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

Manhattan Beach woman, children held captive in home by burglar

A woman awoke in her Manhattan Beach home Thursday night to find a burglar in her bedroom, where she was sleeping with her two children, according to police.

The victim told police that a man wearing a ski mask entered her home in the 400 block of Altura Way through a rear sliding glass door. He entered the bedroom and asked her the whereabouts of her husband, money, jewelry and cell phone. He then told her to stay in the bedroom while he searched the house for valuables. She called the Manhattan Beach Police Department when she heard him exit through the front door.

No weapons were used, and no one was injured, according to police. Officers were unable to locate the suspect, who is described as 6-foot-2 with a thin build. At the time he was wearing a ski mask and knit gloves.

Anyone with information including suspicious persons or vehicles seen in the area Thursday evening should contact MBPD Det. Shawn Thompson at 310-802-5124 or Det. Sgt. Paul Ford at 310-802-5124.

Esther King Easy Reader

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

Manhattan Beach >> This city needs to spend $12 million over the next 10 years to bring its aging facilities and parking structures up to par.

Consultants hired to evaluate the condition of 43 city-owned buildings and three parking structures say only 20 of the buildings are in “good” condition. The other 23 buildings are in “very poor,” “poor” or “fair” condition, requiring $10.5 million in maintenance and improvements.

“With the close proximity to the ocean and corrosive nature of the salt air, the life cycles of buildings within the city of Manhattan Beach are substantially reduced,” said consultant Dean Leonard of Faithful+Gould. “(The need for) exterior painting is a common theme with the buildings. It deteriorates really quickly in this environment.”

Leonard identified $3.3 million of “urgent” deferred maintenance at the buildings, with City Hall, the pier, Roundhouse Aquarium and police/fire building in the most need of repair.

On top of the millions identified by the consultants for facility improvements, the city is expected to spend $5.6 million on capital improvement projects in 2013-14 and $20.8 million in 2014-15. Capital improvement projects are infrastructure needs that typically exceed $10,000, said Public Works Director Tony Olmos.

The city has $21.3 million in unfunded projects, including asphalt paving, bike lanes, concrete street repairs and storm-water filtration systems, over the next five years, Olmos said.

The facility assessment consultants said City Hall will require $1.4 million over the next 10 years to repair structural damage, replace windows, repaint exterior and interior walls, renovate the restrooms, and replace the heating and ventilation and interior lighting systems, among other upgrades.

The pier and Roundhouse need $1.6 million in improvements, including repainting, restroom renovation, piping work, welding repairs, piling repairs and pier railing repainting.

Although the public safety building, which houses the Police and Fire Departments, was built in 2005, it will require $1.8 million in repairs over the next 10 years, Leonard said. The stucco finishes are already deteriorating, and the overhead doors, carpeting, water heater, rooftop exhaust fans and control systems need to be replaced.

The city’s three parking structures are in “fair” condition and require $2.1 million to be brought up to standard, according to Pawan Gupta from Walker Restoration Consultants.

Lot 2, located at Highland Avenue and 12th Street, has cracked and deteriorated concrete walls, floors and ceilings; steel reinforcement strands exposed; and vehicular barriers that do meet current code for spacing and load resistance.

“Codes have changed quite a bit since the structures were built (in the 1970s),” Gupta said. “They’ve become a lot more stringent.”

The concrete repair, waterproofing, drainage and architectural fixes require $457,000 over the next 10 years.

Lot 3, located at 12th and Morningside, needs $1.3 million over 10 years to fix spalls in the ceilings and floors, steel corrosion, deteriorating concrete and vehicle barriers that are not up to code, while Lot 4, located at Highland and Rosecrans avenues, needs $368,000 for similar repairs.

Olmos said staff will recommend that the city spend $2 million in 2014 to address the immediate “life safety” improvements to the facilities, and $417,000 in 2014 for the “life safety” repairs in the parking structures. The city would need to spend $2 million per year over the next five years to address all of the deficiencies, he said.

