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)!
“Manhattan Beach has been nicknamed the ‘Pearl of the South Bay’ for its beauty and desirability.” (Wikipedia) Further, we deservedly have pride in our volunteer and philanthropic organizations whose generosity and contributions illustrate our characteristics as an ideal community defined by Stephen Covey (“7 Habits of Highly Effective People”): principled-centered goodness; being of one heart with a common vision and direction; and, one mind with an approach to problem solving that is synergistic, not adversarial.
However, the flawed iridescence of our “Pearl” is inadequate resident participation in our city’s governance – a flaw not sufficiently addressed by city council candidates. In the previous election, 21.41 percent of registered voters cast ballots. Perhaps only 50-100 residents actively attend city council meetings and organize to shape our city’s mission; challenge councilmembers when their policy decisions are imperfect; or, praise their gems.
The main culprit for the flaw are 15 past years of city councils directed by a former city manager and city attorney to minimize engagement of residents in public policymaking – allowing only comments at council meetings to pacify the “gadflies,” the civic activists often denigrated by councilmembers.
To magnify the iridescence of our “Pearl” requires “public engagement” by councilmembers, i.e. delegating authority to residents through education, outreach, dialogue, and empowerment in the public policymaking arenas such as strategic planning, labor relations, budgeting, community development, and in the often stated but neglected goal of “maintaining our small beach-town character.” Then our “Pearl” will attain the metaphor of it being something truly rare and admirable.
Edward C. Caprielian, Ph.D. Manhattan Beach
Is the Manhattan Beach City Council being fiscally responsible? The multi-millions required to upgrade Manhattan Beach facilities and infrastructure, following massive needed street lighting and sewer repairs, will culminate in increased taxes and further cast doubts on the accuracy and sufficiency of city cash reserves.
Councilmembers D’Errico and Burton are right in confronting the council on fiscal responsibility by targeting flaws in the current budget they opposed and in opposing managerial salary increases acquiesced to by Councilmembers Lesser, Howorth, and Powell. Further, D’Errico and Burton are challenging the Council to forge and adhere to its policymaking responsibilities while holding the city manager accountable for fiscal mandates – thus ending the travesty of trying to do his work as well as their own.
Rather, the Lesser-Howorth-Powell trio defends their rear-guard failures by acquiescing to the continued lack of performance and fiscal accountability by City Manager Carmany. Their failures include squashing budget reform efforts and abdicating responsibility for measurable results-oriented fiscal stability outcomes.
Illustrative of the trio’s malfeasance include not justifying recent department increased salary and benefit packages and establishing yearly performance contracts; and, not approving budget reforms that provide the Council a results scoreboard. For example, Lesser, Howorth, and Powell allocated millions to the Office of the City Manager without any required results. Not one!
An ethos of public service is accountability of taxpayer dollars entrusted to elected officials and public servants. Those who embrace this ethos should stay. Those who resist fired. Councilmembers Burton and D’Errico are aligned and steadfast to this ethos. Support them!
Edward C. Caprielian, Ph.D.
"How to Help Employees Unleash Their Producitivity"
As an entrepreneur, you work hard. Very hard. But make no mistake about it--you can't be the only one. To succeed in the long run, you need the active and engaged participation of your employees. This means unleashing the energy that is within each one of them. Here's how.
Catch Them Doing Something Right
Outstanding organizations share success with their employees. Management highlights constructive processes, strategies and employee ideas, then publicizes how they benefit the organization. When your employees are doing something right, let people know about it. Encourage outstanding, sustained performance by showing them how much their efforts are appreciated.
Set the Bar High
Set high standards for communication, productivity and professionalism throughout your organization. If at times these standards are not met, work closely with your employees to find ways to get back on track. Don't lower your standards. Instead, partner with your employees and take on challenges as a team. Enlist your their input to identify blocking issues, focus attention on possible solutions and strive to meet and exceed expectations.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Communicate professionally, clearly and often. Employees expect management's honest assessment of their performance. When things are running smoothly, highlight what is working and communicate success throughout the organization. When problems challenge progress, consider the potential impact you can have by constructively discussing your concerns. Use communication as a tool to inspire and motivate, as well as to direct and resolve problems.
Trust Your Employees
The best managers understand that organizational success is directly tied to the success of their employees, and they work to build bridges of trust. Establish trust by creating a safe, positive working environment with open and honest two-way communication. Give your people the benefit of the doubt, then help them up if they sometimes stumble.
