March 2, 2024 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Opinion: Bonin a No-Show at Venice Sign Lighting, but Potential Successors Populate the Evening

The Venice Holiday sign-lighting is probably the most popular community event outside the Abbot-Kinney festival which was shelved due to COVID-19, and Venetians turned out in big numbers Saturday evening to hear live music while numerous organizations had tables giving away all kinds of information and items.

Even Santa himself was on hand for a photo with kids of all ages.

It was a festive night for Venice, as so many people who had not seen each other at a public event in some time gathered and mingled. 

Conspicuous by his absence was Councilman Mike Bonin, a prominent and featured fixture at past sign lightings, rumor has it he was out of town. 

For a guy seeking reelection while fighting off a potential recall, his absence was obvious and noticeable.

But then again, Venice has been “ground zero” for the Bonin recall campaign and one might think what was once friendly territory is no longer the case for the controversial incumbent. 

Recall organizer Nico Ruderman was present as well as announced candidate Traci Park, a lawyer and Venice resident. 

Jim Murez, the longtime manager of the Venice Farmer’s Market who also serves as President of the Venice Neighborhood Council, a position he won last June in a tightly-contested four-way race is now a challenger to Mike Bonin and is hosting a fundraiser at his Main Street home later this month. 

That makes two announced candidates from Venice along with Allison Holdorf-Polhill, an unsuccessful candidate for the LAUSD school board and current staffer to school trustee Nick Melvoin who defeated her in the race to succeed former board member Steve Zimmer. 

Polhill, a resident of the Palisades jumped into the race several weeks ago and made it a point to say she endorsed the recall campaign upon the news the recall organizers announced gathering nearly 40,000 signatures. 

Polhill was seen Saturday evening working the crowd as well and sent a mailer promoting herself and her commitment to beating Bonin this week. 

And if that wasn’t enough, some believe Venice attorney Mike Newhouse, who previously served as VNC president twice is mulling a potential run against Bonin. 

Newhouse served as the evening’s master of ceremonies as he has in the past for so many years. 

A popular local, Mike is married with two sons and some noticed the fact he shaved off his “mountain man” beard and mustache adding further speculation that a candidacy might be forthcoming. 

And then there was restauranteur and entrepreneur Demetrios Mavromichalis with his wife strolling among the crowd where he has many friends in the Venice area as a lifelong LA area resident. 

The longtime Mar Vista community leader that heads up two not-for-profit’s in NOURISH LA and ENVISION LA, he enjoys strong support in other parts of the 11th CD like Playa del Rey, Del Rey and Westchester while having friends in the Palisades in a contest that is quickly developing into a crowded field of aspirants who view Mike Bonin as politically speaking, a mortally wounded incumbent on the way out. 

Mavromichalis in a recent radio interviewed said he would seek the seat should the recall signatures be certified for the remainder of Bonin’s current term. 

A proponent of the recall, his platform will be centered around ending the homeless encampments, getting the unhoused indoors, repairing relations with LAPD while working with Sheriff Villanueva and restoring the community values of homeowners and tenants across the district. 

To add insult to injury for the absent Bonin, his nemesis LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva was on hand to greet the large crowd and is recognized by many as the real reason Venice Beach was cleaned up of homeless encampments contrary to the notion that Bonin was somehow responsible for this transformation of sorts that saw Oceanfront Walk deteriorate into a virtual slum by the sea on his watch.   

Villanueva was greeted to a nice applause for his efforts on behalf of Dogtown as he prepares his own reelection efforts. 

And while the evening was really just about community, music and fun, the scent of recalls and reelection campaigns were somewhat evident to those seemingly in the know. 

The impact of nearly 40,000 signatures gathered is having a real impact on LA politics and Team Bonin is worried. 

As the recall revelers will be meeting next week to celebrate their efforts, the battle to unseat Bonin has just begun and those interested in becoming his successor are now starting to take shape. 

And this time around, Venice will be at the head of the line in this process to select a new council member.

The author is a member of the Outreach and Oceanfront Walk Committees of the Venice Neighborhood Council (www.venicenc.org) and can be reached at (310) 621-3775 or via e-mail at nantoni@mindspring.com

in Opinion
Related Posts

New Program Can Help Protect Southern California Homes in the Event of an Earthquake

May 13, 2023

May 13, 2023

Residents Have Until May 31 To Apply For Seismic Retrofit Grants By Janiele Maffei, Chief Mitigation Officer for the California...

Venice Shorts: Tree Trimming Underway Thanks to the Vsa!

April 28, 2023

April 28, 2023

VSA Has Taken up the Task of Trimming Italian Stone Pine Trees. By Nick Antonicello Following the recent toppling of...

Venice Stakeholders Association’s Comments on Traci Park’s Broken Bridge Housing Promise

April 24, 2023

April 24, 2023

By Marc Ryavec I have been struggling with how to address the phenomenon that someone I and many others in...

Column: Tired OF Declinists? Some Enduring New California Positives

April 18, 2023

April 18, 2023

By Thomas D. Elias California has taken a beating lately, with (mostly Republican) governors of other states blasting many aspects...

Venice Shorts: The South Venice Blvd Encampment, Is It a Candidate for a City Cleanup?

April 14, 2023

April 14, 2023

One of the last of the large encampments closest to the beach, Venetians are hopeful help is on the way!...

Venice Shorts: Averill Defeats Tyminski 63%-37% to Become President of Venice Neighborhood Council

April 3, 2023

April 3, 2023

In second bid for top spot, surfer/photographer Brian Averill coasts to an easy win against Venice attorney and outgoing Vice-President...

Column: Install at LAX Tiny Homes From The State Grant

March 31, 2023

March 31, 2023

By Clark Brown On March 16  Governor Newsom announced in Sacramento, his first stop on his State of the State of...

Venice Shorts: Night & Day – Flower & Lincoln Transformed, Back in Business

March 28, 2023

March 28, 2023

By Nick Antonicello In what was a Venice eyesore just a few months ago has been transformed into a place...

Opinion: Please Vote for Daffodil Tyminski

March 25, 2023

March 25, 2023

This is Tom Williams, your neighbor at 1011 Main Street.  With the upcoming VNC election this Sunday, I wanted to reach...

Venice Shorts: Popular Local Jim Robb Seeks Vp Slot, Endorses Brian Averill for President of the VNC!

March 23, 2023

March 23, 2023

By Nick Antonicello  VENICE – In a twist of events longtime Community Officer Jim Robb will now be seeking the...

Venice Shorts: Tabor Family Legacy Amara Hordt Seeks Seat on VNC This Sunday!

March 22, 2023

March 22, 2023

Local realtor looks to follow a family legacy of engaged community involvement here in Venice By Nick Antonicello VENICE –...

Venice Shorts: Erica Moore, A Cheerleader For Venice In Her Run For Community Officer!

March 22, 2023

March 22, 2023

By Nick Antonicello VENICE – Local caterer Erica Moore is making a second run for the Venice Neighborhood Council, but...

Venice Shorts: Running Unopposed, Nico Ruderman’s Deep Dive Into Politics and Government Continues!

March 22, 2023

March 22, 2023

By Nick Antonicello VENICE – It has been an interesting two years of political action, involvement and advocacy for Nico...

Venice Shorts: “V” for Venice Volunteer

March 20, 2023

March 20, 2023

Media professional, local business owner and Dad, Eric Alan Donaldson is defined by his volunteerism and love of Venice. By...

Deborah Keaton, a Consensus Building Candidate for VNC Community Officer!

March 20, 2023

March 20, 2023

Creative director, global brander and private business owner seeks a general consensus on what’s best for Venice moving forward.  By...