My family has been members of the Malibu community since the early 1960s.  My father, David Kagon, was a founder of the city and one of many highly respected leaders in its history. Growing up, I was fortunate to observe firsthand what good leadership requires: integrity, emotional intelligence, strategic thinking, the ability to inspire others and empathy.

So, it is profoundly disturbing to watch a city official with demonstrably limited leadership skills subverting the workings of our government. Creating a hostile environment for our city employee(s) and infusing toxicity into our public space are dangerous disruptions to our polity.    

We, as citizens, need to right the ship of state. As employers, we have an ethical and legal responsibility to protect our workers. On a practical basis, the city cannot afford to lose qualified employees, and/or risk disincentivizing future ones, due to a hostile work environment.

We must insist that our government resources, both financial and human, be focused on the important issues. Wildfire preparedness and environmental sustainability are at the top of the list, among many other items that need our attention. We also need to protect the city from potential lawsuits, given the unwelcome dynamics playing out in our community.

I strongly suggest that, as soon as possible, the city hire an employment attorney to provide a legal opinion on the current state of its workplace environment. 

I would also suggest that our city officials be required to take a leadership training program (several are offered online). This could be made available to citizens as well, so that we become a more informed electorate when selecting our Malibu city officials.

Jane Kagon

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