The results of the facility condition assessment and the city’s capital improvement plan will be presented to City Council at its Dec. 10 meeting. The CIP is scheduled to go before the City Council for adoption on Feb. 18.

The assessment report for each city building and parking structure, the CIP plan and the consultants’ presentations are available on the city’s website, www.citymb.info.

Carley Dryden, Reporter, Daily Breeze

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Enough about "Open Government." The Manhattan Beach City Council is clearly moving to increase steps to gag residents into submission even as it, the City Council, falters more and more into irrelevance. At least it should have the decency to post a sign outside the MB Council Chambers, "Public Not Wanted!"

Edward C. Caprielian, Ph.D.

Edward C. Caprielian, Ph.D.

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

Re: “MB needs to better manage its meetings” (Daily Breeze, Editorial, July 11, 2013)

Dear Editor:

Strengthening the public policymaking process is the key to improved Manhattan Beach City Council meetings. Presently, the process does not meet the fundamental criteria of effective policy analysis, problem solving, and decision making including a clear understanding of the issues; construction of and criteria for selection among alternatives; and, establishing measurable outcomes to ensure accountability.

The council compounds these process failures by not demanding comprehensive staff reports and not establishing requirements to ensure they receive agendas and reports in a timely manner to allow for thoughtful comprehension. Further, this lack of timeliness generates anger and confrontation in meetings by residents caught by surprise and wanting their voices heard on critical issues.

As noted in your editorial, “An effective council is one that gathers input and deliberates efficiently and effectively.” Instead, shamefully, our second-class council meetings generate more rancor than rationality; more heat than light; and, more delays than results.

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

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.

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The Agenda is Posted. Why Isn't the Opportunity Available for Public Comment on the Agenda Items for the Closed Sessions?

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

“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

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

“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

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Holding Community Meetings without posting detailed agendas in advance gives the community absolutely no chance to provide cogent and meaningful input. This has been discussed many, many times, yet the practice continues unchanged. Is the intent merely to hold a community meeting for the sole purpose of being able to then claim prior community involvement in subsequent staff decision making ... or is the intent to actually engage the community in that decision making? You have the information -- share it already! (C'mon folks -- this is public engagement 101, and you're not only failing miserably, you insist on continuing to so fail, even when such simple yet critical corrective action is repeatedly brought to your attention. For just the latest in a looong series of such blatant failures, see http://www.citymb.info/city-services/city-calendar-month-view/-item-27625 )

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

Forces against open government

The ironic, but on-point, article headline, “City Council imposes 15-minute rule while embracing transparency” (The Beach Reporter, Oct. 3), illustrates the continued hypocrisy of the Manhattan Beach City Council’s commitment to open government by imposing duplicitous measures to gag the voices of residents.

Specifically, under the guise of improving meeting management, the time limits reinforce other actions to silence opposition (e.g. via limiting residents to one three-minute comment by grouping numerous policy issues under one agenda item). Further, the council failed to address strengthening required speech protections under California’s open meeting laws, but rather trampled the spirit of these laws to silence speech and redress of grievances. In addition, in an act of cowardice, it reneged on a commitment to allow public comment on policy decisions made at its meetings prior to their conclusion.

It has been nearly 100 days since the Daily Breeze editorial, “MB needs to better manage its meetings,” chided the council on problems that still remain – late meetings; postponing of agenda items; lack of transparency; and how “council members themselves contribute to the interminable length of the meetings by each making extensive remarks before every vote.”

The measures to silence residents is antithetical to addressing the real source of these problems, namely, the City Council’s failure to address its deficiencies in holding itself accountable to policymaking roles and responsibilities and holding the city manager and staff accountable for policy implementation. As the Daily Breeze stated, “Manhattan Beach is a first-class city. It deserves first-class meeting management.”

Edward Caprielian

Manhattan Beach

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