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Letter to the Editor: Dolan, Wadden, City Council and Vigilance

Manhattan Beach resident Ed Caprielian weighs in on city council, city government and city politics in the wake of the handling of former City Manager Geoff Dolan's abrupt departure from the city in Dec. 2009 and subsequent city actions.

Letter to the Editor: Dolan, Wadden, City Council and Vigilance

Dear Editor:

Who is to blame for the debacle in Manhattan Beach leading to the ignominious departure of our City Manger Geoff Dolan and City Attorney Robert Wadden?

Is it the prior Manhattan Beach City Council’s (MBCC) misdirection in the “mutual agreement” resignation of Dolan and his receiving a $250,000+ total severance/compensation package? Alternatively, was it misjudgment by MBCC in trying to do the right thing but now claiming victimization by Dolan and Wadden?

Is it the “Anonymous Letter” accusing Dolan of sexual misconduct at a team building retreat? If true, it should have supported the dismissal of Dolan for “moral turpitude” without any severance. Alternatively, is it the failure of the managers at the retreat for not confirming or invalidating the accusation?

Does Wadden shoulder the blame for his ineptitude in the lawsuit against the city for open government violations leading MBCC to lament his “advice of counsel” and to justify his termination? Alternatively, was Wadden the “good soldier” in carrying out his masters’ mission?

Should we now blame current city officials for reneging on the city’s lawsuit settlement commitment to release all documents including the investigation of Dolan’s misconduct that could provide justification for the decisions made by MBCC or demonstrate its malfeasance? 

There is certainly enough blame to go around. Nevertheless, who ultimately shoulders the blame? None of the above. The blame and responsibility fall in the hands of the 80 percent of registered voters who failed to vote and residents who insufficiently participate in civic affairs – including my lack of vigilance.


Edward C. Caprielian, Ph.D.

Manhattan Beach resident

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