Manhattan Beach City Council - Distrust, Diminishmet, and Disengagement of the Public

Manhattan Beach residents should note and applaud Hermosa Beach’s continued “Community Dialogue,” a “public engagement” process whereby elected officials are encouraging Hermosans to influence critical decisions on priorities and revenue generation. Through outreach, consultation, and creative consensus building dynamics, Hermosa Beach is promoting empowerment of residents and consultative democracy.

In contrast, Manhattan Beach has eschewed public engagement. Its elected officials rely on formalized “public participation” characterized by one-way communication patronizing residents into impotency rather than public deliberation and sustained problem solving.

Cities and counties throughout California are recognizing the benefits of public engagement including better identification of the public’s values, ideas, and recommendations; more fully informed citizens; improved decision-making and implementation; greater ability to overcome obstacles; and, heightened policy unanimity and support.

For Hermosans, the process is benefiting the building of their unique community identity rather than wanting “to be like Manhattan Beach” or “become Rodeo Drive at the beach.”

Edward C. Caprielian, Ph.D.

1 Agree Created

Ph D Edward C Caprielian, Management Consultant/University Professor over 8 years ago

The corruption in Bell is “American as apple pie.” It is typical in low socio-economic communities in Southeast Los Angeles County and in cities as Manhattan Beach with wealthy, highly educated populations.

The commonality is lack of citizen oversight. As emphasized in a recent Daily Breeze editorial (“Bell corruption closer than we want to know”), “You’ll never know unless you pay attention to what your electeds are up to.” (March 26)

Why the lack of “attention”? In Manhattan Beach, as across the nation, elected officials, by limiting public engagement, fail to see their role as servants not masters thereby generating public apathy and disengagement.

For example, Manhattan Beach residents can only sadly claim, “We’re no worse than Los Angeles,” because, recently, in both cities, only 21 percent of registered voters turned out on Election Day. Indeed, the turnout in our seven municipal elections during 2001-2013 has been 19.1, 21.5, 29.5, 22.5, 24.03, 21.41, and 21.84 percent. Voter apathy is a clear indicator that prior Manhattan Beach City Councils have consistently discouraged public engagement thereby failing to gain the attention and commitment of our residents to care about public policymaking. The current Manhattan Beach City Council needs to acknowledge these past failures and demonstrate by action, not only words, that it will “walk the talk” to gain that attention, commitment, and caring. Further, “We the People” (U.S. Constitution) must insist that in delegating authority to our elected officials, do not give up our right to decide what is good for the people.

1 Agree Created

LA County should allow private insured personal trainers the ability to continue remaining employed safely by granting permits for one on one socially distanced private training sessions. Currently permits are not being granted. Gyms are extremely high risk locations for viral spread to trainers who then spread the virus into the community and to the members who go to gyms daily. By allowing insured private trainers to utilize the parks and beaches to train individual clients using their own exercise equipment, people have less desire to go back into gyms and trainers continue to earn a living and get off of pandemic unemployment. Manhattan Beach residents are a very fit community that would happily hire private trainers for park and beach training.

4 Agrees Created

I have created a petition that explains everything: http://chng.it/2mSdjDZ8

1 Agree Created

Begg Pool is not adequate for MB. Swim lessons are always full, free swim is rarely available, and compared to El Segundo, Hawthorne, and other neighboring cities, our pool program is really lacking. We have the space, right at Begg Pool or at Marine Park or elsewhere. This would be a wonderful resource for all MB residents, young and old, families and singles.

Please consider this before spending a penny on a skate park which will only benefit a very small group of residents and will probably be used more by non-residents.

5 Agrees Created

jhendy 365, Freelance IP Network Engineer about 1 year ago

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1 Agree Created

Get current on the posting of Council meeting minutes (and videos), stay current, and hold the City Manager fully accountable for never again allowing the unprecedented six month delinquency that recently existed (despite the hiring of an outside contractor to perform this routine duty of the City Clerk)!

2 Agrees Created

Many new homes block views, create sight lines into personal spaces within adjacent residences, or block sunlight into yards. Existing structures should be considered before issuing permits. Also, with the great weather we have here in this city, I think more yard space should be encouraged. Not sure how to achieve this, but it would be nice to start a dialogue. We also need to encourage solar power, so why do we allow new homes to block sunlight for existing homes. It seems to be the norm, especially downtown. I think most of us enjoy the sunshine. That's why we're here!

2 Agrees Created

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2 Agrees Created

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

2 Agrees Created