The following is a Letter to the Editor appearing in the November 14, 2013 issue of the Daily Breeze submitted by Nelle Overstreet, a Manhattan Beach resident in response to the DB October 31 article, “City facilities, parking structures need millions in repairs.”

Since we do live by the ocean, it is expected that Manhattan Beach structures will deteriorate over a shorter time than those inland.  Those conditions should have been taken into consideration before they reached their current state of disrepair.

The consultants reported 23 out of 43 facilities were in very poor, poor or fair condition.  The penultimate was to read that our 8-year-old police/fire department building was in need of $1.8 million in repairs over the next 10 years due to:  “The building was not built up to code; it was not inspected properly…”  This should be unacceptable to the citizens of Manhattan Beach who depend upon our City Hall denizens to see to our city’s interests.  Who OK’d this mess?  Who allowed it to be approved along the way?  The blame should not just be put on the contractor, but also on those in City Hall responsible for this fiasco.  Someone needs to step up to the plate and accept responsibility.  Citizens are owed an explanation from past and present City Councils.

Nelle Overstreet, Manhattan Beach

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The following is a Letter to the Editor appearing in the November 14, 2013 issue of the Daily Breeze submitted by Nelle Overstreet, a Manhattan Beach resident in response to the DB October 31 article, “City facilities, parking structures need millions in repairs.”

Since we do live by the ocean, it is expected that Manhattan Beach structures will deteriorate over a shorter time than those inland.  Those conditions should have been taken into consideration before they reached their current state of disrepair.

The consultants reported 23 out of 43 facilities were in very poor, poor or fair condition.  The penultimate was to read that our 8-year-old police/fire department building was in need of $1.8 million in repairs over the next 10 years due to:  “The building was not built up to code; it was not inspected properly…”  This should be unacceptable to the citizens of Manhattan Beach who depend upon our City Hall denizens to see to our city’s interests.  Who OK’d this mess?  Who allowed it to be approved along the way?  The blame should not just be put on the contractor, but also on those in City Hall responsible for this fiasco.  Someone needs to step up to the plate and accept responsibility.  Citizens are owed an explanation from past and present City Councils.

Nelle Overstreet, Manhattan Beach

0 Comments 1 Agree Created

Ph D Edward C Caprielian, Management Consultant/University Professor over 6 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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Ph D Edward C Caprielian, Management Consultant/University Professor over 6 years ago

Public Engagement and Budget Reform in Manhattan Beach – Embrace It!

The demise of California Redevelopment Agencies and the resulting loss of revenue for local governments should serve as the ultimate wake-up reality call to expect continued state take-aways and diminished funding from the state for core municipal services.

Consequently, the survival of local government will increasingly rely on public support for increased revenues. To meet this challenge, local governments across California are turning to public engagement in budgeting – i.e., efforts to help residents better understand public sector financing so that they are better equipped to make well-informed decisions at the ballot box.

Approaches to public engagement in local budgeting include education and outreach, advisory committees, workshops, and public forums. Numerous proven benefits throughout California include helping set priorities, identifying cost savings, maintaining civility, creating a continuing dialogue, and limiting the amount of special interest lobbying at the final city council budget meetings.

The Manhattan Beach City Council has failed to initiate public engagement in budgeting because it fears public input, access to information, and empowering residents to make effective recommendations. Public engagement requires public ownership and ownership occurs when public deliberation results in jointly prioritized or agreed upon ideas and recommendations. It should be a key element of much needed budget reforms in our city to ensure financial accountability.

Public engagement in budgeting is the new reality and the new challenge for the survival of local government. Embrace it.

Edward C. Caprielian, Ph.D. Manhattan Beach

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