The new city council must discipline the bureaucrats at last

Someone contemplating the retreat from the communitarian ideals that animated the renters' rights movement might do worse than reflect on these quotes from John Adams:

"The representative assembly," he wrote with revolutionary ardor in 1776 (and no doubt with some small intention of drumming up support for his enterprise), "should be in miniature an exact portrait of the people at large. It should think, feel, reason and act like them."

By 1787, however, reeling from the near-anarchy of the toothless Confederation, Adams believed that the "proposition that [the people] are the best keeper of their liberties is not true. They are the worst conceivable, they are no keepers at all. They can neither act, judge, think, or will."

Similarly did "the People's Republic of Santa Monica" descend from the eden of participatory democracy to the current abyss of shoddy and mediocre dictatorship by bureaucrats. When the SMRR leadership's trust in the people faltered, it removed a counterweight to the city staff's arrogance and trumpery.

The incoming council needs to make a new start by terminating city manager Susan McCarthy and the most autocratic department managers, not limited to those running the planning department. If McCarthy continues to occupy her office at city hall, the council might as soon stay home. It will be business as usual in the dysfunctional village by the sea.

It is way past time the citizens of Santa Monica took the power back from the hired help.

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