City Council axes landlord registration extension

At the City Council meeting on the evening of Monday, July 10, a vote to extend the Rent Registration deadline for landlords failed to pass. Mayor Albert Vera voluntarily sat the vote out due to the appearance of a conflict of interest because he himself is a landlord.

Action Item 1 on the agenda read, “(1) Discussion and Direction Regarding Potential Extension of the Rent Registration Deadline by 90 Days from its Original Deadline of July 31, 2023 to October 29, 2023; (2) Direction to Staff to Return to Council with a Report on the Feasibility of Updating the Required Information Property Owners Must Submit to Comply with the Rent Registration Requirements of Culver City Municipal Code Section 15.09.230; and (3) Other Direction to the City Manager as Deemed Appropriate.” 

A lot of the concerns from the landlords stem from the register’s requirement that landlords include their names, increasing the possibility of harassment, including online “doxing.” But McMorrin pointed out that she hasn’t heard of any instances of violence.

While the final vote was 2-2, Council Member O’Brien moved to remove part 1, the registration extension, from the motion. Therefore, the tied vote was only on parts 2 and 3.

Minimum wage impact study approved

At Monday evening’s City Council meeting, the council voted 3-2 in favor of Action Item 4, which called for proposals for a study into a minimum wage.

Item A4 on the agenda read, “(1) Authorization to Prepare and Issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) to Conduct an Economic Impact Study of a Potential Minimum Wage Ordinance on the City’s Economy; and (2) Direction to the City Manager as Deemed Appropriate.”

Mayor Albert Vera and Council Members Freddy Puza and Dan O’Brien voted in favor of the item, with Vice Mayor Yasmine-Imani McMorrin and Council Member Göran Eriksson voting against. 

Both Eriksson and McMorrin felt that any such study is unnecessary, though for different reasons. Eriksson has long made it clear that he believes a minimum wage is unnecessary in Culver City because the market, and the proximity to Los Angeles, dictates wages.

However, when the outgoing council passed a minimum wage for healthcare workers in December, and then the current sitting council immediately got rid of it, proposals to revisit at a later date remained on the table.

“On a procedural technique it appears Council Member Eriksson voted the way he did to call back the item after the Council majority shifted,”McMorrin told the News in December.

In January, the council formed a new subcommittee to explore options for a minimum wage. That passed 4-0, with Eriksson abstaining.

This time, Eriksson voted firmly against any studies. McMorrin pointed out that, when those in power want to work fast, they can. A minimum wage to help those that need it most shouldn’t require endless studies. So, while this was a rare case of McMorrin and Eriksson voting the same way, their motivations were different.