The Manhattan Beach City Council has taken action to reaffirm its focus on policymaking while ensuring it holds the city manager and staff accountable for policy implementation. Specifically, recommendations by Councilmember Tony D’Errico and Councilmember Wayne Powell, that garnered overall support by the Council, provide a needed clear differentiation between governance and management responsibilities.
Under this differentiation, the City Council’s primary responsibility is to the residents representing the ownership of Manhattan Beach as expressed through the community’s stakeholders. As a result, governance is a downward extension of ownership rather than an upward extension by the city’s administrators. In straightforward terms, the tail is no longer wagging the dog.
We, the residents, benefit because the City Council governs with an emphasis on outward vision rather than internal preoccupation; encouragement of diversity of viewpoints; strategic leadership rather than administrative detail; assurance of management accountability; and, proactivity rather than reactivity.
Further, these policy governance parameters and benefits will allow the Manhattan Beach City Council to empower the city manager and staff, thereby allowing them greater opportunities to demonstrate their competencies, creativity, and commitment toward achievement of policy-defined results.
Therefore, residents should demonstrate continued encouragement and support of these policy governance efforts to ensure city council policymaking represents the overall interests of our community, including the effective and efficient use of the resources we entrust to our elected officials.
Edward C. Caprielian, Ph.D. Manhattan Beach