Robert "Roy" van de Hoek
Van de Hoek is a scientist and environmental educator and is active with the Wetlands Action Network and the Sierra Club. He currently teaches marine biology at Long Beach Community College and provides biological consultation to various groups and organizations.
Although Van de Hoek was reluctant to respond to any questions from The Malibu Times because of "the blatant lie in the headline of last week's paper," he summarized his campaign impressions anyway.
"There is not a credible environmental activist on the planet who has not been called an extremist," Van de Hoek said. "This is a tactic used by those who choose excessive profits and greed over protection of the earth and its natural resources."
As he indicated how he could serve Malibu well, Van de Hoek explained, "It is time we have a marine biologist on the council who can bring a different perspective than the pro-development forces that currently control the council."
"Another attorney or businessperson would not bring balance to the council," he said, noting that his years of experience in federal and county governments give him insight and perspective that is lacking in Malibu's city government.
"I am the only candidate that clearly puts the protection of our natural environment, preserving our quality of life and curbing future over development as the top priority for our city," Van de Hoek said.
As he reviewed his campaign objectives, Van de Hoek said his goals are to insure that Malibu's natural environment is protected from traffic gridlock and massive development that is currently in the queue at City Hall.
"I will make it a personal priority to solve the problems related to the ball fields at Bluffs Park," he said. "County and city officials have failed Malibu families for more than 20 years now on this issue."
"Let's solve the problem so we don't have to be held hostage to a development proposal that is not good for the city," Van de Hoek said.
The Sierra Club, Santa Monica Mayor Mike Feinstein, actor Martin Sheen, Huntington Beach Mayor Debby Cook and many others endorse Van de Hoek.
Taki, a 21-year Malibu resident and homeowner, is the former president of the Malibu Association of Realtors and the Malibu Women's Club. She has sold real estate in Malibu for the past 12 years and currently hosts a public affairs cable TV program, which focuses on community issues.
In retrospect, Taki saw the campaign negativity as a customary development of pre-election times.
"Incumbent politicians always accuse their challengers of lacking experience," she said. "Most Malibu voters don't want a political machine running our city government, therefore, they are voting for me, an independent candidate."
Like the other candidates, if she gets elected, Taki said she plans to oppose the Coastal Commission LCP by any and all means. Another goal is to secure sports fields for Malibu's children by way of approving the Crummer Trust/State Parks Development Agreement pending an environmental impact report and by persuading State Parks to let Malibu keep the existing sports fields.
Taki also said she wants to place the Malibu Bay Company Development Agreement before voters for a final decision, "as they wished when they voted for Measure N in November 2000."
Taki feels she has the necessary skills for leadership. Furthermore, "I have the ability and desire to listen and respect every citizen and interest group in Malibu," she said. "Voters want a change on City Council, not a re-run."
The realtor lashed out at critics who say she is pro-development.
"It's outrageous that my opponents equate Realtors with developers," Taki said. "My job as a Realtor is to promote Malibu's quality of life. Too much development and that quality will diminish, yet no-growth is both economically and legally impossible."
As for unfair political practice accusations, Taki disagreed with recent attacks that it was unfair that her show was aired during the election period.
"My public affairs television show has been cablecast on the public access channel for 12 years," explained Taki. "Anyone, including my opponents, could have taken their time to produce a show and Charter Communications would have cablecast it."
House, Hasse, Harlow and the Malibu Association of Realtors, among others, have endorsed Taki.
Andy Stern was appointed to the Planning Commission in June 1998 and chaired it twice. Stern has practiced law since 1977 and was the chief executive officer of several entertainment companies. He was recently chosen to chair the Los Angeles County Beach Commission.
Stern, whose name was used in an independently paid ad against Taki, indicated it was not his idea to run a negative campaign.
"I have no idea who the person was," said Stern, emphasizing that his campaign was a positive one.
"What I've tried to do is get my message out and educate people," said Stern, who believes that voters now have a clear choice based on what the candidates said at the multiple forums that have taken place around town.
