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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.

3 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!

1 Agree Created

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

Manhattan Beach Should Look To Hermosa

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

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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

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November 15, 2013

City Council of Manhattan Beach Manhattan Beach City Hall 1400 Highland Avenue Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

Greetings!

Is the departure of City Manager Carmany an absurdity of illogical actions by the Manhattan Beach City Council as epitomized in the novel, “Catch 22?” The senselessness begins by the City Council hiring Carmany as city manager in December 2010 under a contract that renews automatically yearly unless non-renewal is noticed12 months in advance; or, if the Council dismisses Carmany for cause.

During the next three years, the City Council, in closed session, conducts 13 performance reviews of City Manager Carmany but never finalizes his appraisal or establishes cause for dismissal that would result in no severance pay and benefits. In addition, the City Council contracts a consultant for $13,500 to advise it on finalizing Carmany’s appraisal but to no avail.

Last week, the City Council dismissed Carmany without cause. Under the contract, his severance includes a year’s salary of well-over $200,000 plus benefits plus payouts of accrued vacation and sick leave, and a portion of increased equity in his home financed in part by city residents.

It now appears that former City Manager Dolan, fired due to alleged and then admitted sexual misconduct, and now former City Manager Carmany, fired under pleasantry euphemisms shadowing his incompetence, are competing for who walks away with the highest severance jackpot of over $250,000 of our tax dollars.

We deserve a better explanation from Councilmembers Lesser, Howorth, and Powell (at the helm during most of Carmany’s tenure) than “the Council has decided to move in a new direction,” hopefully not further “Catch-22” absurdities.

Sincerely,

Edward C. Caprielian, Ph.D.

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It has been over 100 days since a Daily Breeze editorial chided the Manhattan Beach City Council on problems that still remain – late meetings; postponing of agenda items; lack of transparency; and the interminable length of remarks by councilmembers.

The source of these problems also remains, i.e. rather than dual responsibility, the failure of the Council to hold itself accountable for policymaking, while holding the city manager and staff accountable for implementation.

Instead, under the guise of meeting management, the Council recently passed measures further gagging residents and silencing criticism, including reneging on allowing public comment on policy decisions made at meetings rather than only non-agenda items; and, failure to strengthen open meeting and public information access provisions as allowable under law.

As the Daily Breeze stated, “Manhattan Beach is a first-class city. It deserves first-class meeting management,” not practices that “actually work against open government by dissuading regular citizens from attending.”

Edward C. Caprielian, Ph.D. Manhattan Beach Resident

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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.

Edward C. Caprielian, Ph.D. Manhattan Beach Resident

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