As a longtime Malibu resident, I have seen our city change in so many ways. I want to protect the things that we love about Malibu, our sense of community, our environment and our safety. We need a city council that will fight against the forces that threaten our way of life. We have all witnessed the encroachment by excess commercial development, the MRCA, environmental degradation and the PCH overtaken by visitors who ignore our laws (or take advantage of them). It is time to take back our town with bold and decisive action. I plan to get our mission statement back on track.

I first arrived in Malibu in the winter of 1978 to attend Pepperdine University (BA ‘81). It was the start of a lifelong love affair with Malibu. As a student volunteer, I helped sandbag homes in The Colony after the storms that winter. That led to forming a student service organization called Phi Zeta Chi that did many community projects over the next several years. I have actively fought against overdevelopment and supported efforts to preserve open space and curb pollution of all types in Malibu.  

My career has been in the financial services industry (banking, insurance, finance). I have maintained offices in Malibu for the past 20 years. I currently run a family office and do some financial consulting work, as well.

My wife Elisabeth and I have been married for 31 years. Lis’s grandparents built a home on Malibu Road in 1953 and I’m happy to report that the house is still in the family and being enjoyed by fourth generation Malibuites (our kids).

Our three children (Samantha, Patrick and Madison) all attended Malibu public schools. I have participated in their sports and activities as a coach and parent volunteer. In 2008, I was appointed to the City of Malibu Parks and Recreation Commission. During my term, we opened Trancas Canyon Park and improved Las Flores Creek Park and Bluffs Park. I am a former MWSC board member, a member of the Malibu West Volunteer Fire Brigade and LACO Sheriff’s Arson Watch.

Being an avid mountain biker and surfer, I come by my environmentalism honestly, one might say. I am concerned about threats to our environment like noise, air and light pollution, and nonbiodegradable materials ending up in our ocean. Climate change is a huge threat to our coastal city, as well. The good news is that we can do something about it right now! I think we take for granted that Malibu has worldwide notoriety. We should leverage this and bring forward more bold city ordinances like our pesticide / rodenticide ban that the rest of the world can follow. Preserving open space is also a big priority for me.

With regard to public safety, improving conditions on PCH with tighter parking restrictions, reduced speeds and solving the issues surrounding homelessness are what I plan to focus on. Fire safety is another major concern. I strongly believe that each neighborhood must be prepared to defend itself in the event of another wildfire like Woolsey. All homeowners must ask themselves the question, “What would I do if I knew in advance that no one would be coming to save my home in the event of a fire?” 

My favorite thing about Malibu is our small town feel and sense of community. Our community is threatened when we lose local businesses. Everyone has their favorite example, but the point is, what can we do as a city to make it easier for them to thrive? How is it that we have more entertainment industry people in Malibu than anywhere else in the world and we don’t have a movie theater? Is everyone just watching screeners in their home theatres now? No performing arts venue? It’s not that we don’t want these things, it’s that they are the first items to be cut out of the budget as they are viewed as nonessential. Endowments, grants, public/private partnerships, foundations, fundraising—these are all ways the arts get funded out in the world. We just need to focus on it and be creative. 

As a final note, please remember to vote. If you are not yet registered, the last day to register online is Oct. 19. You can read more about my positions on specific issues on my website: wetton2020.com. I hope my views resonate with you and that I have earned your vote.

(1) comment

Mike Vandeman

What were you thinking??? Mountain biking and trail-building destroy wildlife habitat! Mountain biking is environmentally, socially, and medically destructive! There is no good reason to allow bicycles on any unpaved trail!

Bicycles should not be allowed in any natural area. They are inanimate objects and have no rights. There is also no right to mountain bike. That was settled in federal court in 1996.

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