Help Employees Grow
Set your employees up for success, not failure. Provide them with the tools and training to meet and exceed high standards. Encourage them to identify their strengths and motivations. Show them how your organization has benefitted from their efforts, and how this in turn benefits them. Determine what drives your people, then incorporate that into their daily tasks.
Create and Maintain a Productive Environment
Create and maintain a positive, industrious and pleasant working environment. Productive, motivated people drive outstanding organizations. Ensure employees feel challenged with their jobs, but not overwhelmed. Delegate tasks and encourage people into positions of greater complexity and responsibility whenever possible so employees are always in motion and have a stake in the organization's success.
Build a Community
Make sure your employees feel like they are a part of something special and that their efforts are truly appreciated. Partner with them by involving them directly in the success of the organization. Create and cultivate a sense of camaraderie, where people look forward to coming to work because they want to be a part of your company's success story.
By unleashing the energy of your employees and getting out of the way, you can create a high-energy workforce. Once this energy is fully unleashed, your business will grow by leaps and bounds.
Source: Internnational City/County Management Association - ICMA Smart Brief - October 8, 2013. http://r.smartbrief.com/resp/eMrjClsasTCkyWcmCidmzrCicNtpLs
Editor Daily Breeze
Re: “Meetings to focus on residents’ priorities,” (Daily Breeze, December 11, 2013)
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.
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. Manhattan Beach
Yay google is my world beater 50
Yay google is my world beater 50
To counteract resident alienation, the Manhattan Beach City Council (MBCC) should employ public engagement strategies to increase civic involvement by residents in the deliberation of public policymaking thereby promoting the overall public interest rather than of a minority of interests (e.g. those of real estate developers, architects, contractors, and realtors).
A resident significantly impacted by a major neighborhood construction project appeared before the MBCC pleading for its intervention. Yet, the same resident rejected the responsibility of the MBCC to promote civic engagement but rather stated:
“…[A] few weeks ago you wrote of voter apathy and seemed to blame it on City Council's behavior. I believe our local voter apathy is based on self-centered APATHY…Our residents are too interested in throwing parties in their mcmansions, earning money to pay for their mcmansions, showing off their BMW's and designer duds, taking Johnny to soccer practice, etc. Think about how many garages you pass with the Beach Reporter lying outside all week. City Council's fault?”
The resident is not alone. In a survey of elected officials, 87% viewed the public as disengaged but still valuing yet cautious of deliberative processes. Therefore, are we in a “chicken or egg” quandary? How do we ensure the MBCC meets its governance responsibilities to promote our community’s public interest?
Perhaps the answer is inherent in approximately only 20% of those registered voting in the last municipal election meaning each member of the MBCC did “not” receive votes by over 80% of registered voters. Representative government? No way!
Yay google is my world beater 30
The construction crisis in Manhattan Beach stems from the failure of prior Manhattan Beach City Councils (MBCC) to promote the public interest rather than the interests of the real estate lobby (i.e., developers, architects, contractors, and realtors). Instead, it has resulted in development conflicting with MBCC’s mission to “preserving our small beach town character” – but rather destruction in our quality of life (See, “Increase in residential construction has neighbors shaken up,” The Beach Reporter, August 8 and “Council addresses shoring, building issues, Easy Reader, August 8).
The failure to promote the public interest generates voter apathy and lack of civic involvement resulting from a sense of impotency. An antidote is employment by the present MBCC of public engagement interventions to empower residents in the deliberation of public policymaking along with the ownership and commitment to make those policies successful.
A resident significantly impacted by a major neighborhood construction project appeared before the MBCC pleading for its intervention. Yet, the same resident rejected the responsibility of the MBCC to promote civic engagement writing to me stating:
“… [A] few weeks ago you wrote of voter apathy and seemed to blame it on City Council's behavior. I believe our local voter apathy is based on self-centered APATHY…Our residents are too interested in throwing parties in their mcmansions, earning money to pay for their mcmansions, showing off their BMW's and designer duds, taking Johnny to soccer practice, etc. Think about how many garages you pass with the Beach Reporter lying outside all week. City Council's fault?”
The resident is not alone. In a survey of elected officials, 87% viewed the public as disengaged but overall valuing yet cautious of deliberative processes. Therefore, are we in a “chicken or egg” quandary? How do we ensure the MBCC is meeting its governance responsibilities to promote our overall community’s public interest?
Perhaps the answer is inherent in approximately only 20% of those registered voting in our municipal elections meaning each member of the MBCC did “not” receive votes by over 80% of registered voters. Representative government? No way!
Edward C. Caprielian, Ph.D. Manhattan Beach