22 Aug 2014
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New Leaders Named to Santa Monica Pier

The City Council picks big names for the pier's newly reconstituted Board of Directors. They will focus on marketing and promotions.

New Leaders Named to Santa Monica Pier

When it picked new leaders for the , the City Council turned to old hands.

A smaller, reconstituted governing panel for the historic pier is now comprised of established movers and shakers, such as former city administrators, the CEO of Santa Monica's tourism bureau and a retired RAND Corp. executive.

Four board veterans who sought to retain their seats, however, were unsuccessful. City officials said the board needs a "new identity and direction" as it is expected to shepherd major operational changes in the next two years .

The new members voted in by the City Council on Feb. 28 are: Judy Abdo, Rae Archibald, Raymond Braun, John Catoe, Misti Kerns, Susan McCarthy and Barbara Stinchfield.

They were selected from a field of 21 candidates to make-up a smaller, all-volunteer Board of Directors for the Pier Corp. The nonprofit— which was created after two winter storms destroyed one-third of the pier in 1983—will now oversee promotions and the production of community events.

The former and larger 11-member board was "relatively obscure," according to the LookOut News.

The new board members will work to open a museum and carousel gift shop and visitor center, develop an app for tourists seeking information about the pier and install new directional signs.

City staffers will absorb former Pier Restoration Corp. responsibilities such as infrastructure, maintenance, custodial, parking, tenant selection, lease approvals and tenant and property management. The coordination of such functions have been rolled into the newly-formed Office of Pier Management, led by former airport administrator, Rod Merl.

The board will also work with a bit more money.

City officials expect revenues will grow by more than $48,000—9 percent above last year—to $1.1 million thanks to new promotions and event sponshorships for the Twilight Dance Series and other special events.

They'll spend more, too. The budget calls for about just as much in expenditures, including $989,744 in operations, administration, salaries, marketing, events and "professional services."

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