What Would You Improve in Manhattan Beach in 2013?

If you could make a New Year's resolution for MB, what would it be?

More than 45 percent of Americans make a resolution every year, according to statisticbrain.com. Some people vow to live a healthier lifestyle, others promise to spend more time with family, and many say they will try to save money.

As millions of Americans make resolutions to improve their lives, what could we do right here in Manhattan Beach to make it an even better place to live?

What is on your wish list? What is one thing you would improve in 2013?

Tell us in the comments section or blog about why you love living here!

Gary Osterhout January 03, 2013 at 09:05 PM
SarahBrianTracy: I couldn't agree with you more. I've been on that soapbox for over a decade. All I wanted was a decent pool where I could get indoor beginning lessons for my 4 year old instead of driving to P.V., or at least a pool where he didn't freeze in March during middle school mandatory P.E. Suffice to say that he is now at Mira Costa, and none of that happened in spite of my continually urging either bond issues or restructured budget priorities. In the duration I've seen out of control management salaries and bennies, overspent Master Plan studies, inefficiently applied special revenue sources, and using the general fund to subsidize downtown business owners and overfunded reserves. It's interesting that Council lauds local Olympic swimmers, but such swimmers would never have achieved such greatness using our own facilities. We have the resources to get this (and many more amenities) done--we are just missing the vision and the will to get our city to that next level.
brian January 04, 2013 at 01:24 AM
They have had these plans for years (2008): http://www.ci.manhattan-beach.ca.us/Index.aspx?page=1077 Why not move ahead with these plans and issue bonds? Now is the time to do it. Bond rates have never been lower, so the cost to borrow will never be lower. Also, the cost to construct in this down market should be reasonable for a project of this scale.
Gary Osterhout January 04, 2013 at 05:48 PM
Brian: The Facilities Strategic Plan you linked to has the pool sited where Manhattan Beach Intermediate currently lies, and integrating it in with a full-scale community center with basketball courts. The obvious problem is that MBI is owned and is currently utilized by the school district, and the last time this site was reviewed (by the District's "7/11" committee, concurrent with the FSP) there was no recommendation that this building/area was considered surplus for sale or long-term lease. The FSP showed a concept of locating the pool at Marine Avenue Park, but that would require below-grade parking and I just don't see that happening. Both of the above obstacles work into my prior reference to overspent, unrealistic Master Plans. What seems more logical to me is to discuss rebuilding the pool at the current site or move it over to Manhattan Heights.
Gerry O'Connor January 05, 2013 at 12:34 AM
Yep, despite promises at the time, the Facilities Strategic Plan of not-so-long-ago has subsequently served as little more than million dollar shelf paper. Without again diving into the FSP's obvious failures of trying to do everything at once, the prioritization list identified therein still largely holds true, thereby suggesting that prudent, thorough and coordinated current processes for creating the City's Strategic Plan, Capital Improvements Plan and Operating Budget ought result in a high priority on building a new, improved pool facility. But that's just one benefit that would result from improving major City decision making processes -- and therein lies my response to the original question of what to improve in MB in 2013. Let's see some real leadership surface in improving, for starters, our Strategic Planning, Capital Improvement Projects and Budgeting processes. Alternatively, more of the same will bring us only ... more of the same. (Think: Einstein's definition of insanity.) Not bad -- but we can do sooo much better. Stop just proclaiming that public input is welcome; instead, identify and take measurable steps to make major City decision making processes more open, understandable and engaging to the residents. Discourage closed-minded and defensive concerns that any measurable change need label past practices as failures (e.g., "But we've always done it this way"!). Instead, accept and focus upon continuous improvement as the key!
Fran Shea January 07, 2013 at 04:36 PM
The parking meters/fines in this town are absurd and anti-business. The ticketing patrols are aggressive and the fines are way too high. It is one thing to encourage fair parking rules given the available spots, but the obvious cash grab looks desperate for revenue. Is this the message we want to send visitors and residents alike? Put the fine back down to a less antagonistic $25 and find another way to raise the cash. I won't shop in the downtown anymore. It's a shame. Fran Shea


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