For the past eight years, since the election of Sue McCloud as mayor of the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea and her appointment of Rich Guillen as City Administrator, the overall governance of the city has been poor. Redefining public service as a mockery of the ideals of public service, from government of the people, by the people, and for the people, to government of, by and for Sue McCloud, Carmelites have an unresponsive government which has not met and continues not to meet the basic requirements of an open and competently managed local government.
For purposes of illustration, three conceptualizations are presented, as follows:
I. Closed and Inaccessible Public Buildings
For years and years now, without any communications from the City to the public regarding plans to open closed and inaccessible public buildings to the public, the Public Works building and the Scout House, a community center, remain closed and inaccessible to the public. And, Harrison Memorial Library remains closed on Sundays.
II. Extended Time Periods between Inception and Completion of Projects
Years and years elapse between the inception and completion of projects. For example, a City Council voted to sell the Flanders Mansion property in 2005. After a court challenge and recent expenditures of taxpayer dollars for a revision of the Environmental Impact Report, an Economic Feasibility Analysis and attorney fees, the City has yet to articulate to the public a timetable for public hearings and intentions with regard to the leasing or selling of the Flanders Mansion property. Another example, after a City Council voted to remove 32 eucalyptus trees along Fourth Avenue in 2002, the City has only recently contracted with a contractor to complete the Fourth Avenue Riparian Habitat Restoration Project, which is expected to be completed in early 2009, seven years later.
III. Unimplemented Consultants’ Studies Recommendations
Over the years, many taxpayer funded consultants’ studies have been completed, only to languish without implementation of their recommendations. Recent examples include the Pavement Management Study and the Forest Studies.
In closing, all of the aforementioned examples demonstrate Mayor Sue McCloud’s and City Administrator Rich Guillen’s failure to understand an essential truth about public service. And that is, public servants must earn the public’s trust with every word and every deed, every day. Sadly for Carmelites, after eight years, Mayor Sue McCloud and City Administrator Rich Guillen continue to demonstrate their failure to understand that essential truth about public service and we are all the poorer for it.