CITY COUNCIL BLINKS
council Moves to End Brown Act Violation Controversy
June 21, 2018
In an unprecedented move, the City Council has opted to review the procedure for mayoral and vice mayor selection, according to a letter from the City Attorney's office.
The move was prompted by eight Culver City residents who filed a complaint with the city attorney, alleging a secret meeting or discussions were held to pass over Goran Eriksson who was in line to become the next vice mayor.
The City Attorney office's letter stated that the council did agree to:
1. Place an item on the agenda for the June 25 City Council Meeting to allow the City Council to reconsider the election of the position of Vice Mayor; and
2. Place the Mayoral Rotation Policy on the agenda for the June 25 City Council Meeting for consideration and possible action.
The controversy erupted during the April installation ceremony when incoming Mayor Thomas Small nominated Meghan Sahli-Wells to be vice mayor so she could serve as mayor during her final year in office. Under the term limits instituted in Culver City, she will end her eight years in 2020.
Eriksson will end his first term at the same time, having never served in the largely ceremonial position of Mayor.
Despite differences in positions, past councils have always opted to follow council policy, so every member of the council could serve at least once as mayor during their first term.
In their complaint letter to the City Attorney, the eight residents demanded "that the Culver City Council cure and correct the illegally taken action as follows: vacate vice-mayor appointment and hold an agendized public meeting as to why the Mayoral Rotation Policy will not be used in the selection of the Vice-Mayor, alternatively discuss in public what extenuating circumstances are present to forego the application of the rotational method."
Responding to that letter, City Attorney Carol Schwab said, "the City Council disagrees with the contentions in the May 14th letter."
The letter from the city attorney refuted the claims that proper notice wasn't given and that a quorum of council members (including council members who had not yet been sworn in) never took place.
The letter does not address discussions among council members in the weeks prior to the council meeting, which has been described by many residents as 'the worst kept secret" in Culver City.
Council observers said the proposed measures by the council are "attempts to sanitize any discrepancies" of the prior action.