The Culver City council made appointments to several boards at its meeting on Jan. 11, and set the standard for filling future vacancies.
The process of taking appointments from city council went smoothly. The first was for the General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC), and Mayor Alex Fisch and councilmember Yasmin Imani-McMorrin for this particular appointment. The empty seat was the one vacated by McMorrin when she was elected to city council.
The GPAC board seats are different from other committees in that there are no term limits. Instead, it is the city council who has direct jurisdiction over members’ terms, and can even decide to disband the board entirely.
McMorrin wanted to appoint a representative to take her place, mainly because she wanted someone on the board to continue her focus on equity and inclusion. Councilmember Goran Eriksson hoped to come up with a policy or rule to follow in to make the process clearer and hopefully faster.
Fisch noted that the GPAC serves as a unique liaison to the public, and floated the idea of former council members serving on the committee. He also proposed a simple rule of thumb: a basic rotation for appointing replacements for committee members elected by former council members, while current council members appoint replacements for committee members they appointed or for replacements to fill their own vacated seats.
For the labor representative on the Equity and Human Relations Advisory Committee, the seat became vacant after CCPD Sgt. Luis Martinez was removed from the role following public outcry.
Martinez is most well known for being involved in a police involved shooting that resulted in the death of LeJoy Grissom. After several members of the public expressed their distaste at Martinez’s election, it was quickly reevaluated and nullified.
Prior to this meeting, city staff had been directed to recruit for potential replacements through employee’s emails. They received one application — from Anissa D’Vicente, the webmaster for the City of Culver City — and she was quickly accepted and appointed to the committee by unanimous vote.
The other two seats were on the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and the Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Commission. While there are still other seats — including one on the Committee on Homelessness — that needed filling, the council agreed to regiment the appointments, and only focus on the ones on the agenda today.
For the future, a discussion was had on when these appointments could be made. While councilmember Albert Vera initially proposed that if a seat is vacant three months from the next appointment, a replacement could be chosen by council.
The best length for that time period was being debated as being anywhere from three to six months from the next appointment, and the logistics of how outreach would be done for those openings. The council weighed the value of traditional advertising through newspaper ads versus social media and other forms of outreach, but no decision was made.
Over the final hour and a half of the meeting, several appointments were made to various committees by the council to fill vacant positions.
The first was the Los Angeles City Selection Committee, who meets once a year with the Los Angeles County Division of the League of California Cities, as well as other occasional special meetings. The mayor is automatically elected to the position, but an alternative was needed. That appointment was quickly given to Vice Mayor Daniel Lee. The second was the League of California Cities/Los Angeles County Division, who meet in January, March, and May that needed delegates from Culver City to be represented.
Fisch first recommended that Eriksson be appointed because of his position in the National League of Cities, and Lee suggested that Vera or McMorrin be selected as an alternate.
Vera showed interest in the position, to which McMorrin obliged.
The third position was the delegate for Independent Cities Association of Los Angeles County — a non profit corporation with 40 member cities that focuses on public safety, education, infrastructure, legislative advocacy, intergovernmental relationships and other major issues.
Similar to the previous spot, Fisch nominated either McMorrin or Vera to take the position, to which Vera accepted and McMorrin allowed him to.
Notably, the Culver City delegate will serve as the chair for the Association, a first for Culver City.
A board seat on the Los Angeles County Sanitation District Number Five was the next position discussed. While Mayor Fisch was automatically appointed as the primary delegate, an alternate was needed.
Meetings for District Number Five are held on the third Wednesday of the month at the City Hall in Torrance. Unlike other boards, all councilmembers would be able to attend meetings, but there is a stipend of $125 per meeting.
Lee expressed his desire to stay on this board, again met with no pushback.
Finally, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) was the last delegate position
A full list of appointees to outside boards and subcommittees by the Culver City city council will be present in an upcoming issue of the Culver City News.