Saturday, November 15, 2008

COMMENTARY: A Model of Poor Governance

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.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very well put. There are so many other examples of poor governance. It would be informative if this blog could list more of them so that the public could become more aware of how much Carmel By The Sea has been damaged by Sue McCloud and her mismanagement over the last 8+ years

RSW said...

Sue is a product of a huge bureaucracy. The bureaucracy covered up her mistakes and rewarded conformity. She did not develop any leadership skills or entrepreneurial skills. Very few persons with such a resume can later transcend their habits and recognize when new skills and skill sets must be developed to address the new requirements of a new environment. Sue is not one of those few persons. She reminds me of someone who keeps doing the same things in the same ways and is indifferent to the bad results.
Carmel residents need to wake up and see the good and the bad. The bad news is she will cling to her power because that is all she has. The good news is a new mayor can improve things pretty quickly with common sense and a good city manager.

Anonymous said...

Sue's and Rich's "goverance" is to talk the talk without walking the walk. So far, they have not been held accountable for their poor performances. They must think carmel residents are stupid or inattentive or both.