Guest Column: Reva Feldman

Burt Ross

Reva Feldman has served this community in one capacity or another, most recently as City Manager, for the better part of this century. Her accomplishments are noteworthy: 

Reva oversaw the largest acquisition of raw land in Malibu’s modern history; put together an outstanding team of professionals who serve us in City Hall; supported and ultimately took over the pilot program that brought full time outreach workers to help and find housing for our homeless population; worked tirelessly to facilitate the rebuilding of homes destroyed by the Woolsey Fire; oversaw the construction of the sewer treatment plant in central Malibu; improved our municipal bond rating, which lowers our interest costs when the city borrows money; and, despite the fire and the pandemic, has put Malibu on a very strong financial footing.

The vast majority of Malibu council members, past and present, who have worked most closely with Reva have praised her ability and integrity.

There are those who disapprove of her performance, which is their right. Any chief executive will have detractors. The problem is that the disapproval took on such an ugly quality. Mayor Pro Tem Bruce Silverstein has not just questioned Reva’s decisions or conduct, he has gone way too far by calling Reva a “fascist,” harassing her, creating a hostile work environment, and accusing her administration of corruption without presenting credible evidence.

Reva finally fought back and hired an attorney who threatened legal action. On Monday, it was announced that the council reached a settlement with Reva rather than risk losing a far more costly lawsuit.

So soon after our city attorney retired, and our city clerk left for another position, we will now be without a city manager, and perhaps without others in City Hall who no longer wish to remain in the toxic environment created by Silverstein. While we are still recovering from the fire and pandemic, we are losing our experienced, professional and very dedicated chief executive. 

It’s a sad day for Malibu when a campaign of smears, lies and character assassination drives out a devoted public servant.