JUST POLITICS......Eriksson Snubbed; Shocked Audience Protests
New Council Violates its Own Policy
May 3, 2018
By Stephen Hadland
Bringing to light "the decade's worst kept secret in Culver City," the new City Council skipped over Councilmember Goran Eriksson for the post of Vice Mayor at its installation ceremony Monday night – a move that violated city council policy and drew the ire of residents.
Newly-installed Mayor Thomas Small nominated Meghan Sahli-Wells, effectively putting her in line to become mayor next year, her last year in office. Eriksson will end his first term without having a turn at being mayor.
City Councils in the past have always voted to make sure everyone on their panel became mayor before anyone else got a second term. Most of those votes were unanimous, even between political opponents, according to long-time city observers.
Monday night's shocking development, which was apparently decided prior to the meeting, was met with boos and words of anger from the clearly disgusted audience at the Council Chambers.
Newly-elected Councilmember Daniel Lee, who voted for Sahli-Wells, said that his motivation was simply "politics."
According to city officials, the last councilmember who did not serve as mayor was the late Ed Little because mayors in his era served two-year terms. Currently, mayors serve only a one-year term.
Monday night, the council violated its installation policy – known as the "Silbiger" policy -- which was put into effect eight years ago, after former councilmember Gary Silbiger was passed over for a second term as mayor. Council decided any member who had not served as vice mayor would get that position and that a retiring councilmember could not serve as vice mayor his last year in office. While largely a ceremonial post, there is a certain prestige to becoming the town's mayor.
Karlo Silbiger who was vehement proponent of having a council policy was conspicuously silent at the meeting.
As tempers and tension ran high later in the evening, there was a brief dispute among the spectators when a woman knocked a camera phone and selfie stick out of the hands of another female spectator stating that she was invading her personal space. A uniformed officer from the Culver City Police Department, Lt. Troy Dunlop was present and stopped the incident from escalating.
Lost in the commotion was the installation of Alex Fisch and Daniel Lee as new members of the council. Both Fisch and Lee were heavily supported by Sahli-Wells in print and on videos.
City hall watchers have named Small, Fisch and Lee as "Meghanites" and expect them to follow lockstep with Sahli-Wells and her agenda.