Good to be back from afar in my treasured Malibu, warmed by a welcoming sun. But I’m sorely disappointed by the continued willful ignorance of a city council scammed by a conniving city manager building a bloated bureaucracy.  

The council’s review and raise for Reva Feldman was unconscionable, as is her pending request now for yet more overpaid consultants to do the work she and her entourage should be doing, if they weren’t so busy scheming to preserve their sinecures.

It is an embarrassment for our fractured, beloved community being force-fed pricey propaganda, and worse for the victims of the disastrous Woolsey Fire also having to contend with a contorted rebuild endeavor unapologetically mismanaged by “the manager of the year.”

And beyond the PR, what of the planning and advocacy Malibu needs for the next disaster that is sure to come? Let alone the daily demands of a fragile city deluged with tourists and part- time residents. 

Valued perspectives have been suggested in the simmering social media (kudos to Janet, Jo, Mari and others), but sadly it seems the council doesn’t listen, dismissing them as a vocal minority, as if they didn’t have valid observations and rights. And then what of the dispirited silent majority?

To paraphrase Machiavelli, “Those who themselves are not wise cannot be well advised.”

Debatable is whether Malibu’s governance needs to suffer the time and trouble of a remake empowering a strong mayor, who may have his or her own predispositions. It seems simpler if the council would do its job and usher Reva and her parasitic personnel out the door.

Or will we have to await the next election, and hope that the usual scammers and self aggrandizing locals will yield to a concerned new majority committed to serving Malibu instead of themselves, and do the right thing?  

As the Romans used to say when an emperor went rogue, “Quis custodiet ipsos custode?”  Loosely translated: “who will manage the manager?

Sam Hall Kaplan

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