Eriksson Elected Mayor
Fisch Named Vice Mayor
May 7, 2020
The council voted unanimously to name Goran Eriksson Mayor and Alex Fisch as Vice Mayor. With the voter approved measure to move the city election from April to coincide with the general election in November the term for these 2 positions will be 8 months instead of a full year. The city charter calls for the reorganization of council positions to take place after the council election.
Eriksson thanked his fellow council members saying, "I am honored to work with such a dedicated group of people who are truly focused on the best interests of our city."
Absent from the discussion was the acrimony from two years ago when Eriksson was passed over for a first term as mayor while the council chose to place councilmember Meghan Sahli-in line for second term for mayor.
With the election of Fisch that leaves Councilmember Daniel Lee as the last member who has not served. It is presumed Fisch will move up to the mayor's chair and Lee will be elected vice mayor.
While Eriksson becomes mayor immediately the "pinning" and celebration had to be continued to a later date after restrictions for COVID-19 are lifted.
Not to be denied, a group of residents put together a celebration and short parade of cars celebrating the new mayor. Social distancing was observed and the new mayor and his wife Britta wore face masks.
Culver City's Chief Financial Officer Onyx Jones gave a report on the city's fiscal condition considering the business shutdown. She reported on the decreases on revenues with the loss of sales taxes. While unsure of the recovery period when businesses reopen Onyx projected out the decrease in the general fund. She offered several scenarios.
The council voted to extend the time period to 12 months to repay back rents delayed during the COVID-19 shutdowns from the current six months. The current moratorium on evictions and payment of rents expires on May 31, 2020. City Clerk Jeremy Green read the comments from residents and property owners. Several of the comments believed the rents should be forgiven entirely. Most of the comments came from small property owners who spoke about the hardship the moratorium was causing having to continue to pay their mortgages without receiving rent payments from their tenants. Councilmember Fisch urged landlords and tenants to work together during the payback period. Councilmember Thomas Small urged everyone to lobby for mortgage relief noting that only the Federal Government has the ability to fund a program to bring relief to landlords.
The vote was unanimous to approve the extension period to 12 months for repayment.
Council ordered staff to do a study for homeless including places to park for those sleeping in cars and recreational vehicles in Culver City. The county reports the homeless count in Culver City stands at 236. Possible locations discussed were the parking lot behind the YMCA/Culver-Palms United Methodist Church and the Bill Botts Field.
Many of the sites are available short term and would not be available when the facilities are reopened. Councilmember Lee pointed out that the homeless issue was here before COVID-19 and will be here after. He felt it was important to look for a long term site. Councilman Thomas Small was concerned about converting the park to a homeless haven without any public input.
Most of the councilmembers appeared to be leaning towards using the parking lots at the baseball fields at Bill Botts Park.