Reacting to pleas from City Councilman Ken Kearsley and speaker David Kagon, the City Council voted May 23 to consider appointing someone to fill the vacancy created by the death of Harry Barovsky.
Mayor Tom Hasse, who was instrumental in scrapping the appointment option in April, was not present for the 3-0 vote, not having returned from a Sacramento meeting of the League of California Cities.
The ordinance and complementary resolution will be debated at the June 12 meeting of the City Council.
“Tonight we have evidence that two members can decide an issue,” said Kagon, referring to the denial by Mayor Pro Tem Joan House and Councilman Jeff Jennings of appeals of Planning Commission decisions on two homes on Latigo Shores Drive.
The appeals were made by local attorney Frank Angel and the Sierra Club. Kearsley had recused himself because he had been Planning Commission chair on the vote.
“Suppose you had not voted the same way,” continued Kagon. “Was that the will of the people, to have one person make the decision? It is almost mandated that you appoint someone so people have the full council make decisions.”
Kearsley, who had been lobbying for the appointment process for the last month, said the volume of work alone necessitated a five-member council and five-member Planning Commission.
The appointment vote represents the second about-face on the vacancy issue. On April 10, the old council introduced the same ordinance the new council introduced May 23. It calls for filling every City Council vacancy by special election and making an interim appointment until the special election.
Then, on April 22, the old council decided to have voters choose the fifth member in a special election in November. At that meeting, Hasse nixed the idea of appointing someone, including Barovsky’s widow, Sharon, Ted Vaill, former Parks and Recreation Commissioner, and Frank Basso, Malibu Township Council chair
In other action the council:
- Voted 3-0 to disband the Local Coastal Plan Committee after House said Sen. John Burton, pro tem of the State Senate, told her and Hasse in a 10-second meeting, “Get your LCP done.”
- Swore in Bill Carson and Kathy Greco to the Mobilehome Park Rent Stabilization Commission; Pat Greenwood and Doug O’Brien to the Parks and Recreation Commission; Ed Lipnick, Richard Carrigan and David Fox to the Planning Commission; Marlene Matlow and Melanie Goudzwaard to the Public Safety Commission; Richard Davis and Richard Scott to the Public Works Commission; and Lloyd Ahern to the Telecommunications Commission.
- Jennings announced the appointment of Bob Newlon to the Architects and Engineers Zoning Review Committee, and Jennifer Skophammer and Larry Grey to the Trails Master Plan Committee.
- Heard a presentation on the work of the Code Enforcement Task Force from chair John Miller and requested the Task Force prepare a written progress report in September. During the presentation and public comments it was noted that the Building and Safety Department staff were not required to be present at the meeting and there was confusion about rules for a home office. Responding to comments by Miller, House and city manager Harry Peacock said home offices were allowed under development standards. Activist Anne Hoffman said a code enforcement moratorium would provide “widespread relief” to thousands of residents who are subject to “great invasions of privacy” for using their home office to collaborate on writing and film projects, entertain clients, conduct business meetings or have personal training in connection with their profession.
- Voted 3-0 to add new, at-large members to the Code Enforcement Task Force.
- Added design services for a neighborhood park, including a 2,000 square-foot community building, on city-owned property in Las Flores Canyon to the capital projects budget for fiscal year 2000-2001.
- Unanimously approved a contract with Kimberly Nilsson to administer the city’s film permit program.