When Rick Cole resigned as city manager of Santa Monica this month, cities across the Southland took notice. That’s not just because Cole is a respected public administrator and familiar face. His reasons for leaving—outlined in a poignant farewell statement—raise important questions about the future of California’s cities, as they face an unprecedented public health and fiscal crisis.
Cole isn't fading into the background. Over the weekend, he sat down with The Planning Report to discuss the tough choices cities face and how they can align themselves with the needs and advancements of the 21st century.
The interview is brief and worth reading in its entirety. One clear upshot is that the current crisis is a reason to run toward, not from, innovative solutions and modernized governance. It’s a reason to tackle the big issues head-on.
“We are hunkered down in our homes now. But when we emerge from them, we can’t hunker down in obsolete formulas of outmoded government bureaucracy,” says Cole. “No one knows when or how this will end, but it will end. Our job in the public sector is to lay the foundation for a more equitable, more sustainable and more resilient life in the cities of the future.”
Read the entire interview here.