Sherman’s place

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    Dear City Council:

    It is with regret that I resign my position as commissioner with the city’s Mobilehome Park Rent Stabilization Commission. I very much enjoyed working with my fellow commissioners and the mobilehome community in Malibu.

    Earlier this week, Mayor Carolyn Van Horn, claiming she was prompted by City Councilmember Walt Keller, told me that she had turned me in to the interim city attorney for an alleged conflict of interest because my mother now rents a coach in the Point Dume Mobilehome Park. Obviously I was startled by the mayor’s action, coming only days after I told her I could not support either her or Mr. Keller’s re-election because I did not think they could win. I also told her I supported the proposed term limits ballot measure.

    For the record, the city law, as I researched before my mother moved into the park, only prohibits mobilehome park owners or those who own a coach in a Malibu mobilehome park from serving on the city’s mobilehome commission. I am surprised neither Mayor Van Horn nor City Councilmember Keller knew this city law since they have both served on the City Council for two terms or longer.

    Nevertheless, to avoid even the perception of a conflict of interest, I have decided to resign from the commission. As City Council member Tom Hasse demonstrated with his recusal during the 1998-99 campaign finance investigation, the interests of the city of Malibu must come first. Even the perception of a conflict of interest must be avoided to assure Malibu residents that their city government is free of corruption.

    I continue to serve on the city’s Economic Plan Advisory Committee and the city’s Trails Master Plan Committee. I have also accepted Councilmember Hasse’s offer to head up a Malibu Residents for Term Limits (MRTL) Committee to support and win passage of term limits on our city councilmembers in next April’s City Council election. I invite interested Malibu voters to stop by my store to sign up. Entrenched incumbents do not serve anybody but themselves.

    Sherman Baylin