Governance, as it relates to governing by the Manhattan Beach City Council (MBCC), seeks to bring stakeholders together to participate in the dialogue, decision-making, and implementation of solutions to common problems or goals. The word governance derives from a Greek verb “to steer.” Unfortunately, over the past decades the MBCC has lost control of its distinct role and abdicated the steering of public policymaking to a city manager and city staff.
Councilmember Tony D’Errico and Councilmember Mark Burton have courageously brought forth the challenge for the council to reverse course and reap the benefits of policy governance. These embrace centering the MBCC to provide visionary leadership and strategic concentration on the “what” and “why” of city operations; a focus on desired results and outcomes for the residents; and, a proactive, not reactive, forward-looking focus on the future of Manhattan Beach.
The achievement of these benefits requires full council support; strictly requiring the city manager to focus on his management responsibilities to implement council policies; monitoring his achievement of desired end-results; and, ensuring performance accountability by the city manager and staff in matching taxpayer dollars consumed to benefits gained.
We, the residents, as stakeholders, must support the efforts of those councilmembers willing to take the helm of policy governance including accepting the challenging responsibilities; demonstrating the required competencies; and, most importantly, having the will to steer the MBCC through unchartered waters towards a destination promoting the public interest and common good, not politics as usual.