Meet the city council candidates

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John Sibert

The Malibu Times e-mailed a list of 11 questions to the five City Council candidates. The candidates were limited to 75 words per answer and had five days to answer the questions. The Malibu Times has received all the candidates’ answers, and will print them during the next five weeks. The order of the candidates’ profiles was determined by a random drawing. The order is as follows:

Feb. 28 – Pamela Conley Ulich

March 6 – Jefferson Wagner

March 13 – John Sibert

March 20 – Kathy Wisnicki

March 27 – Susan Tellem

Name: John W Sibert III

Birth date: April 29, 1937

How long have you lived in Malibu?

We moved into our home on Point Dume in October 1985. When the opportunity arose to start and run the Alaska Science & Technology Foundation in 1989, we went to Alaska for six years. In 1995, we returned to our home in Malibu.

How many people are in your immediate family, regardless of whether they live at home? Feel free to mention their names and ages.

I have three children- Jolie, director of the Conservation Fellows’ Program for The Nature Conservancy; John IV, associate professor of chemistry, University of Texas, Dallas; and Mia, former executive chef and now stay-at-home mom-and five grandchildren. And, of course, there is Blanca, my wife and partner for 27 years.

What is your education and employment history?

I have a Ph.D. in chemistry, and have been professor and administrator at Yale, Caltech and the California State Universities. I was the founding executive director of the $100 million Alaska Science & Technology Foundation. I also managed the Corporate Research Laboratory of the Atlantic Richfield Corporation. More recently, I have been the managing partner of technology/business firms and consultant to a number of state and federal programs on technology-based economics.

Why are you running for City Council?

We have lived in a number of places and Malibu is, by far, the best; however, my five-plus years on the Planning Commission have driven home the issues that need to be addressed to retain Malibu’s unique character. As a planning commissioner, I have had to act within the rules that exist, not the ones I wish existed. As a city council member, I can begin to fix those rules!

What makes you qualified to be on City Council?

I have been part of many of the important battles in Malibu, from fighting the county on local control of development through cityhood to the effort to write our own land use plan. My years on the Planning Commission have taught me how important it is to correct the inconsistencies that exist as a result of this piece-meal process and to work with other jurisdictions that share many of our problems.

What organizations or groups have you been involved in and how were you involved?

Nationally, I was founding chairman of NASVF, member of National Governors Association committees, board member of several NOAA and NASA organizations and a member of boards of several universities. In California, I was a member of the LARTA board as well as the Governor’s Committee on Capital Formation and Business Development. I have been, and am still, a member of the boards of several environmental and technology nonprofits.

Have you been involved in any homeowners associations or other community groups, including city committees?

I was a founding board member of Save Our Coast and a board member of the Malibu Township Council prior to cityhood. I served as Malibu’s representative on the County/Malibu Wastewater Committee and helped stop the county’s plan to build a sewage treatment plant on Corral Beach. I have been a member of the Malibu Planning Commission since 2002.

What experiences have you had dealing with budgets? How about legislation?

I ran a large corporate research program and facility, managed a 500-person university division, created and ran a $100 million science foundation and ran a nonprofit institute at the interface of CSU and the private sector. All of these included responsibility for budget development and management. I helped write national legislation with federal agencies and worked closely with the Alaska State Legislature.

What are your interests outside of politics?

I continue to serve on corporate, university and nonprofit boards related to alternative energy development, environment, pharmaceuticals and economic development. I am a consultant and reviewer on technology projects for several states and federal agencies and I consult for alternative energy companies. However, I mostly enjoy cooking, fine wine and walks on the beach and in our local mountains with my wife, Blanca.