I am running for city council because I believe I can help our city council make better decisions, I want to do a better job of protecting our environment and rural character, and I am certain we need to bring back a respect for the quality of life of our residents. Following are a few of my priority issues.
Fire protection is the top priority and our city council should waste no time making sure that all Malibu communities have the water needed to fight fire as well as enforcing brush clearance and encouraging everyone to landscape with fire resistant plants. Let’s join with other beach communities to balance the coastal commission’s call for “managed sea rise retreat” with the homeowner’s right to protect property. Continue pressure on the coastal commission to get Poison Free Malibu’s pesticide ban approved.
Malibu’s 36 percent response rate to the census is one of the lowest in California. One theory is that a combination of the fire’s 400-plus burnouts, short-term rentals and second homes account for the majority of the 3,300 homes that haven’t completed a form. If true, it suggests that we are not a city of residents but one of visitors. That places our local schools, already at historically low enrollment levels, in jeopardy. We need to build and promote the new high school to increase enrollment. Regulating short-term rentals will help us increase permanent housing for new families.
The combination of the Woolsey Fire and pandemic taught us how quickly disasters can adversely impact our city’s financial situation. It seems clear that the price for living in a paradise like Malibu is constant vigilance and forward-looking fiscal planning.
We must review our expenses and redesign our city to be efficient. A solid, long-range fiscal plan will help us identify areas of opportunity and risk. For example, it will help us identify new sources of revenue or identify areas where expense reductions are necessary. A long-range fiscal plan will also provide a roadmap for future projects and help ensure that we can deliver the deliverables we promise the residents.
The first steps should be looking for new revenue sources, reducing city hall expenses, sharing costs with other cities and deploying new technologies to improve performance and reduce headcount.
Traffic has been an issue since my wife, Marcia, and I moved to Malibu 25 years ago and continues to be a problem today.
PCH—the key here is ENFORCEMENT. To date, that is easier said than done. Crime is up in Malibu and has reduced the amount of time the sheriff’s deputies can spend on traffic enforcement. Volunteers on Patrol are limited in their duties. It might take more funds to solve this problem but it will be money well spent. We should reintroduce the California Highway Patrol permanently and have the county pay its fair share for visitor traffic control.
NOBU/SOHO traffic: I, along with another planning commissioner, met with Nobu and Soho House to discuss a plan where employees and overflow customers would park in a lot in the Civic Center and a shuttle would transport them to the restaurants. Nobu, Soho House and the Chamber of Commerce agreed. We are still waiting for the city’s response.
Malibu has enough, as is evidenced by the number of empty retail spaces, yet more is under construction. All future projects should require careful thought, ensuring that no more “special deals” with developers are approved unless they fill a need that supports a healthy commercial environment for our city and our residents.
The plan to put a homeless shelter in the Civic Center courthouse is a bad idea and we need to find a solution to the homeless RV parking along PCH.
Protecting our way of life
Every day, it becomes more difficult to find the “residential community whose citizens have historically evidenced a commitment to sacrifice urban and suburban conveniences in order to protect that environment and lifestyle, and to preserve unaltered natural resources and rural characteristics” promised in Malibu’s General Plan. As a Malibu planning commissioner, I have watched our city slowly slipping away. The coastal commission hampers enforcement of our pesticide ordinances, park agencies (Joe Edmiston) and tourists invade our communities, short-term rentals destroy our neighborhoods, homeless encampments make us afraid to go out at night, and crime is growing.
It is time to take our community back and, when elected, I will lead the charge to do exactly that.