Letter: Shocked and dismayed over chain ordinance

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Letter to the Editor

Last night (Monday), in our opinion, was the most bizarre and strange dismemberment of a political process many residents have ever seen. The reaction from the small crowd toward the end, now toward midnight, was utter bewilderment. 

Malibu’s city staff and our residents have worked diligently since 2006 and especially for the last 2.5 years full-time on an exceptionally researched, smart and effective formula ordinance for this city. Thousands of residents signed petitions, the City Council has voted this forward every step, the planning staff at City Hall used their remarkable expertise in writing this and worked hand-in-hand with Malibu’s esteemed legal staff. Last night was nothing less then a total embarrassment to this city. 

On the way out what was said was: Thank you for convincing us all to go to a ballot initiative. We don’t need you. 

Meaning: The residents have always had the option of going directly to citizens in a ballot initiative. If we’d had any idea of the fiasco this has been turned into, as on full display last night, residents would’ve started right there from the beginning. The voice of the people is government in action. No informed resident should ever have to subject themselves to sitting through such a mishmash of misinformation, fear mongering, ridiculous ill-informed statements coming from a City Hall dais, no matter what side of an issue you are on. We expect much more. The developers and their suited attorneys were literally laughing out loud in the aisle at the entire melt down of this commission, and we could not blame them. The number one job of our City Hall is to protect and preserve this city, and three members of our volunteer Planning Commission threw that out the window. 

Those commissioners have wasted years of residents’ lives by mocking the direction of our council, who have voted this ordinance through at every single step of the way. No one has ever wanted or ever attempted to ban all chains, simply to help level the planning field. Citizens asked for a fair, legally upheld solution that cities across our great nation have enacted and are doing so today. A plan that adheres to the founding Malibu mandate of forever protecting this rare character and that balances both independent businesses with corporate chains. 

Thank you, Commissioners John Mazza and Mikke Pierson for standing up with intelligence last night. 

It boils down to one thing, citizens. Instead of being dependent on the ever shifting whims of City Hall politics and their relationships with a handful of wealthy out-of-town and out-of-state developers, take the preservation of Malibu directly to the people. 

Preserve Malibu Coalition