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Westside Digest

Santa Monica : Head of Rent Board Named

February 25, 1988

Mary Ann Yurkonis, a deputy city attorney for Santa Monica, has been named administrator of the Rent Control Board.

Yurkonis, 39, will start the job in April. The five-member board chose her from a field of six semifinalists.

She was assistant administrator and acting administrator of the rent control agency from late 1979 to late 1980, the early days of Santa Monica's rent control law.

She became a lawyer for the rent control office and in 1984 joined the city attorney's staff.

The board, saying it wanted to move in a "new direction," fired her predecessor, Howell Tumlin, last November. Tumlin had held the job for seven years.

Yurkonis, an Illinois native and graduate of the Peoples College of Law in Los Angeles, said she looked forward to the challenge of administering rent control policies set by the board.

"I think the board would like to take more control for themselves in setting policy and direction for the policy," she said.

Susan Davis, who chairs the board, praised all the semifinalists and said the decision was not easy.

Yurkonis "has a unique blend of skills and energy and forthrightness that we felt matched where the board is," Davis said. "She is able to assess things clearly and is very up front about how she feels. This board is that way too, so we felt it was a good match."

The salary for the position is still being negotiated.

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