It has to come my attention that somebody named Ken Luskin, whom I do not recall ever meeting, is accusing me, our city manager and our city of public corruption. Luskin is either misinformed or didn’t do his homework because he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Here are the facts, all of which are supported by the public record. Facts do matter!

Back in 2017, I served on the City of Malibu Library Subcommittee along with Jefferson Wagner. Because of a favorable arrangement made years ago, each year, the City of Malibu receives a surplus of funds dedicated solely to library-related activities. All the library money is managed by the county and the city only requests these expenditures—the county has full oversight to approve or deny. This money never comes through the city and isn’t reflected in our city budget. 

Both Jefferson and I thought it would be a good idea to spend $150,000 annually for two years from these dedicated funds so that the LA County Library Foundation, a nonprofit that raises money for all 87 public libraries in the county, could hire an executive director. Spend money to make money. We brought the matter before our library subcommittee at a public meeting (where Jefferson made the motion to approve the funding) and then again at a meeting of the Malibu City Council, which unanimously voted in favor of this proposal. There were no back room deals, nothing illegal nor immoral. All we were doing was supporting our public library system’s programs and services.

Through innuendo, Luskin tries to smear my longtime record of public service. He states that I supported funding the library foundation for the sole purpose of becoming its paid executive director. Nothing could be further from the truth. I was never interested in this paid position, which has been filled by a qualified applicant. My only role at the foundation is as an unpaid volunteer board member, something I only agreed to after my term on the council expired.

I love our city and have served it tirelessly for many years. I am proud of my service and can state unequivocally that I have never profited from my public service. I deeply resent Luskin’s accusations against me and our city staff. To the best of my knowledge, he has done nothing to serve our community. 

Luskin is using his outrageous smears and gross misrepresentations of what really occurred as part of his recall campaign against two current councilmembers in order to fire our city manager. This is shameful.

Our city has just suffered the most severe trauma in our history. We need healing and recovery, not distractions, false accusations and lies.

Throughout my public service career, I did my work honorably and with pride. Can you say the same, Mr. Luskin? Malibu doesn’t deserve your divisive lies and tactics—we need to concentrate on helping people heal, rebuild and renew. That’s what I am doing. Can you say the same?

Laura Rosenthal

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