Malibu City Council on Thursday, Jan. 28, appointed Big Rock resident Lloyd Ahern as the city’s delegate to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (SMMC) Advisory Committee—selecting him in a 3-2 vote over slow growth activist Patt Healy.
The role involves representing Malibu at meetings run by powerful conservationist Joe Edmiston. The committee has an interlocking board of directors with the MRCA, an organization that has often clashed with Malibu in its efforts to open land up for recreational use.
According to KBUU News, “Healy, a Malibu West resident, has been a steadfast and consistent voice for preserving Malibu’s rural heritage and mission statement.” Healy earned a 2016 Malibu Dolphin Award for her efforts toward conservation and preservation.
KBUU News described Ahern as someone “who has been vocal in his opposition to Edmiston,” while noting that Healy had sometimes endorsed Edmiston’s actions.
The council was initially split, 2-2, in its decision, with new members Bruce Silverstein and Steve Uhring advocating for Healy to keep her position.
“Patt Healy is currently serving in that position and I believe she should continue to do so,” Silverstein said. “I believe she also is probably one of the most respected locals who fights for conservancy.”
“We need somebody on there who understands what’s going on and can report back to the community Joe is planning on taking … I think Patt’s a much better person to do that than Lloyd because being confrontational in those meetings isn’t going to get you any place,” Uhring said.
Council Member Paul Grisanti asked if Healy, in her role as delegate, had ever reported to the council about the goings on of the SMMC. Council Member Karen Farrer said that she could not remember Healy ever doing so in the two years that Farrer had been on council. Grisanti and Farrer voted for Ahern.
Malibu Mayor Mikke Pierson broke the tie.
“I love Patt … I didn’t even remember she was on this committee,” Pierson said. He thought for a moment, then said he would vote for Ahern and that he would speak with Healy personally.