Compiled by Kamala Kirk

Former Mayor Bob Holbrook Dies

After battling a long illness, former Santa Monica mayor Bob Holbrook passed away at his home on December 11. He was 79. A native of Santa Monica, Holbrook was a 24-year veteran of the Santa Monica City Council who was known for his commitment to the community and public service.

During his time as Mayor, Holbrook sought ways to battle homelessness and improve the quality of Santa Monica’s public spaces. He was also instrumental in building Tongva Park in the Civic Center and a memorial at Woodlawn Cemetery to honor local veterans. Prior to joining the Council in 1990, Holbrook served on the Board of the Santa
Monica-Malibu Unified School District and was an ardent supporter of his alma mater, the University of Southern California.

“Bob loved Santa Monica and its history, and passionately shaped more than two decades of local policy with great care and heart,” says Santa Monica Mayor Sue Himmelrich. “He left the Council the same year I joined, yet his imprint is felt today. We grieve the loss of a Santa Monica great alongside his loving family.”

The December 15 City Council meeting was adjourned in honor of Holbrook. The Mayor Bob Holbrook Scholarship has been established to honor his 32 years of public service and passion for public service, and promise in making positive change in society.

Santa Monica PD and the DEA arrested a local drug dealer on December 3 and seized 30 pounds of methamphetamine from his vehicle.
Image courtesy Santa Monica Police Department

High-Level Meth and Cocaine Dealer Arrested

On December 3, Santa Monica PD’s Special Investigations Unit (SUI) and the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) concluded a long-term investigation into a high-level methamphetamine and
cocaine dealer, Guadalupe Edwin Zuniga. A Federal search warrant on his vehicle and residence was successfully executed due to the collaboration with the SMPD and DEA.

Zuniga is suspected of being the source of supply for numerous narcotics dealers in Santa Monica. He was detained away from his residence without incident by SIU and members of SMPD’s Crime Impact Team (CIT) and presented with the warrant. A search of his vehicle yielded approximately 30 pounds of methamphetamine.

After Zuniga was arrested for the methamphetamine, a search warrant was executed at his residence, where detectives recovered a loaded Glock-style “ghost gun,” extended magazine, ammunition, cocaine hydrochloride and packaging materials.

In 2019, Zuniga was previously arrested by SMPD for narcotics trafficking. He was transferred to DEA/US Marshals custody on December 3.

Anyone with information related to this investigation is encouraged to contact the SMPD at 310-458-8491; Detective Khansari at 310-458-8458; or Detective McGowan at 310-458-2201
ext. 4698.

Sue Himmelrich has been selected as Santa Monica’s new mayor.

Santa Monica Welcomes New Mayor and Councilmembers

On December 8, Santa Monica welcomed three new Councilmembers and four returning Councilmembers via a teleconference ceremony. Phil Brock, Gleam Davis, Oscar de la Torre and Christine Parra were elected to four-year terms.

The newly installed City Council selected Sue Himmelrich to serve a two-year term as Santa Monica’s Mayor. Kristin McCowan, who was selected as mayor pro tempore, was elected to a two-year term.

Mayor Himmelrich joined the Santa Monica City Council in 2014 and was re-elected in 2018. She served on the Planning Commission for one year before running for Council after Councilmember Bob Holbrook retired.

Mayor Himmelrich has been a resident of Santa Monica for 28 years and is passionate about affordable housing production, combining strong fiscal policy with progressive and compassionate social policies, and protecting vulnerable community members, including senior citizens and front-line workers.

“We have an opportunity to move our community forward past this deadly virus, past our differences, and toward a future that we can all be proud of and one that reflects the best of who we are as Santa Monicans,” Mayor Himmelrich says. “I look forward to doing the hard work ahead with my colleagues and to opening lines of two-way communication with community members at a time when connection is harder than ever.”