Promote Fiscal Responsibility:
When my opponents, Wayne Powell and Mark Burton, were on the 2013-2017 city council they voted to spend $10.5 million dollars on consultant contracts; voted to approve a never before needed Assistant City Manager position with a $200,000 salary and a $2.3 million dollar home loan at 1% interest rate using reserve funds; and approved four additional management positions adding nearly one million dollars a year to the City budget.
This cannot be allowed to happen again! Read about it, click here.
(Source: “Easy Reader”, November 1, 2018, "Mark Danaj and His Longtime Municipal Colleagues Blaze a Lucrative Trail Together" and Public Records.)
I have over 30 years professional business experience providing me the background to research and analyze issues and seek input and consensus from others to make the tough decisions. I have worked with City Staff in all my Committee assignments and have a thorough understanding of how the City works. The City's money is YOUR money and needs to be carefully and prudently budgeted and spent- just as we all do in our own households.
1. Hiring Freeze-
City Staff now numbers 306. This has grown consistently over the years while our population has remained constant. The City has been purchasing software and systems with the goal to improve efficiency which should help to keep staffing needs to a minimum. This needs to be reviewed consistently. We should institute a hiring freeze on all additions to staff at the level of manager and above so the fiscal mistakes of the 2013-2017 are not repeated.
2. Sole Source contracts-
Vendors will try to introduce requirements in Request For Proposals for features only their products or services can meet. As a result, the City considers issuing a Sole Source (meaning they can only get the product or service from one vendor) which reduces competitive bidding. This practice needs to be monitored and existing Sole Source contracts intensely reviewed. City Council should require all sole source contracts over $50,000 be approved by the Council as an agenda item.
3. Moratorium on Outside Consultant Contracts-
The City pays our staff very well and hires only the best. They should be able to perform much of the work which has previously been outsourced to consultants. There are periodically some specialized services or skills we require that we do not have in house expertise to handle which should be scrutinized by Council.
4. New Projects and Studies-Utilize Resident Experience and Talent-
Manhattan Beach boasts a wide range of professionals in all sorts of occupations. If a new project or study is desired, we need to go to our residents first and tap their expertise and desire to help their community. Most people will want to help their city as they are the ultimate stakeholders in a project's success. A consultant's stakeholder is the consultant, not our City.
5. Use our "Marquee" City Status to reduce vendor costs-
Manhattan Beach is a "Marquee" city which is highly desired by vendors to include on their client lists. I encountered this when I sold products and services to Colleges and Universities. When I met with UCLA or USC, the Buyer would ask for the "UCLA price" or the "USC price" because they knew the value of having their institution on a client list and leveraged the university's prestige to get a better price. Manhattan Beach leads all the lists- best schools, excellent credit rating, great police and fire departments, terrific beaches. Our reputation and prestige need to be leveraged when dealing with vendors to get preferential pricing. We simply have to ask for the "Manhattan Beach price."
The savings from these ideas and others will go towards additional reserves and for projects that directly impact the lives or our residents. Additional Public Safety Staff can be added as well.