It is the holiday season, and to be sure a subdued one while trying to stay safe, if not sane, in the nagging pandemic. 

The pandemic notwithstanding, it’s also an encouraging open season on a disingenuous City Manager Reva Feldman by a determined Bruce Lee Silverstein, as he girds up to taking his seat on a compromised city council.

This, I feel, clearly reflects the will of Malibu’s electorate, Silverstein having garnered the most votes in the past municipal election, with Steve Uhring second, pledging to critically monitor Feldman’s performance. It is high time for accountability.

Now, instead of circling the wagons around the woeful Feldman, incumbents Mikke Pierson and Karen Farrer should welcome Silverstein’s questioning of the city manager. That is if you still believe their election pledges as long-term residents to be dedicated advocates for the Malibu populace.

Now, two years later, my patient hope is that Pierson and Farrer can see beyond the calculated personal coddlings by Feldman and her trumped-up, Trump-like pricey public relations, and the pap of sycophants and self-serving, and embrace the need of an energized, independent council.

For too long, Malibu in the past has been ill served by mediocre councils of differing competence, catering as of late to an overpaid and underachieving city manager, Feldman, a compliant bloated bureaucracy and accommodating questionable consultants. And this as the city’s budget has ballooned while its services have plummeted—granted, with exceptions.

Still, ever so apt is the adage, “A people hire A people, B people hire C people” and that Malibu is sinking into a sea of “Cs,” or, should I say, swamp. Whatever, it is time for a discerning council to drain it.

What there is of the local media, too, also can be more discerning, and instead of dutifully echoing City Hall’s pap, question it, such as, most recently, exactly how many emails Silverstein sent to the city manager. It was much, much less than was reported, and more importantly not disclosed was what they respectfully asked. Talk about the need for “trustworthy reporting,” and transparency.

And neither particularly open are many of Feldman's indulged entourage, as we have learned when trying to find out why a particular project of a deep pocketed Pt. Dume resident was favored by an accommodating city’s Planning Department and chief Code Enforcement officer. This while neighborhood concerns and informed objections were ignored. 

But that is another story still to come, as Silverstein and Council take up a needed investigation of a City Hall too long indulged by an indifferent Malibu.

Sam Hall Kaplan

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