The Long View is Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole’s blog. It’s a place to share his thoughts on the future of Santa Monica. It explores the complexities of our times and promotes the wellbeing of this remarkable community.
Last month marked the end of my first two years in the job. The anniversary calls to mind a Persian proverb a friend once shared with me about operating a family business: “the first hundred years are the hardest.”Read More
The Audit Subcommittee includes three members of the City Council and two citizen volunteers with business and/or accounting backgrounds. Two new members have recently been appointed to those slots.Read More
This week, the Legislature considers a controversial bill aimed at making it far more difficult for counties and cities to work with private businesses to do work and deliver services.Read More
This is budget time for cities as California public agencies operate on a fiscal year that begins July 1. In Santa Monica, we budget on a two-year cycle.Read More
While it is not unusual to have youth recreation programs, Santa Monica’s “all in” commitment to youth services is unique.Read More
There is a dynamic and positive new tone coming from the California Coastal Commission.Read More
I recently wrote about the always controversial issue of public employee compensation. In the first post, I welcomed scrutiny and sought to correct some glaring misstatements in the media regarding salaries and benefits in Santa Monica.Read More
In a recent post, I acknowledged public concerns about the City of Santa Monica’s salaries and benefits, sparked by a misleading press release from a Nevada advocacy group that calls itself a “free market think tank.”Read More
2016 was a productive year for Santa Monica. As we welcome 2017, let’s take a look back at 10 significant highlights for the year.Read More
Media coverage of pay for Santa Monica City staff recently touched a nerve with many residents. Let me begin by saying: we never forget who we work for – you. Let me add that the topic of public pay is a public issue and I welcome healthy scrutiny.Read More
I believe in science. So I am reasonably sure that no matter what the outcome of the elections tomorrow, the sun will come up on Wednesday, November 9.Read More
If this is the best time to be alive, I would contend that Santa Monica is the best place to be.
Let me share why . . .Read More
Like the weather, everybody talks about traffic, but what is anyone doing about it?Read More
We are drowning in data. People took more than a billion photos last year, posting 250 million of them a day to Facebook. We post 500 million Tweets per day. This year Internet traffic will exceed one zettabyte. That’s 1021bytes = 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes. It’s expected to double by 2019.Read More
People are sentimental. We all are. We cherish our fond memories of unforgettable birthdays, graduations, weddings. Of special songs, concerts, movies. Of first dates and last goodbyes.Read More
Warm weather, an expanding economy and the strength of Santa Monica’s brand have attracted record numbers of visitors to our Downtown this summer. If you think traffic has never been this bad, you are not alone. Our traffic professionals say they've never seen this number of people and volume of traffic, especially on Twilight Concert Series nights. We want both residents and visitors to enjoy their experience -- and particularly to encourage them not to drive, especially into the heart of Downtown. Ultimately the answer is not to make it easier to drive and park in Downtown – it is to make it easier to use all the other options we are promoting with our GoSaMo efforts.Read More
While having thousands of Santa Monicans reading a novel that speaks so powerfully to contemporary urban issues may not change the world, it certainly would affect our 8.3 square miles of it.Read More
In these interesting times, it is easy to lose sight of how, from the beginning, our country was designed to contain built-in tensions. Our Constitution was itself a product of compromise, balancing large states and small; centralized power and autonomous individuals and states; even slavery and freedom. Our stability has come from a delicately balanced system of checks and balances.Read More
Exactly a year ago I became the twelfth City Manager to serve Santa Monica since local voters adopted the Council/Manager form of government back in 1947.
The City Manager’s role has evolved over time – and it will continue to do so in the future. The City’s Charter designates the city manager as “the chief executive officer and the head of the administrative branch of the City government . . . responsible to the City Council for the proper administration of all affairs of the City.” The powers and duties are to “appoint and remove” department heads and oversee the entire City staff; prepare the annual budget and administer the City’s finances; advise the Council on “future needs of the City and make such recommendations as may seem desirable; and “perform such other duties as may be prescribed by this Charter or required of the City Manager by the City Council.”Read More