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HOLY SEVERANCE PAY, BATMAN! 

Thursday, Jan 28 2010
Comments
Among all the other good reasons to move to Manhattan Beach is the news (thanks to Paul Teetor and his story, "Geoff Dolan's $195,000 Good-bye," Jan. 20) that you can cut a sweet (and secret) deal if you're an outgoing city official. It seems the city did not feel it was obliged to make public its severance package to City Manager Dolan, which brought this retort from Bev Morse of, not surprisingly, Manhattan Beach. "Why — HOW — is it possible that the city attorney advised the council that the firing/retiring (which is it?) of the city manager with a $195K parting gift was a personnel issue and not a public one, when it is we the people who pay ALL of their salaries? Ah, the effluent of the affluent. Disposable, is it?"

We like your (writing) style, Bev. "This was a well researched and important investigative piece," says Michelle Murphy. "I have learned that I can rely on L.A. Weekly to try to shed light on the sometimes shady world of political wheeling and dealing. Manhattan Beach is a rich town and some people there apparently think enough money can paper over wrongdoing. Just knowing L.A. Weekly is watching will help make those who govern more honest."

That's what we're talking about!

"Kudos to L.A. Weekly (and Beach Reporter) for their persistence in getting to the bottom of this," adds the nicely pseudonymed Doc Weiler of Manhattan Beach (get it?). "Where is the local outrage? Manhattan Beach is a wealthy town ... but there are also many longtime locals who do not live in mansions on the strand but pay the outrageous $50 parking tickets for not feeding the meter at 9 p.m. on a Sunday night (?!). It would be nice if our elected officials came clean."

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The final word on this matter goes to Phil G: "Teetor starts digging in Manhattan Beach and some things come up. It's beginning to look a little like Tiger Woods — the more denied, the bigger it gets. But, speaking of Tigers, who's afraid of the big, bad wolf? What is the council hiding or what is City Attorney [Robert] Wadden covering up?

"Wadden should check the law a little closer before the law focuses on him: The $200K severance deal. Dolan ignoring the city infrastructure in favor of concentrating on how things look. The excessive raises — even his own. The frequent and, until recently, nearly unchallenged outside-consultant fees from undergrounding for 20 years to a half-million-dollar consultant survey on the entire city's facilities upgrades that's gone nowhere.

"What's going on in Manhattan Beach? It's past time to look deeper at the issues and see who really is running the city and covering up and why. Maybe an outside paper like L.A. Weekly can pick up and continue where the local papers appear to have let 'America's fourth-richest city' go."

SHAKE YOUR HEADS, AND WEEP
Tibby Rothman's story on the Community Redevelopment Agency's plan to give some $6 million to a developer so that he'll move a small factory employing 30 people the 3.7 miles from South Gate to Los Angeles ("Good Money After Bad: Should L.A. taxpayers pay $40,000 to steal $20,000 jobs from South Gate?," Jan. 20) is the sort of thing that can make you cry — or cry foul, as not a few readers did:

"No wonder the city can't balance its budget," writes Jack Humphreville from Los Angeles.

"You will probably see another deal to steal 40 jobs from L.A. to South Gate later. The developer will double his profit," says Tax from L.A.

"This is a classic definition of Corporate Welfare and typical in Los Angeles — give hard-earned dollars from the working-class taxpayers to wealthy developers, then pick on the most vulnerable and kick them out of the way," adds Charlie Baker from Los Angeles. "More people are being put out of work despite our Country, State and City diving into new depths of debt. Will we ever get out of this black hole?"

WE'RE WITH COCO
Had enough of the Jay vs. Conan vs. NBC imbroglio? Well, then, turn the page. If not, read on!

"The only aspect of [writer Dennis Romero's] analysis I take issue with is the word coddled," writes the commenter known as Wish I Were Being Coddled in response to Romero's L.A. Daily blog, "Conan Versus Leno Is a Generational Battle That NBC Will Lose" (Jan. 19). "Actually, I think there is some real fury among Gen X/Gen Y/millennials toward the baby boomers' perceived sense of entitlement. (Key word: PERCEIVED.) I mean, they got their sex, drugs and rock & roll while saddling us with the debt from several wars, expecting us to pay into a Social Security system we're probably going to get nothing out of, letting the ice caps melt and our economy go to shambles. I'm laid off in March, while my smart, educated sister is experiencing the worst job market in recent history for college graduates. And we're the coddled ones?

"A talk-show host might be kind of a stupid thing to pick a fight over, but it's like we can't even watch our harmless stupid comedy without an entitled baby boomer shoving him off the air. Enough already."

Impressive analysis, Mr. Wish I Were Being Coddled.

"I totally respect Jay Leno because of his affection for cars and his wonderful collection," says Matt. "However, when it comes to comedy, I'm with Coco! Jay is a bit funny at times with some well though-out jokes, but Coco is just hilarious! Jay makes me laugh sometimes, but only Coco has brought me to tears and near pissing my pants. THAT is a funny guy. This will only be a minor setback for him. The boomers not liking him won't matter for too much longer because they won't be AROUND much longer to complain."

Thanks for pointing that out, Matt.

"Coco is a comedic genius," writes Carlieri Mongardie. "And Leno is an ugly American."

We're with Carlieri, at least on the first part.

"My dad is 63 years old," says Jenny, "and he said that he will never watch The Tonight Show again after Conan leaves. Just sayin'."

Jeff Zucker, meet Jenny's dad. Just sayin'.

WE WANT LETTERS
You know the routine. Sit down, put pen to paper, sign your name and include a phone number, preferably. Add stamp, and hit send. readerswrite@laweekly.com.

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