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The new CIVIC WORKING GROUP gets underway!!

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On January 21, 2014, the City of Santa Monica’s new Civic Working Group will have it’s first fully attended meeting. The nine member group appointed back in October. The groups task will be to study reports, meet with experts and have exchanges with the public so that recommendations can be made to City Council on what kind of project will save the Civic Auditorium, while being financeable and supported by the public. And all that is expected to be ready by May 2015!

Agendas for this and future meeting will appear on the city’s Civic Auditorium web page. Just scroll down to find the information that is available. The January 21st agenda will appear a few days before the meeting and will focus on having the group develop specifics for their work plan.


The Civic Working Group members are:

Linda Bozung- Ms. Bozung recently retired from a 30-year law career with a specialty in land use, development and environmental analysis law.  Her professional experience includes the preparation of Specific Plans, EIRs and public-private development agreements.  Her volunteerism spans local, state and national topics and includes 10 years on the Board of Directors for the Weingart Center, Public Counsel Board of Directors, service on the Interim Regional Coastal Plan Committee for SCAG, the Citizen Advisory Committee for the California Senate local Government Committee on Planning for California’s Growth, the US EPA Advisory Committee regarding Wetlands, the Open Space Task Force of the Los Angeles CRA, and a variety of national, state and local positions with the American Bar Association’s councils and committees.  She has lived in Santa Monica for 23 years.

Fred Deni- Mr. Deni has owned and managed Back on Broadway and Back on the Beach restaurants, and a special event and catering service in Santa Monica since 1979.  Additionally, he has worked in theater and theatrical production since he was a young child.  Mr. Deni’s long history of community involvement includes serving as a founding board member of the Ruskin Group Theatre, serving on the Santa Monica College Advisory Board, and founding the PAL Fred Deni Culinary Program.  Additionally, the Santa Monica Red Cross honored him with its Humanitarian Award.  He has lived in Santa Monica for 40 years.

Philip Orosco- Mr. Orosco is the Managing Partner of Pacshore Partners, a real estate investment firm located in Santa Monica.  His work in the real estate investment industry spans 20 years and includes financing over $5 billion in real estate, developing multiple commercial and historically sensitive properties in Santa Monica and nine years as Vice President of Finance and Acquisitions at Maguire Properties.  His professional knowledge includes real estate acquisitions and operations, debt structuring and finance.  He is an active member of the Santa Monica Conservancy.  He lived in Santa Monica for five years, and currently resides in Pacific Palisades and works in Santa Monica.

Jodi Summers- Ms. Summers is the founder of the SoCal Investment Real Estate Group, a top producing team with Sotheby’s International Realty in the Los Angeles area.  Her specialty is investment properties and coastal real estate.  Additionally, her background includes music journalism, where she worked as a senior editor and photo editor for various industry magazines.  Ms. Summers’ currently serves as Communications Chair and as a member of the Zoning Subcommittee for the Ocean Park Association, and is an active member of the Save the Civic community group.  Ms. Summers has lived in Santa Monica for 17 years.

Carey Upton- Mr. Upton is the Director of the Facility Use Department for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, with primary responsibility for the operations of Barnham Hall.  Mr. Upton’s background includes 34 years of experience working in theater, performing arts and entertainment.  Prior to SMMUSD, Mr. Upton managed historic theaters in downtown Los Angeles and managed regional theaters.  His community involvement includes membership on the Santa Monica Performing Arts and Field Sports Advisory Committees, Santa Monica Chapter of the American Red Cross Board of Directors and Santa Monica Rep Theatre Company.  He has worked in Santa Monica for eight years and lives in Los Angeles.

Iao Katagiri will represent the Arts Commission

Nina Fresco will represent the Landmarks Commission

Frank Gruber will represent the Planning Commission

Phil Brock will represent the Recreation and Parks Commission, with Lori Brown as an alternate



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