Andy Lyon is a Realtor, activist and lifelong Malibu resident. He previously ran for council in 2012, to oppose the Malibu Lagoon restoration project, and again in 2014.
This is an abridged version of a much longer Q&A. We encourage our readers to read the text, in full, here.
First question, we’re asking everybody: In five words or less, what is the theme of your campaign?
To clean up and protect Malibu.
What prepares you to take on this role; what’s your history in Malibu?
I’ve done this before. I ran in 2012 and 2014. I’ve grown up in Malibu my whole life, so that’s pretty much what’s prepared me. I didn’t really want it, but it seems like the people who are running the city right now are just running it into the ground. I just don’t wanna be sitting on the sides again and going up and trying to fight City Hall every other week.
On Instagram, you wrote, “If you want to help save Malibu, vote for me.” And then, I think you also wrote, “There’s a well-oiled machine running/ruining Malibu,” and that you’re coming to fix that. Save Malibu from what? And who are you talking about?
There’s this group that’s been basically running the city, back to [former mayor] Sharon Barovsky. That whole crew of people have just pretty much controlled everything ... The city managers and city attorneys have been there forever, not really doing anything. It’s the whole thing that’s just keeping Malibu on the track of the inside, backroom deals ... A lot of people don’t understand how it’s working. I’ve been following it since trying to stop the lagoon [project]. I saw how things were working down there.
You have a lot of criticism of a lot of the people that, if you were to win the city council race, you would have to work with. Do you think you would struggle being on city council because [of that]?
If everybody’s happy with the way Malibu’s being treated, then vote for somebody that’s going to be another Mikke [Pierson] and Karen [Farrer] to keep everything going the same way ... The thing is, nobody’s questioning [them] at this point. Somebody’s got to sit up there and call them out, like going, “Hey Karen, you’re full of it,” “Hey Mikke, you’re, you’re, you know what, this isn’t right.”
If you get elected, you’re going to have to work with [City Manager] Reva [Feldman]. Is that going to be an issue?
No, not at all. If she does a good job, that’s one thing. I don’t think she’s doing the greatest job and I think she’s really the best at being like, “It’s not my thing,” it’s “out of her hands” ... I know a lot of people who are like, “Are you committed to canning her?” People are not happy with her. But she is in there. She’s not voted in. She is basically mayor de facto without being voted by the people she’s representing ... I’m not opposed to working with her but I’m also not just going to sit there and just go along with everything.
On Facebook, you wrote, “I’m sick of hearing there’s nothing we can do, that’s a copout” about the parking issue on PCH. If you put up signs, that kind of makes the city vulnerable to lawsuits from organizations that advocate for beach access or homeless issues. Would you put the city through that expense?
Then charge for parking. Can you not pay for parking? We’re supposed to give out the best oceanfront spots to people just to live? ... I don’t know how the other cities around us do it.
I think a lot of people agree with you that at the very least there’s an issue, but that signs aren’t the fix.
Are these cars roadworthy? ... There used to be parking on Zuma, you had to have two wheels on the asphalt. Do you put up a bike lane on Corral and make sure that people can’t park super-wide rigs? Do you just make it paid parking? Can you put gate rails up and bring everything away from the bluff?
I don’t know that you could do that on city council because you have to work with other agencies—like Caltrans, for example. They’re in charge of the highway, not city council.
The public is being denied ... They’re ruining the view corridor for people driving on the highway ... You’re going to have to challenge it. You’re going to have to go to Coastal Commission, you’re going to have to lobby Caltrans—the lobbyists we don’t get anything for! We don’t get any results, we just pay this lobbyist ... I would go to Coastal and be like, “Hey, let’s go!” ... [City Attorney] Christi [Hogin] says you’re going to get a lawsuit. They’re afraid to get a lawsuit.
What do you think is the No. 1 issue facing Malibu today and what will you do in your first year in office to tackle it?
Just protecting Malibu ... Growing up here, I never locked my house. I could leave the keys in the car. You didn’t have to think about people abducting kids or crazy people hauling up and hitting people or ... raping or all this stuff ... Having a better handle on the sheriff and what we get out of what we pay for with them ... What we do with our lobbyists. Homeless stuff. Off-site parking in another area—whether it’s down at the Topanga Beach lot or the state parks and get ‘em closer to town where it’s closer to services. And then, for the fire, it’s just making sure we’re equipped. And emergency supplies for everything ... If you had to prioritize it, I think right now, getting more patrols in the nighttime, the safety.
Lawlessness on the highway. It’s just dangerous ... There’s a lot of problems in Malibu! It’s not just like, “Oh my God, I get to just go cut ribbons” or something. It’s going to be serious stuff. It can’t always be “It’s out of our hands, oh, it’s Caltrans, oh, it’s, it’s ...” At some point, you’ve got to be ready to get into a scrap and make it happen.