screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-12-10-50-pmLast month, Santa Monica Next reached out to all 10 candidates for City Council with an 11 question questionnaire. Some questions were written to give voters an idea of the candidates personality, others on their positions. So far, six candidates have responded. We would like to thank (in order of response) Terry O’Day, Gleam Davis, Mende Smith, Ted Winterer, John Mann and Terrance Later for their responses.

Responses will be printed in random order so that each candidate gets a chance to have their answer printed first. Each candidate will also get at least one of their own meme pictures highlighting one of their answers.

Here is a list to past Q and A’s:

We hope to hear from Mayor Tony Vazquez, Armen Melkonians, Oscar de la Torre and James Watson so we can share their answers for the remaining six questions.

Today’s Question : How will you vote on Measures GS and GSH, the transaction and use tax and its advisory measure? Why?

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Before you go on, if you’re not familar with GS and GSH, read their pages at SMVOTE.ORG: GS, GSH.

Terry O’Day :

YES – short answer is we simply need more funding for school operations and affordable housing and this is our best option considering cuts in state funding for schools and the loss of redevelopment funds for housing.

Jon Mann : 

Strongly against it, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! We already pay one of the highest tax rates in the entire country. This tax is about increasing revenue to satisfy the never ending greed of those who feed at the public trough!

Gleam Davis : 

I am voting yes on measures GS and GSH.  The loss of redevelopment funds severely eroded the City’s ability to rehabilitate and preserve existing affordable housing and to produce new deed-restricted affordable housing. 

Assuming that the voters adopt the recommended uses of the revenues realized through GS, the City will be more able to keep Santa Monica affordable for vulnerable seniors at risk of losing their homes, protect existing residents from displacement with loans to non-profit housing organizations to both renovate older apartment buildings and create new long-term affordable housing, and provide housing that is affordable to working families, seniors, and people with disabilities. 

In addition, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District will use money generated by GS to provide ongoing maintenance at our schools, ensure safe and modern learning environments for students, attract and retain high quality teachers, and improve instruction in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.  The school district also may use the new revenues to maintain rigorous academic programs, increase access to high quality preschool, and provide additional resources to support at-risk students.

Terrance Later : 

I do not support Measures GS & GSH, and let me tell you why… We need to find ways to support our public schools, teachers and maintain affordable housing in our community that do not involve raising more taxes. Our local economy is outstanding and will only get stronger with all the growth we have seen in recent years. It is time to start doing the best we can with the revenue we have from current tax rates.

Mende Smith : 

I will vote in support of GS and GSH Nov. 8. Measures providing for local programs must be supported. Both can be a source of funding for early childcare, out-of-school time and youth development programs, as well as dollars to combat gentrification and renter’s rights. Tourism is taking the brunt of the increase, which is progressive. As voters must continually approve the funding, and advocates must undertake the effort to maintain the program and influence decisions for future programming, the measures are atypically responsible.

Ted Winterer : 

Yes on GS/GSH, as a new source of funding for affordable housing to replace lost redevelopment revenue is critical for sustaining our commitment to a diverse, inclusive community. With the new funds from GS we can buy and rehab existing apartment buildings and deed-restrict units as they become available for use by low-income households. And the portion of the new revenue that will be allocated to the school district will help to assure that our residents continue to have access to quality public education.