In 2006, the voters approved changing our City Charter and our system of governance to a Council-Manager form of government, in which the Council hires, supervises and fires a professional full-time City Manager to run the affairs of the City. The City Manager, in turn, hires, supervises and disciplines the department heads. The part-time City Council focuses on policy matters and holds the City Manager accountable for carrying out its policies.
Because this was such a dramatic change for the City, the Police Chief and Fire Chief were exempted. However, it was always the thought that the community would revisit the issue at a later time. And when a Council subcommittee looked over the charter this year after the change had been in place for 10 years, it recommended the Police Chief and Fire Chief also be placed under the City Manager. A majority of the Council agreed and thus Measure CA appears on the November 8th ballot.
This is not a dramatic or unusual change. In fact, we are the ones who are out of step with our neighbors. In all comparable surrounding cities, such as Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, El Segundo and Torrance, the Police Chief and Fire Chief report to the City Manager and in those cities in which they contract for safety services through the County – West Hollywood, Malibu, Hawthorne, Lomita and Lawndale – those services also report to the City Manager.
The argument in favor of the change is fairly simple. As a part-time City Council, the Council members’ focus should be on policy development. The day-to-day management of the City should be left to the professional full-time City Manager who is directly accountable to the City Council.
For 100 years Culver City has enjoyed a beneficial partnership with the Fire and Police Departments. People who live and work in Culver City have honored and counted on their Public Safety personnel. Our Fire and Police personnel, in turn, have counted on the people of Culver City for the support and oversight their departments deserve. Measure CA is an extension and strengthening of that partnership.
We urge you to Vote YES on Measure CA
Andrew N. Weissman, Alan Corlin, Steve Rose, Edward Wolkowitz, Micheal O’Leary & Paul A. Jacobs