Letter: Serving Residents’ Interests

Letter to the Editor

It’s one thing to have opposite opinions on an issue. It’s another thing to use one-sided, slanted spin in a news article. Under the front page headline, “Lawsuits costing city nearly $1 million” in the Feb. 5 edition of The Malibu Times, a quote by Malibu City Attorney Christi Hogin stating “The two lawsuits that take up the lion’s share of resources in Malibu are the ridiculous lawsuit by the Malibu Township Council (MTC) … ,” was certainly a cheap shot. Since 1946, the MTC has steadfastly and, in many ways, served the interests of the residents of Malibu to keep the city on track to preserve our uniqueness. When people don’t agree on important issues of public interest, legal action frequently results. Then, an impartial judge hears the issue without vested interest in the outcome. The use of the word “ridiculous” seems to try to divert the attention of the Malibu voters and taxpayers from the high amounts of attorney fees Hogin bills our city. 

MTC’s lawsuit (and its cost) could have been avoided altogether had City Attorney Hogin properly advised city council members to avoid negotiating a parkland deal in secret with the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, and had she refrained from dragging the city council into severe violations of California’s open meeting law and the city council’s own policy protocols. Hopefully, our city attorney will not try to defame or ridicule organizations that question or challenge city council actions she defends or recommends. 

Richard Lawrence 

President, Malibu Township Council