Where candidate Robert "Roy" van de Hoek is in favor of the Coastal Commission's LCP and Wall is in favor of litigation restraining the city from submitting its own land use plan to Coastal, Stern pointed out he spoke against the LCP at several Coastal Commission meetings even before he decided to run for a council seat.
He also said that, besides the LCP, he and Barovsky are the only two candidates who supported the open land bond measure that was defeated in November, "and that's important because of future bond issues that may come up."
Stern said he has an across-the-board endorsement platform that includes slow-growth supporters and Realtors. His fellow Planning Commission members and councilmembers Jennings, Kearsley and Barovsky also endorse him.
Wall, a retired executive, chaired the city's Economic Plan and Flood Mitigation Plan Advisory Committees. He was a Public Works commissioner and chair and co-chair of the General Plan Task Force. He has lived in Malibu for more than 40 years.
Wall said he has broader concerns that go beyond the LCP. Although the LCP is important, Wall said, "We are going to be elected [to serve] for four years, so there will be many issues during that period of time."
His platform mostly touches on government action, fair enforcement and consistency in the laws. He hopes to win back the public's confidence in the council, the city commissions and staff by rewriting some of the laws, revising the General Plan and Zoning Code to be more realistic and to make them clear and simple to interpret.
Wall said he wants to accomplish something, as opposed to studying items and referring them to commissions for long periods of time.
"We didn't submit an LCP and find playing fields," said Wall, referring to the fact previous councils did not meet deadlines to submit a city-drafted LCP. "Analyzing and talking about things without action is not enough. I'm interested in taking action," he said.
"Certainly the LCP is on the front burner but all the other things will need to be resolved as well."
The candidate believes confidence in government requires people to be forthright with the public.
Wall does have some ideas on solving the LCP crisis.
Negotiations are the first step to try to solve the problem, he said, "but if they fail, we need a next step in mind and that is an example of one of the creative approaches we could come up with."
If the Coastal Commission passes the LCP plan in September, the LCP could be subjected to a referendum, Wall said. "If a referendum puts it down, the council cannot enact the LCP."
Wall's endorsements include House, and former Malibu mayors John Harlow, Tom Hasse and Walt Keller, as well as other community leaders.
Incumbent Sharon Barovsky was elected to City Council in 2000. She was a member of the General Plan Task Force and worked on the Civic Center Advisory Committee. This councilmember, writer and high school teacher has lived in Malibu for more than 30 years.
This campaign produced surprises that came from unexpected fronts for incumbent Sharon Barovsky who said an ad opposing council hopeful Beverly Taki was created and published in recent weeks by an independent supporter without her approval or knowledge.
"I did not, nor did anyone on my committee have anything to do with that ad," Barovsky said.
"The letter writer (and ad sponsor) Matthew Katz states himself he doesn't work with any candidates. I would not permit any of the negative stuff, its about issues," she said.
Barovsky was also particularly upset when letters to the editor in local papers attacked her late husband, Harry Barovsky.
"Come after me if you wish, but leave my husband alone," she said.
But in the end, Barovsky said she decided not to take the attacks personally because that would affect the way she works on the council if she is elected again.
Barovsky said she is running again because she wants to bring the Local Coastal Plan issue to a close and leave office seeing ball fields in Malibu. She also wants to see parks the city already purchased bloom into family parks.
Barovsky hopes to improve the communication between local schools and the city and "if I should have a heart attack from all this work, I'd like to see an urgent care that can take me in."
Barovsky believes the council should help The Friends of St. John Urgent Care Center as they try to open a 24-hour urgent care center with a full triage facility because Malibu can become isolated in an emergency
Among others, Barovsky is endorsed by Rep. Brad Sherman, state Sen. Sheila Kuehl, Assemblymember Fran Pavley, L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky (who only endorses incumbents), Malibu Mayor Joan House, Councilmembers Ken Kearsley and Jeff Jennings, and all the Planning Commission members.