Why such a big deal?

The following letter was read at Monday’s special City Council meeting.

After watching the video of the Dec. 1 Planning Commission meeting, I wondered if that was the same meeting that prompted the comments by the City Attomey about the commissioners that appeared in The Malibu Times. The City Attorney (or her representative) has never before hesitated telling the City Council and the Planning Commission that a contemplated action could violate procedure, legal or otherwise, nor has she ever waited to be asked.

The video shows very clearly that the Assistant City Attorney gave a generic warning regarding the Brown Act at the beginning of the commissioners’ discussion. However, the video also shows very clearly that Commission Chair Adler asked several times after that for direction from the Assistant City Attorney and received no warning that the action to agendize the subject for discussion at a future hearing was a violation of the Brown Act.

If the Assistant City Attorney didn’t know what the correct procedure was, he should have done what Vic Peterson did when asked a question he couldn’t answer, say he didn’t know and would find out. Maybe that is the difference between 24 years of experience and being in an on-the-job training program.

The Council has the right to ask any appointee to resign. No reason is needed. Since it is an action taken by the individual council member, the calling of a special council meeting at an odd time of the day to remove two commissioners seems strange. That is, unless there is some unexplained purpose, political or othewise, for making such a spectacle out of a simple discretionary action. This kind of “overkill” exposure is certainly a nasty but effective way to discourage qualified candidates from volunteering their time and effort for either commission or council positions. Or could that be the real reason behind this?

Efrom Fader

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The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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