Councilman Richard Bloom was appointed to the rotating position of mayor of Santa Monica at the City Council meeting Tuesday, December 5th.
Bloom, who has served a term as mayor previously, will serve for one year, with Herb Katz serving as mayor pro tempore.
The following year, the two will switch positions. Katz will serve as mayor — something he has never done before — and Bloom will serve as mayor pro tem.
“It’s an honor to be back in this chair,” Bloom said. “I know we’ll all be working together to enhance this city.”
“I’m very honored,” Katz also said. “More than that, I’m looking forward to working with Bloom and I thank the council very much.”
The mayor is not elected by Santa Monica voters. The position is ceremonial and mayors are appointed by the council.
“If you serve long enough on the council, you deserve to be mayor,” said Santa Monica resident and peace activist Jerry Rubin.
Many believed it was Councilman Kevin McKeown’s turn to be mayor.
At the meeting, Councilwoman Pam O’Connor nominated Bloom as mayor, with McKeown serving as mayor pro tem for the two-year term.
Councilman Ken Genser nominated McKeown as mayor, with Katz serving as mayor pro tem for the two-year term.
And Holbrook nominated Bloom and Katz to each serve as mayor. Bloom would serve as mayor the first year, with Katz as pro tem, and the following year, Katz would serve as mayor with Bloom as pro tem.
Following the three nominations, the council voted. O’Connor changed her vote to the Bloom and Katz nomination, which then became the winning nomination.
Before nominations were made, several Santa Monica residents spoke. Most were in favor of McKeown — who received the most votes in November’s election — being appointed as mayor.
“The people love you,” said Pro Se, Santa Monica resident and regular meeting attendee, to McKeown. “God bless Kevin McKeown. You deserve to be mayor for the full two years.”
“A lot of people have told me they voted for me because they think I’m a really good councilmember and I’m going to continue to do my best to be a really good councilmember,” McKeown said after Bloom was appointed as mayor.
At the meeting, a commendation was also given to Holbrook — who served as mayor for the past year — and Councilman Bobby Shriver, who served as mayor pro tem.
“I think you made the public feel comfortable and I appreciate that,” said Genser to Holbrook.
“It’s not an easy job,” Bloom said to Holbrook of the mayor position. “You can’t fool around. We appreciate [your service]. The city appreciates it.”
Holbrook, a Santa Monica native who was born on Fourth Street, said it was “unimaginable to be mayor of the city you were born in.”
He also said he had fun serving as mayor and working with Shriver this year.
Holbrook and Shriver were presented with gifts at the meeting. Holbrook received a Kenneth Cole Reaction watch, and Shriver received a Gap (RED) hoodie sweatshirt.
“This is very funny,” Shriver said, since he — along with Bono of U2 — founded the Gap (RED) line, which contributes half of the profits from Gap (RED) sales to the Global Fund to help women and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa.
ELECTION WINNERS SWORN IN — With the November 7th election results being “certified” at the meeting, city clerk Maria Stewart administered the oath of office to new and re-elected members of the City Council and various boards.
The newly elected or re-elected members of the Santa Monica College board of trustees, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District board of education, the Santa Monica Rent Control Board and the Santa Monica City Council, were all sworn in to office.
The meeting was unusually packed with many newly and re-elected members and their family members in attendance.
Following the administration of the oath of office, Stewart and her staff were thanked by the City Council for their hard work during the election.
“I’d like to thank our city clerk and all her staff,” Holbrook said. “We really appreciate all your hard work.”