Three points to triangulate a perfect target:
1. A soft on crime, revolving door policy for our District Attorney.
2. The City failing to effectively forecast and fill vacant positions in a timely manner. There are many open positions throughout all departments in our City, especially in the Police and Fire Departments. This has resulted in work weeks of up to 100 hours per week, creating huge overtime expenses, and leaving departments understaffed and the public underserved.
3. Bruce’s Beach and the city’s handling of the issue has painted a bulls eye on the residents, businesses and homeowners of Manhattan Beach. Gavin Newsom and Janice Hahn used our city as a political tool to shame the citizenry and dishonor our City.
We are now on the radar of criminals in the Los Angeles area and its open season on Manhattan Beach. Crime is up. Break ins are up. Brazen criminals have been seen dragging safes out of homes in the hill section, caught multiple times in one night in the tree section, and found red handed with sawzalls under vehicles. The most blatant of the criminal element happened right down town at the base of Manhattan Beach Blvd. at Pasha, when 10 armed robbers waltzed into a crowded street in the middle of the day, filled with your friends and family members, and stole almost a million in jewels, two blocks from Police headquarters. Not a cop in sight.
Public Safety of our residents is my top priority. It is and has been the focus of my life. In Manhattan Beach, as a firefighter, CERT director, CPR instructor. In Ventura County as a Director of an unincorporated area between Oxnard and Port Hueneme, acting as a City Council would, providing 32 different public works services to the community - from firefighting to trash removal and everything in between. I even lobbied Congress in Washington D.C. to get $2 million in funding for a cutting edge water desalination plant still in use today. I am hardly a one trick pony, and I have an extremely detailed understanding of how government works…and how government uses semantics to say what they mean but not do what they say. The bottom line is that we have a public safety issue in Manhattan Beach, and without the proper leadership in City Council, this issue will get worse in time, guaranteed. Staffing is mismanaged in this City, and hey taxpayer, it’s at your expense – every year. We are paying more and getting less. This penny wise and pound-foolish tactic will leave the citizens fending for themselves in the face of a major emergency. Large fire? Riot? Mall takeover? These crimes can and do happen all over Los Angeles County. And with the “recession that we are not calling a recession” looming in the present to near future, these crimes of opportunity will go up. Without the necessary manpower, as we are witnessing with our current firefighter debacle - watching an organized implosion of a city service at the hands of our City Council and City Manager, we will soon be crying mercy at the feet of the County. As I have witness before with similar tactics used in neighboring cities, I sense a clairvoyant destiny that in time, MBFD will be absorbed into the County fire fighting system. As a City, as an employer, it is our duty, my duty to provide the best safety and security to the residents and businesses of Manhattan Beach. It’s a matter of minutes and seconds. It’s a matter of life and death. This goes for all Emergency Services.
We haven’t even mentioned the biggest threat of them all - a looming major earthquake. The lack of timely hiring and replacement of key individuals has created a knowledge and procedural training gap for such an event. Frankly, I was shocked to recently discover the complete lack of exercising a Department Operation Center (DOC) at our Public Works Facility. This DOC was built with state of the art computer and radio equipment to coordinate, plan and dispatch public works resources into the community when there is a major emergency. This DOC was set up seven years ago during my last year as Battalion Chief on the MBFD! This is a dereliction of duty from the City Manager’s office, and I find it shocking to see these types of simple and effective tools lying in wait, neglected and ignored, after our tax dollars were used to build the DOC to keep us safe.
As of last Wednesday, we have a new police chief, Rachel Johnson. She will receive nothing but support from my seat on the City Council. More tools, more manpower, more boots on the ground, especially in downtown. More of everything that is needed, because we will not allow our City to be held at gunpoint, in daylight, on Manhattan Beach Blvd… ever again.