Build Malibu Better: A Little Detour

Paul Grisanti

Last week, the total number of fire rebuild permits granted inched up to 71 with eight initial applications currently being considered. Sixty-seven have been approved by planning and are working toward their first plan review. Another 77 have submitted for plan review and are working their way through that process. That’s 223 homes that have made it to the first step.  Most parties agree that between 235 and 240 applications is the 50 percent mark.  What can we do to help?

This is my 55th column to appear in The Malibu Times on the subjects of fire recovery and disaster resilience. I have strayed several times into the fringes of the political arena and hope you will forgive me for some comments about the upcoming primary election on March 3.

Your polling place has changed. Malibu now has only two polling places. Juan Cabrillo Elementary and the Malibu Bluffs Park are the only Malibu polling places listed in the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s publication.

You can now vote at any polling place in Los Angeles County. No ID is required, and no one will be there to make sure you are who you say you are. The days of voting in your neighborhood as locals find you in the registrar’s book are over. If you try to vote and are told that your ballot has already been cast, please report that you suspect your vote has been stolen.

You now have 11 days to cast your ballot, from Feb. 22 to March 3, at Juan Cabrillo and other early voting centers. You have four days to vote at all other voting centers including Malibu Bluffs Park. Vote early to lessen the chances that your vote will be misappropriated.

Voting will be done on a tablet type of device that prints out a paper ballot. I participated in a test run of the technology and had no difficulty.

In addition to your presidential primary vote, there are several more local issues on the ballot.

The voter information guide I received starts with Prop 13, which has nothing to do with the historical Prop 13 that stabilizes property taxes. The proposition is for a statewide bond issue to raise $15 billion for schools. Total cost to retire this debt over the life of the bond is $26 billion.  The Howard Jarvis group is recommending a “No” vote.

The sample ballot I have reveals that both Henry Stern and Richard Bloom are running for reelection and both have been present and concerned about Malibu issues, which wins my vote.

I have had no contact with Congressman Ted Lieu, who is also running, and feel no loyalty to him.

Next on the ballot is FD, a new tax of six cents per square feet of improvements for firefighters, fire stations and equipment. This is a tough sell in Malibu due to the Woolsey Fire where the firefighters were ordered to let it burn. I believe that order was issued by the head of Cal Fire, who suddenly retired at the advanced age of 52, only a month-and-a-half later. Do you believe that our local firefighters wanted to fight the fire and that they will use the money well? For some, I have talked to it’s a “No,” but I am going to vote for FD.

Last week, Arnold York published a very useful set of recommendations for the various judicial offices from the bar association which you should be able to find on the Malibu Times’ website. I have relied on it for years.

The last vote I intend to comment on is County Measure R, which beefs up the ability of the civilian oversight commission to investigate sheriff-related issues. The LA County Board of Supervisors is backing this to take back a little of the sheriff’s power. I will be voting for it.