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Manhattan Beach City Council Comments on Community Concerns

Web posted October 9, 2018
By Bill Monroe, Northland Press Correspondent

The Manhattan Beach City Council responded to a list of community concerns when it met in regular session Tuesday, October 2. Members present included Mayor Paul Allen and Council members Janis Allen, Marlene Yurek, Barb Hanson Wannebo and City Clerk and Treasurer Amy Wannebo.

On July 14, a facilitated community meeting was held at Manhattan Beach Lodge attended by 37 residents. During the meeting, resident listed several concerns or suggestions they had to improve the town. The Council reviewed a summary of the session at an earlier meeting but wanted the opportunity to respond to the public concerns at the October meeting.

A post card will be mailed to residents suggesting they go to the City’s website to read the minutes of the meeting or listen to a recording of the meeting to get an unedited account of the Council’s responses to all of the concerns. What follows is a summary of the responses to the top 10 concerns as measured by the number of people at the meeting “voting” for each topic of concern.

1) Preserve the quality of life and natural area and shorelines (16 votes)
Response: The City has existing ordinances that address this issue.

2) Preserve a sense of community and a self-governing city (14 votes)
Response: The Council wants to keep the City self-governing and not merge with another city.

3) Parking at the Trout Lake boat access needs to be improved (9 votes)
Response: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and not the City control that parking. The City has been working with the Corps to request resources to expand parking facilities in the Corps budget.

4) Lower taxes
Response: The City has not increased its budget for the last nine years. Property taxes have not increased due to increases in the City budget.

5) Pass building ordinances that protect the natural environment (7 votes)
Response: The City has existing ordinances that address this issue.

6) Build a walking path from Moonlite Bay to County Road 1 (6 votes)
Response: The land from Moonlite Bay to the Manhattan Beach City limits is in Crosslake and outside the jurisdiction of our city. Much of the remaining land to County Road 1 would involve accessing private property and the project would be very expensive.

7) Preserve Manhattan Beach Lodge (6 votes)

Response: Manhattan Beach Lodge is not public property. It is a privately owned enterprise. The City has no control over the use of this facility.

8) Install better broadband in town (6 votes)
Response: The City is not in the utility business. However, two firms are presently marketing broadband services in Manhattan Beach.

9) Pass an ordinance requiring the removal of dead trees (5 votes)
Response: This is a private property issue.

10) Publish a newsletter to improve community communication (4 votes)
Response: All Council meetings are open to the public. The minutes of the meetings are open records and published on the City’s website. Recordings of the Council meetings are also published on the City’s website. Planning and Zoning meeting minutes and recording will also soon be published on the website. This transparency is designed to keep the public informed. In addition, there are two open forum session at every Council meeting where members of the public can address the Council and a procedure where members of the public can get topics placed on the Council agenda.

Credit Card Policy
The Council approved a credit card policy that authorizes the mayor and city clerk to use a city credit card for limited purposes such as buying office and cleaning supplies. Purchases must be reviewed monthly with an invoice or receipt before the credit card bill can be paid. Personal use of the card is prohibited and the total amount that can be purchased must not exceed $1,500.

November Meeting Date
Due to the election, the November Council meeting date will be Wednesday, November 7.

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