We’ve been told by the city that the absentee ballots have been sent out and since half of you will be voting absentee, we’re going to make endorsements now, rather than waiting until the end of the campaign. The candidates running in this City Council election are almost identical to the last time, except for the addition of a new candidate, June Louks. It basically looks to be a race between Laura Rosenthal and Lou La Monte, the incumbents both running for their second term, and Andy Lyons and Hamish Patterson, running as a team for the second time. To my mind, it’s not even close.
We enthusiastically endorse Laura Rosenthal and Lou La Monte for a second, four-year term on the city council.
Both Laura and Lou have exhibited sound, measured judgment, the willingness to work long hours frequently required of council members, and the patience to hear out people and their views. That is not easy in this town where there is a coterie of people who are almost pathologically angry about just about everything. They seem to believe that government is easy if only we had the right people (meaning, of course, people they agree with) in office.
Let me give you an example: In my mind the swap of Charmlee Park for Bluffs Park is absolutely a no-brainer. The city is going to get a major park in the center of town, plus space for an additional playing field and more parking. They’re giving Charmlee Park to a state agency that will keep it as an open space. What is there to argue about?
Currently, Laura is leading the charge to try and help us get our own school district, which would be good for our children, our schools, our city and our real estate values. To do that takes skill and smarts and experience, and Laura has all three.
Lou La Monte has taken a strong leadership role in connection with trying to get some control over all the drug and alcohol rehab facilities that have popped up in Malibu. This, again, is a very complex issue against a well-funded opposition that makes a vast amount of money in the rehab business. It requires building a coalition with other cities and creating credibility with numerous state agencies. It’s tough, time consuming and requires a lot of skills.
Running a city like Malibu is not easy. Our budget is more than $20 million per year. We employ more than 60 employees and numerous outside contractors, and the council has to do a lot of listening, a lot of reading, and then set policy that’s executed through the city manager and city staff. I believe it’s perfectly reasonable to expect that people running for council should have some education, some experience in running organizations and some basic acquaintance with budgeting. Then, if they really want to get involved, they should develop a track record. Get on a city commission, join an advisory group, do your homework and then run. I have little patience with people who wake up one morning and suddenly hear a voice in the wilderness saying, “The people need you. Run for city council.”
One last thing: In 2016 there will three seats open on the council and only one incumbent. House and Sibert will be termed out. I think it’s important that we keep some experience on the council now to take us past the next election, which is another reason we strongly endorse Laura Rosenthal and Lou La Monte.