During last week’s City Council meeting I proposed implementing the same process as we begin hiring a new bank. Of all the things we should evaluate publicly, this seems like the most obvious since our banks will hold millions of dollars of the city’s money.
Only Councilman Kit Bobko thought this was a wise idea, keenly suggesting that what we needed in this process was “transparency.” Alarmingly, none of my other colleagues on the City Council were interested in public review or debate on this issue.
No doubt, we should have instituted this level of oversight a long time ago. But nonetheless, now that my proposal failed, it means our next bank will be evaluated and hired by one person: our new city treasurer, behind closed doors, without public input, without City Council oversight. The city’s funds will move from bank to bank without any oversight or public review at all. This is not how we do business in Hermosa Beach.
This is public money. A city treasurer is a public official, acting on the public’s behalf. No matter who the person, it is neither prudent nor responsible for a single individual to make financially driven decisions like this. The public and City Council should be involved at every step.
As your city councilman I will do everything possible to bring these background details to light and create standard operating procedures moving forward.
I was recently inspired by a Hermosa resident and Los Angeles Times reporter who won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking the Bell, California, salary scandal. He set a new standard for government transparency across the country.
Let’s show the same kind of leadership by setting a new standard for transparency in Hermosa Beach.