Letter: Eyes on the Council Race

Letter to the Editor

If you care about the future of Malibu and the value and enjoyment of your home, you have to be concerned about the upcoming local election now in its formative stage. 

By any personnel, or popular measure, the concept of Malibu as a distinctive coastal community known the world over as a prestigious, if not pricey, address has been on the wane for its permanent, neighborly residents. 

We’re talking here about those who read the social media, scan the sundry town tabloids, walk the select neighborhood streets and beaches, have or had kids in the public schools, and maybe shop in the local stores and farmers market—Malibuites who vote here and are amused by, and sometimes informed by, the local town criers, and the gossip gathered over the hedge and at the dog park.

These are the residents who lived through the Woolsey disaster, witnessed the abdication of our first responders and the continued, unapologetic feigned excuses for whatever by the city mismanager or the questioned efforts of a mostly inept, bloated bureaucracy, to be sure with a few exceptions. 

This, in contrast to those who have second and trophy houses here, with or without resident caretakers, secluded behind security systems: the hedge and trust fund supercilious, the haughty weekend one percenters. Then there are the partying short term renters and the noisy neighbors from hell. 

Identify and tally them as you will, these aliens are on the increase in Malibu, to the detriment of school enrollment and the death of mom and pop stores and affordable eateries. (Indeed, are there any left?) 

And it is my hunch that these aliens also are the riffraff speeding and trashing our streets and, not incidentally these pandemic days, not wearing masks in public.

As for the present and past councils whom I’ve chastised for being, in effect, toadies, to be fair, they never signed up for having to steward a city through the rough times of the last several years, while being scammed by a wily staff and special interests, but rather to enjoy the prestige and perks, and not necessarily actually govern. A few really should not be there.

I sadly state all this as a precedent to the election, for it is high time to reform city hall, to drain the swamp and put local government back on high ground, to pursue the city’s noble mission statement, and to serve the true residents of Malibu.

For that, we don’t need apologists or acquiescing, if amiable, councilpersons. And we don’t need novices, but rather, experienced creditable professionals and the passionate who will join to take back Malibu for those of us who live here.

Let us therefore welcome the election season, with caution.

And because of the dearth and depth of local coverage, I will be offering here and elsewhere a running pointed perspective on the election, informed and hopefully challenging. Keep tuned.

Sam Hall Kaplan