Malibu not prepared


This letter is primarily written in my capacity as director of operations of the Malibu Medical Reserve Corps (MMRC). I am also president of the San Diego based IR Source, an Internet Technology Solutions provider and principal contributor to MMRC.

On Tuesday, Sept. 7, I had the decidedly mixed pleasure of attending what I believed to be a disaster preparedness meeting at the Malibu City Hall. Originally scheduled for 2 p.m., the meeting was apparently reset (w/o notice, it seems, to all invitees) to noon. By the time I had flown from San Diego and driven to City Hall at 1:45 p.m., the meeting had adjourned. Dr. Victor Dorodny, head of MMRC, had also made special travel plans based on the former schedule.

Mr. Brad Davis from the city of Malibu did agree to meet with Dr. Dorodny and I privately after the meeting. The following 45-minute discussion, while cordial, was almost entirely devoid of any serious consideration of the substantive issue that I presumed was the reason for any meeting taking place. That is, an assessment and consideration of the public safety issues facing a small, relatively isolated and geologically sensitive area such as Malibu.

I can only conclude, in retrospect, that it is the position of the local government that public safety planning for Malibu consists of hoping the varied responders do their jobs well. Mr. Davis espouses the theory that the city not only has no obligation, but is actually precluded by charter, from developing and establishing local procedures for disaster preparedness. While not being an expert on the niceties of local governance, I cannot imagine that such a philosophy serves the overall well being of the citizenry.

The feeling of Dr. Dorodny and others in the Malibu community that a local recall initiative may be required to bring more responsive leadership into office is not surprising in light of the above observations.

MMRC is entirely non-profit and its principals and founders are working 100 percent without compensation. Any other allegation is scurrilous and more to the point entirely counterproductive to the best interests of the Malibu populace.

I suggest that the city of Malibu reevaluate its policy of apparent indifference to disaster education and avail themselves of the considerable resources offered by MMRC and similar volunteer organizations.

What do they have to lose?

Geoffrey Wickman