Letter addressed to Malibu City Council

With great respect for your commitment to your jobs and the responsibilities therein, I implore you to reconsider how council meetings are being run.

When it takes three meetings to get through one agenda there is something wrong.

Council Member Silverstein, I believe you ran on a platform to basically “clean the swamp” and yet it appears that you have filled it with quicksand and everyone is getting swallowed up in the deadly morass—council, staff, city manager, city attorney as well as the residents of Malibu. No one can stay up, think straight and make good decisions at 1 a.m. and get up the next morning and address a new day with all the baggage from the day before.

There are already general rules, regulations, protocols and policies in place as well as individual city council directives that oversee the running of meetings that take everyone’s needs into consideration. Perhaps one that may need to be considered is meeting time limits. This is something that has not been necessary in the past as a council was always willing to extend themselves to come to an important decision so that everyone could move forward. But perhaps in these times such a restriction is necessary to keep from hashing and rehashing minutiae and getting nowhere. It is fair to no one to tear an item or an idea or a person to pieces. It is wrong to use the council dais or social media platforms as a “bully” pulpit and then claim victimization. 

I am all for and demand transparency, due diligence and ethical behavior. I am also for expediency and action. Government is mired in enough red tape as it is. It does not need nor do we need unnecessary, impractical and onerous labors. As I have said before, disagreement is healthy and, may I add, compromise, collaboration and respect are some of the prescriptions for success.

These last few council meetings have been tedious, never ending and painful. I have refrained from participating, refrained from partaking in this public process that is both my right and my duty so as not to be a part of the problem. Everyone one of you, Councilmembers and Staff, represent the City of Malibu. You are the City. You represent me. Please remember that.

Terry Davis

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