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Filling Late Santa Monica Mayor's Seat 'An Insider Process,' Says Critic

The Santa Monica City Council is working to fill the seat left vacant after Mayor Ken Genser died earlier this month, but some aren't happy with a process that is informal and allegedly lacks transparency, according to the Santa Monica Daily Press.

Instead of having candidates for the council seat submit a formal application for the council's consideration -- the body gets to appoint seats left vacant between elections -- the city council voted recently to change the process so that council wannabes can just tell a council member or the City Clerk verbally that they want to be considered for the job. Only a small group of people has a chance, opined Councilman Bobby Shriver, so why give people false hope?

Councilman Kevin McKeown voted against the process: "Rather than trying to fix perceived problems with the appointment applications, the council majority simply threw up its hands and declared that it's an insider process, so live with it," he told the paper. "We could have done much better to promote community transparency and political sustainability."

The council chooses mayor, which likely won't be the newcomer. Genser died the weekend of Jan. 9 after having been hospitalized for pneumonia and suffering multiple complications.


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