support, at a very minimum, Council must first establish and report out the following facts:

1. How many affordable housing units do we have now and at what affordability level?

2. What is the goal of this effort? Specifically, how many affordable units does the city seek to build and over what time frame through this initiative?

3. How will we identify the success of this program? Clear benchmarks and quantifiable goals are necessary to any successful program.

4. What will not be funded in order to fund affordable housing?  Does this mean we will forgo funding for public parks and needed playing fields for our children? Please identify the tradeoffs that would be required as a result of affordable housing funding?

The public has a right to know the answers to these questions and how much money City Council seeks to raise through this initiative before a meaningful public discussion can be had or a decision made.


The Board of Northeast Neighbors

Clerk – Please include this letter in the public record for Agenda item
4A, City Council meeting 8/25/2015

ail.com - in order to assemble neighborhood organization responses to discuss with the new city manager, Rick Cole:

Tues, Sept 1, 7:00 pm
Meet and Greet
SM Urban Forester 
Montana Branch, Santa Monica Public Library, 1704 Montana Ave. SM 90403
Tues, Sept 08, 6:30pm, City Hall
Tues, Sept 29, 6:30pm, City Hall
Check City Website for Updates
Wed, Sept 02, 7:00pm, City Hall
Wed, Sept 16, 7:00pm, City Hall
Check City Website for Updates/Changes

Three residents have filed a law suit against the Ron Gould, the former city manager for violating the Oaks Initiative, an anti-corruption law designed to prevent public officials from personal gains based on their time in office.

City Manager outlines vision for Downtown

Photo from SM City TV

City Manager Rick Cole wants to see Downtown Santa Monica evolve towards a cultural and arts destination, while preserving the economic foundation that has driven development of the area.

See Santa Monica Dispatch article

Urban Trees

Guidelines For Tree Watering During Drought

The public can weigh in online with opinions on the Lincoln Neighborhood Corridor Plan.  SM Lookout


Wilshire  Montana
Neighborhood  Coalition


On Aug 24, 2015, SMCLC (Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City) released the following:

SMCLC recently obtained private emails, sworn testimony and other documents in Elizabeth Riel’s lawsuit against the City.

These documents show City Council member and then Mayor Pam O’Connor relentlessly pressured then City Manager Rod Gould to fire Elizabeth for having made a donation to an SMCLC political mailer in 2006.

The mailer disclosed campaign contributions to O’Connor from a major developer with business before the City. See http://www.smclc.net/OConnor-Riel.htm

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Attention Wilmont Members

Wilmont is working to promote the interests of our residents, such as speaking on behalf of our neighborhood at City Council and Planning Commission meetings and creating new committees to keep you updated on the big issues facing our city. Please take a look at the committees list below and consider spending a few hours a month and taking a more active role in our city’s future.

-DEVELOPMENT-Big Projects like the Miramar, etc.

-TRANSPORTATION-Traffic, Parking, Big Blue Bus, etc.

-OUTREACH-Website, Events, Flyers, Membership, etc

-ELECTIONS-City Council, etc.

-ZONING-Downtown Plan, Zoning Ordinance Update, etc.

Ed Hunsaker,  Alin Wall

-WILSHIRE BLVD PLANNING-“Activity Center”, Developments, etc.

-HOUSING-Renters Rights, Taxes, etc.

If you would like to sign up, contact us at:

Email: wilmontinfo@gmail.com
Phone:       310-359-8238

or come to our next meeting on November 18.


I. WILMONT Members support the City grant of 190K to PYFC for the purpose of continuing their Mission and Vision for youth in Santa Monica, contingent upon the organizations adoption of GAAP (generally accepted accounting practices) sufficiently transparent to the Santa Monica City Council.

II. We, the residents of the WILMONT Neighborhood, want safer streets. We want the to adopt and implement a Vision Zero plan to bring the number of injury collisions to zero by 2020.

III. WILMONT does not agree with the recent 4-1 Planning Commission vote to approve the 4th and Arizona Project. We believe the project to be too high and too dense; Santa Monica citizens would be better served by a smaller project – such as a park. 

IV. WILMONT requests protected pedestrian crosswalks with flashing warning lights at the intersections of 9th & Wilshire Boulevard, and about every five city-blocks extending East. The flashing lights should be pedestrian activated and similar in design to those installed at the intersection of 10th and Santa Monica Boulevard. 

V. We believe SMPD is not devoting enough resources to the WILMONT neighborhood. Therefore, we request:

  • (a) Regular patrol car drives through our alleys;
  • (b) Regular, frequent foot patrols through and adjacent to Lincoln/Reed Park, the business areas around 14th & Wilshire Blvd, near the businesses at the corner of 7th & Wilshire Blvd., in and adjacent to Douglas Park, in and adjacent to Palisades Park.
  • c) More traffic enforcement around our schools;
  • (d) A program to find and monitor vans and vehicles used for sleeping in our neighborhood;
  • (e) The creation of a multi-departmental special task force to deal with the homeless presence that often overwhelms Lincoln/Reed Park;
  • (f) More resources devoted to fighting vehicle theft and residential burglaries in our district.

VI. Civic Center:  In order to ensure that future development at the Civic Center Auditorium and its surrounding publicly-owned site will be broadly available to Santa Monica Monica residents and will fulfill the goals for land use expressed by many residents at public meetings held this year,  Wilmont  residents support the following resolutions:  

  • 1. We support  the following uses of this land:
  • (a) A state-of-the art indoor performing arts center
  • (b) A multi-purpose area suitable for athletic events, outdoor performances, exhibitions, public 
  • (c) Green park areas with walking paths and seating spaces
  • (d) Linkages to resources at Santa Monica High School, including Barnum Hall
  • 2. Private development on this site shall be limited to:  
  • Cafes and restaurants;  
  • Shops offering merchandise related to the main land uses described above,  including  the 
  • performing arts and other cultural  purposes; 
  •  Education or training programs in areas congruent with the above-listed land uses.
  • 3. In order to assure that this strategically-located site is developed as an inviting and vibrant 
  • public space and destination, we do not support use of this public land for the private 
  • development of office space,  hotels or other commercial enterprises.
  • 4. While we support the further public consideration of the need for an Early Childhood Education Center for use by residents of Santa Monica, we find do not support the development of this kind of land use on this unique site.   We find this proposed use to be incongruent with the broader public goals stated above and support reserving use of this site for the uses listed above. 

  Wilmont... neighbors working together for a better community.
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