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  • 05/15/2020 9:12 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    Reflecting the financial hit California is already seeing from the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday proposed cutting $6.1 billion from a variety of programs in a state budget he says prioritizes education, health and safety.

    Newsom’s 2020-2021 budget estimates unemployment will climb to nearly 25 percent and overall tax revenues will drop by about a quarter, he said. It also calls for a 10% pay cut for all state workers.

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  • 05/15/2020 9:09 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    The city of Santa Monica could streamline the approval process for large housing projects downtown as part of ongoing efforts to fulfill a state mandate for the city to accommodate about 9,000 new homes by 2029. 

    The Planning Commission voted 4-2 Wednesday to consider recommending that downtown developments larger than 90,000 square feet be subject to a development review permit rather than a development agreement. The commission will vote whether to recommend the proposal to City Council next week.

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  • 05/15/2020 9:02 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    “We’re still out here, kicking and screaming,” a resident wrote to me, repeating her email to the Planning Commission about proposed changes to the city’s zoning codes. The Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City called the proposed changes “Ill-Conceived and Misguided.” The leader of Northeast Neighbors stated, “We are offended by the use of the euphemism “streamlining” to silence the community about the future of downtown Santa Monica.”

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  • 05/15/2020 8:55 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    A Manhattan judge has denied tenants class-action status in a rent-overcharge lawsuit — a decision that landlord attorneys hailed as another sign that the courts are safeguarding owners from legislative overreach.

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  • 05/14/2020 10:09 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    The sudden and drastic budget cuts the Santa Monica City Council is making were inevitable, even without a coronavirus shutdown, according to a prominent member of a disbanded citizen's budget advisory committee.

    The dramatic impact of the pandemic only accelerated the layoffs and service cuts needed to address years of unbridled spending and a ballooning pension debt, said Dominic Gomez, a former member of the Community Compensation Advisory Committee. [and ACTION Vice-President]

    "At the end of the day, the City was headed for a fiscal reckoning absent this pandemic," Gomez told the Lookout. "What the pandemic did was accelerate what the City had to entertain.

    "We've been sounding alarm bells for not weeks or months but years, while the City is spending money at a rate that is breathtaking," said Gomez, the former CEO of Movius Interactive.

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  • 05/13/2020 11:39 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)


    Associated Press

    The government would cover rent payments for some low-income Californians impacted by the coronavirus under a proposal backed by state Senate leaders.

    The Senate wants to forgive rents for low-income tenants, giving landlords tax credits equal to the value of their missed payments, which they can keep or sell for cash. Tenants would then have up to 10 years to pay back their missed rents to the state, with some not having to pay the full amount because of an unspecified “hardship exemption.”

    “This is not a giveaway to anyone,” Democratic Sen. Steven Bradford said. “Our goal is to keep tenants housed and keep landlords out of foreclosure.”

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  • 05/12/2020 10:45 AM | Angelica Jue (Administrator)


    What Should Housing Providers Do in Response to the Current Crisis.

    So we are sitting here resting, and thinking about what every other Housing Provider in Santa Monica is thinking about: The current crisis. But this crisis is more than the virus. It is many things, the top three being: (1) the COVID19 virus; (2) inflation and the high national debt; and (3) the onslaught of new and oppressive governmental regulations which are being pressed down upon the brow of owners, like a crown of thorns. Our crisis is full. 

    Read More: Is it time to say Goodbye

  • 05/12/2020 8:14 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    Two unprecedented proposals to help Californians weather the fiscal storm unleashed by the coronavirus crisis are expected to be unveiled Tuesday by Democrats in the state Senate — one to help struggling renters, the other to create a $25-billion economic recovery fund by issuing long-term vouchers to those willing to prepay their future state income taxes.

    The unconventional effort to help renters would ask landlords to forgive rent payments in exchange for equally sized tax credits spread out over a 10-year period starting in 2024. The tax credits would be transferable, meaning the property owner could sell them to an outside investor and get cash immediately.

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  • 05/12/2020 8:13 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    As the City sent 30-day layoff notices to 156 Santa Monica employees Monday, the Lookout asked Council members if they would be willing to give up their salaries.

    The latest figures obtained by the Lookout show that Council members received an annual salary of $15,696, while the mayor made $18,282 (The numbers have since increased by about $2,000.)

    All seven Council members also received $29,012 a year in benefits and a budgeted car allowance of $4,416.

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  • 05/11/2020 9:58 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    Drop the ill-conceived appeal now, and we will work with you on implementation of the district elections ordered by the Los Angeles Superior Court, and we will be reasonable in accommodating the City’s payment of our attorneys’ fees.

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