The Culver City Council’s policy on electing its mayor and vice mayor is still in limbo, and will remain undecided for some time. At their last council meeting in June the Culver City Council voted 4-1 to set aside it’s mayoral policy and requested that staff create a comprehensive report on what a policy change might look like, should a change be adopted.
Depending on what the report comes up with, Culver City’s tradition for how it elects its mayor and vice-mayor could change, or it could stay the same.
The entire controversy surrounding the current policy stems from an April council meeting where Councilwoman Meghan Sahli-Wells was voted in as vice mayor instead of Councilman Goran Eriksson. Eriksson had been in line for the position but was passed over when the new council was sworn into office. He was the lone dissenting vote during the June council.
Martin Feinberg, Realtor, notes that Sahli-Wells will remain vice mayor while a change in policy is being considered.
Several Culver City Real Estate Area residents believe the Culver City council violated the Brown Act when it held prior conversations before its April vice mayor vote without the public’s attendance.
Bret Osterberg stated, “We know what was discussed and voted for in the meeting, that’s not a question. The issue is what went on before. Staging a second vote for show doesn’t get us anywhere.”
Sahli-Wells told those in attendance that she didn’t feel comfortable voting Eriksson as vice mayor or mayor, due to his voting pattern.
“It’s not about being mean or nice,” Sahli-Wells said. “It’s not about tradition. It’s not about taking turns. It’s absolutely about leadership in an incredibly important and critical time.”
Eriksson stated his support for the policy, as a way to keep the council transparent and stop political agendas.
“When there are stakes in the game, logic might disappear,” Eriksson said. “…This is how its (policy) done and the reason for that is to avoid exactly what we have today. This doesn’t do the city good, none whatsoever.”
Jamie Wallace, another resident who spoke at the meeting, had hoped the council would make Eriksson the city’s vice mayor.
“No one has ever been denied their vice or regular mayoral appointment when it was their first term, except now,” Wallace said. “The council deliberately ignored the policy and snubbed Goran Eriksson for his hard-earned vice mayoral appointment based on years of service.”
Local listing agent Martin Feinberg is interested to see how the Culver City Council will handle the issue in the coming months.