LaMonte Says State of the City of Malibu ‘Great’

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City of Malibu representatives, chamber of commerce members and Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s officials present an updated version of the iconic “27 Miles of Scenic Beauty” sign.

Don’t be alarmed if you notice Malibu seems to have shrunk six miles this month — the City of Malibu and Malibu Chamber of Commerce unveiled signs at the State of the City address on Friday morning updating exactly how many “Miles of Scenic Beauty” Malibu gets to claim — 21. That’s the number of miles the City of Malibu officially has encompassed since it was incorporated in 1991.

Nearly 120 members of the Malibu Chamber of Commerce turned out last Friday to have breakfast and hear a slate of speakers highlighted by Mayor Lou La Monte’s “State of the City 2017 – Thriving in Malibu” address. Updates were also given by State Senator Henry Stern, Southern California Edison and Josh Thai — the new captain of the LA County Sheriff’s Department’s Lost Hills station. Rod Bergen, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, was emcee.

“The Chamber of Commerce is here to support everybody in town, including the city,” Chamber of Commerce CEO Barbara Bruderlin said in an interview. “What makes this town work is everybody showing up to events like this and meeting each other. That support is what makes our town successful.”

La Monte summarized the “State of the City” in one word — “great.” He backed that up by offering a few 2016 statistics: City of Malibu videos posted on Facebook had 21,000 views, over $800,000 in various fees were collected (building permits, etc.), and the city’s credit rating remains “superb.”

Other city accomplishments of 2016 include County Measure R funding, the acquisition of the 35-acre Trancas field, the beginning construction of the Civic Center Wastewater Treatment Facility on the four-acre Winter Canyon site that the city purchased, finalization of the PCH parking study, the La Costa crosswalk project, storm response, monitoring Areas of Special Biological Significance (ASBS) along the coast, the first “Concert on the Bluffs” and the naming of Malibu’s first poet laureate, Ricardo Ybarra.

La Monte mentioned legislative bills AB 2403 and SB 786, having to do with the overcentration of drug and alcohol treatment and recovery facilities. La Monte has been championing the passage of such bills for years, helped by his involvement in the League of California Cities, California Contract Cities Association and the National League of Cities.

One high point of the morning came when the mayor explained that the iconic “Malibu — 27 miles of scenic beauty” signs posted at either end of town on PCH are actually incorrect. Malibu was 27 miles long when it was still unincorporated, but is only 21 miles long as a city. 

“Wouldn’t it be nice if we could finally have accurate signs made up, and have them made out of weatherproof, recycled materials?” he asked the audience.

A large sign of that description was brought out. La Monte said four such signs had been made, and would be installed at the city limits at each end of PCH, as well as on Kanan and Malibu Canyon Roads.

Newly elected State Senator Henry Stern, representing our 27th district with nearly a million people, said he plans to do a tour of Malibu for various elected officials from around the state so they can see for themselves why residents are so protective of the ocean and the mountains. 

Stern pointed out that among people ages 18-34, “the fastest growing political party is ‘No Party,’” which he feels calls for “a new type of thinking in our state.”

“My office is open for business, we’re here to serve you,” Stern continued. “I thank you for putting your faith in me and getting me into the shark tank of Sacramento.” 

Newly promoted LA County Sheriff Captain Josh Thai said, “It’s an honor to be your police chief. I grew up in a different country and American dreams don’t get better than this.” He complimented the people of Malibu on their friendliness. “The people here wave at me with all five fingers,” he laughed. 

Thai said he looks forward to having a station in Malibu once again, which will be in the new Santa Monica College complex once it’s finished. He said he’s been working “hand-in-hand” with City Manager Reva Feldman and La Monte on emergency procedures, and that he wants to expand the Volunteers on Patrol program.

Diane Forte of Southern California Edison reported that 28 percent of SCE’s power now comes from renewable energy sources, with that number jumping to 50 percent by 2030. She announced they’d be upgrading and replacing poles on Malibu Canyon Rd. beginning in mid-April, mostly at night, and also be doing “regularly scheduled power washing” and “upgrades to reduce power outages.”

Each of the following sponsors bought at least one table at the event, and were recognized: Edison International, Water Quality Specialists, Pepperdine University, HRL Laboratories, Santa Monica College, Malibu Association of Realtors, Marathon Communications, West Basin Municipal Water District and Runyan Capitol Advisors/Wedbush Securities.