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Two Members Resign From Manhattan Beach City Council

Web posted July 9, 2019
By Bill Monroe, Northland Press Correspondent

Much of the agenda of the July 2 meeting of the Manhattan Beach City Council was spent dealing with the resignations of two of the five council members. And one council member was highly critical of Mayor Paul Allen before she resigned. In addition to Allen, others attending included council members Janis Allen, Betty Worts, Barb Hanson-Wannebo and City Clerk and Treasurer Amy Wannebo.

Prior to the start of the meeting, Worts read a prepared statement criticizing Allen’s leadership style and announcing her resignation as a result. However, she did not include those remarks in her letter of resignation, nor did she leave a copy of the remarks with the city, so they are not a public record. Her resignation letter read simply “Let this letter serve as public notice that of this date July 2, 2019 I resign from my position on the Manhattan Beach city council.”

City Clerk Amy Wannebo also resigned because she and her family have moved away from Manhattan Beach and, therefore, she is no longer eligible to serve. In her letter of resignation Wannebo wrote “I believe our community is more connected and informed than it has ever been before and I hope that the council will continue its good works toward communication, transparency and encouraging community input and involvement. My only advice is to continue to move forward, because if not…we will surely move backwards.”

Janis Allen told Wannebo “You have done a really good job.” Mayor Allen said, “Thank you for your service.”
During an open forum session, two citizens praised Wannebo’s performance under “difficult circumstances”. Both were critical of her treatment by the mayor and some members of the council. As the meeting adjourned, Mayor Allen told Wannebo “If I didn’t tell you did a good job earlier in the meeting it was because there were so many details I was dealing with involving the two resignations.”

The council voted to appoint former council member Marlene Yurek to complete Wannebo’s unexpired term. Mayor Allen said in all probability when Yurek’s term expires, the city will hire a city clerk. Mayor Allen  administered the oath of office to Yurek who then joined the council for the rest of the meeting.

A special election will be required to replace Worts. The council will address that topic at its August meeting.

Other Business
In other business, the council:

• Accepted the resignation of Council member Betty Worts;

• Approved planning and zoning commission recommendations to grant Travis Kent a conditional use permit and a setback variance related to a guest house he is building and

• Discussed but took no action on Satchell Road.

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