Terry O’Day, an environmental activist and former Santa Monica planning commissioner, was appointed Tuesday, February 23rd to fill the City Council seat of Mayor Ken Genser, who died in January.

A 12-year resident of Santa Monica, O’Day received the four necessary votes from Councilmembers Bobby Shriver, Richard Bloom, Bob Holbrook and Mayor Pro Tem Pam O’Connor after several rounds of nominations. O’Day was chosen as the newest council member over the other two finalists, Planning Commissioner Ted Winterer and Rent Control Board Member Jennifer Kennedy.

Following his appointment, O’Day was immediately sworn in and took his seat on the dais for the remainder of the council meeting.

“I am humbled to have been selected from an exceptional field of individuals,” O’Day said. “I thank the City Council for its confidence in me, and hope that in some small way I will measure up to the legacy left to us by our late Mayor Genser.”

In declaring the late mayor’s seat vacant, the council had the option of making an appointment to fill the position or calling for a special election. The motion for a special election received no support at the February 23rd meeting.

As a six-year member of the Planning Commission, O’Day had participated in many deliberations regarding the Land Use and Circulation Element, Exposition Light Rail, and Downtown Civic Area planning.

He is currently executive director of Environment Now, a nonprofit foundation that works to protect and restore the state’s environment.

O’Day has an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and received a BA with honors in public policy at Stanford University.

The new council member will serve until the next election in November, when the seat will be placed on the ballot, allowing the top vote-getter to fill the remainder of the term which expires in November 2012.