Every movie opens with coming attractions and a lot of hype. The trick is to see behind, or under or around, the hype and guess what it all really means.
Cities are no different, and there are lots of things coming up this year and a lot of hype that surrounds them.
So here are my predictions for the coming attractions for the next 12 months and what we say about them and what they really mean:
The Regional Water Quality Control Board wants us to do something about our sewage problem in Malibu. We say, “We don’t have a sewage problem in Malibu,” or, if we do, “It’s somebody else’s fault, like Tapia for example.” Unfortunately, our claiming we’re the environmental good guys is wearing a little thin, especially since we’re resisting doing things like a dye study to really find the answer to the pollution problem in the Malibu creek and lagoon. My guess is that nothing much is going to happen on this unless the RWQCB really has the cojones, which I sincerely doubt, to demand we either prove we’re blameless or require we do something, like putting in a package plant or even the dirty word , a s_ _ _ _..
Cooperation and Amiability
Every member of the City Council would like to see a more amiable atmosphere around City Hall. They all agree that more cooperation would be a good thing. What they really mean is let’s do it my way and we’ll all get along. With a City Council election coming up in the year 2000, and Walt Keller and Carolyn Van Horn not only up for reselection but at the same time trying to knock off their former ally Joan House and replacing her with a more controllable political minion, we can all expect a very brutal and bloody year. House and her ally Harry Barovsky are not about to take this lying down, especially with Keller and Van Horn controlling the mayor’s gavel between now and the next election in April 2000.
There are currently two political investigations underway of alleged campaign violations in the last, 1998 city council #campaign.
One investigation is being run by the state of California Fair Political Practices Commission. The other, and totally separate investigation, is being run by the Malibu city attorney Christi Hogin. Rumor has it that some very major show biz names are having their testimony taken under oath, and in the present political atmosphere I don’t think people are going to be lying under oath. The results of those investigations should be public early this year. A lot of rumors, but no one knows what may happen because all the investigators are being very tight-lipped about what they’re doing, who is involved and what might be the outcome. The results could be exoneration and no further action on one hand or trials and prosecutions on the other. Whichever it is, with all of the attention it’s highly unlikely that anyone can make any secret deals. Look for this to break into the open soon.
The Hillside Ordinance
Deeply politically split and philosophically divided planning commissioners were at each other’s throats last year over things like acceptable house colors and landscape controls and houses with camouflage colors. One group was constantly trying to muzzle the other, and since several Planning Commission members could be candidates for the City Council next time, this could turn out to be the most exciting ticket in town for the next year.
The Plan for the Civic Center
Councilmembers will battle over this all of the year, but don’t expect to see any resolution soon because even after they ultimately compromise and work out some sort of a deal you can pretty much expect some fringe environmental group will file a series of court challenges to try and slow it down or stop it altogether. I’m guessing that the finale to this one is several years away.
I predict that within the next year a group of us will get together to do something to get a full-service bookstore in town.