John Mazza, 69, moved from Manhattan Beach to Malibu 43 years ago because of his love for surfing and the simpler rural lifestyle. Since then, he has been passionately involved in the Malibu community. He is a planning commissioner and past chair of the Malibu Planning Commission, along with various other city task forces.
He earned bachelor’s degrees in fine arts and economics from Claremont McKenna College and an MBA from USC in econometrics and finance. In his spare time, he enjoys collecting art and surfboards.
The Malibu Times got a chance to sit down with the man who has collected of more than 140 surfboards over 20 years.
Why did you choose to run for City Council in 2010?
I was dissatisfied with the current City Council and the direction the city was heading. I believe in the Malibu mission statement that Malibu should remain rural and not develop into a commercial center.
What have you learned in the 25 years since you became president and now part of the board of the Point Dume Community Association?
Malibu has unique neighborhoods and needs to protect their character. It’s important to keep Point Dume as is and provide for the neighborhood. I’m also part of the Malibu Point Dume Services District, which used to run the park until the school reopened.
You were president of Malibu Dog Adoptions as well. What message would you like to give the general public about dog adoptions?
Never buy a dog, ever. There are dogs that need you. Many people in Malibu adopt dogs. The adopted ones love you more than the ones you buy.
What has serving on the Planning Commission been like and what has it taught you about Malibu?
I’ve been going to the meetings for 15 years. The Planning Commission is a place for the citizens to react to what’s going on in Malibu. It’s very important for the commissioners to know what the Malibu General Plan is and to follow the coastal plan and develop a comprehensive review of the development of Malibu.
Why did you choose to open the Malibu Surfing Museum at Pepperdine?
I’m an ex-surfer and I collect surfboards to preserve the heritage of surfing. Especially since Malibu is the center of surfing development in California. It’s important to keep the surfing heritage alive. The collection is a timeline of surfing history to keep the surfing spirit alive.
You’ve been living in Malibu for quite some time. What are some changes you’ve seen? What is your favorite thing about Malibu?
I’ve seen Pepperdine come and change the nature of the population, especially south of Malibu Canyon. I’ve seen the change of the laid-back style. It’s still preserved in western Malibu. And I’ve seen dramatic changes in traffic. My favorite thing about Malibu is the quiet, empty beaches.
If you could change one thing about Malibu, what would it be and why?
The urbanization of eastern Malibu and the loss of the local spirit that Malibu once had.
How was it having your portrait painted by Johanna Spinks?
She was very professional and quick. It was very interesting to see how she went about it and how she can paint a portrait in less than two hours.
Johanna Spinks does portraits on commission and also teaches classes in portrait painting. She may be reached at Johanna@johannaspinks. com or 310.384.7029.