Letter: Our Beloved District

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Letter to the Editor

Time is a precious commodity and the beloved local Point Dume Community District may not have much time left. 

The district is on the chopping block by Local Area Formation Commission (LAFCO), which will meet in mid-July to decide the fate of this beloved local community organization. (Incidentally, LAFCO is also the same entity that decided that the City of Malibu must fork over 99 percent of every Malibu tax dollar to LA County—every single year since Malibu’s incorporation and split from LA County in 1991.) If you ever believe for one minute that LAFCO really cares about Malibu, then ask why LAFCO won’t give Malibu more of our tax dollars to address public safety and other pressing issues facing our community. Is LAFCO a puppet of LA County? 

Last Monday, many Point Dume residents waited over five or so hours to simply ask that the Malibu City Council send a letter supporting the district before the LAFCO chopping block meeting in July. At the meeting on June 14, LAFCO’s representative began by saying it was not “for” LA County but “of” LA County. OK, really? The LAFCO representative also stated that they had given the district three years to get a “plan” and seemed insensitive and unaffected by the fact that the president of the district lost everything in 2018, his Point Dume home and his business, nearly three years ago in the Woolsey Fire. 

The Malibu City Council, with the exception of Mikke Pierson, voted to “take no action,” which is very telling of those who were elected to serve. “Take no action”? Wow. I hope and pray the four remaining members will eventually take actions needed to help our community in the future. 

Even if our city council fails to take action, you can. Why? 

The district was created for and by the local Point Dume community and has an awareness of what is actually happening in Malibu and in Point Dume. The district, since the mid-1980s, has a history of planting seeds that grow community and make Point Dume blossom. The district was a “game changer” then, and can be a game changer now if given the chance.

Paul Major, the president of the district, knows first hand what it means to take action. He and many others before him rolled up their sleeves and did the work to promote community. He helped plant all the grass at Malibu Elementary School, which was previously paved with asphalt by the school district. He, and others who donated, also helped plant the beautiful trees that you see around Malibu Elementary (Cameron Park) today. But for the district and the contributions of many families in Point Dume, Malibu Elementary School would have been filled with asphalt and little or no trees would have been planted way back when.

LAFCO said the district is not needed unless there are “gaps in service” that have not been provided. The glaciers may be melting, but the “gaps in service” are glacial when it comes to Point Dume and Malibu. 

Point Dume needs to have a sustainable and local food source because, we all know, when the next natural disaster hits, we are on our own. We also need to help plan and prepare and build a Point Dume Fire Brigade. The City of Malibu is going to get “robust public input” when it comes to deciding what to do with the properties it acquired many years ago. In the meantime, the city-owned property on Point Dume abutting Heathercliff could be leased on a short-term basis by the district and seeds could be planted literally tomorrow.

We also don’t have adequate parks and recreation facilities for the entire community to enjoy and to ensure we all take our health seriously. The pool at the school is opened on a very limited basis and there is not a single public weight lifting facility, tennis court and/or basketball court in all of Malibu. These recreational facilities could be built by the district in coordination with the Malibu City Council, if there was a vision and if the community wants to emulate the crown jewel and community builder like the Calabasas Swim and Tennis Center. 

I don’t believe for one minute LAFCO will support the district or its plan to help Point Dume and Malibu. That’s OK. It really does cement the fact that we all must be self-reliant and plant our own gardens and teach our children self-reliance when the next natural disaster hits. We all must continue to do what we can to grow. 

The district has a plan to educate, empower and enrich our community by planting and harvesting not just food, but more importantly good will and community. You can learn more by visiting the District website at https://pdcsd.org/ by signing the petition here and by supporting the District’s plan to preserve Point Dume and grow resilience. 

At the end of the day, will you be prepared for whatever is next? Do you have your water supplies, your emergency kits? Will you maybe even plant your own garden to ensure that you and your family and community make it through whatever Mother Nature throws at us next? 

Thank you, district, and all who served and contributed to it to make Point Dume and Malibu better. Even though you have been treated like “District 13” in The Hunger Games, we are grateful for your courage. 

The “District” may be extinguished and killed by LAFCO, but our collective spirit will never die, and we can grow from this and take actions needed now and in the future.

Pamela Conley Ulich