Council Hopes for Community Bond Measure

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Malibu City Hall

The Malibu City Council is betting residents would trade a tax hike for more community programs, according to an item passed with unanimous support at Monday night’s council meeting. 

Council voted 5-0 on Monday to create an ad hoc subcommittee with the eventual goal of “placing a bond measure on a future ballot to provide funding for community-serving projects,” according to the staff report for the meeting. 

The item, which was proposed by Mayor Pro Tem Laura Rosenthal, put her and Councilman Skylar Peak on the committee, which would work to gauge community support for a tax increase that would give funding to projects within the city. There is at this time no estimated amount for the bond, should it take place. 

The collection of funds would function, in her words, “like a school bond—it would go on people’s property taxes.” 

Rosenthal said it seemed there is broad community support for the idea, but the ad hoc committee will work to see if there is actual commitment from the community. 

“People talk about, we want to keep open space, we want parks, we want this, we want that,” Rosenthal said, “The bottom line is, I guess I’m willing to see if people are willing to put their money where their mouth is.” 

Peak said he believes the community is in support. 

“I think being able to potentially use this as a mechanism to finance any of this stuff will probably strike well with people in the community,” Peak said. 

“Let’s find out if people are willing to give,” said Councilmember Lou La Monte, who also voiced his support for the committee formation. 

In the end, said Rosenthal, it’s important to discover what the community is truly interested in. 

“[I would like to] really be able to take the pulse of the community about what they’re interested in, what they want and whether they’d be willing to pay for it.” 

Rosenthal also made sure the new subcommittee would not be subject to the Brown Act, which would limit the communication she and Peak could have with the community, based on the need for disclosures to the public. 

City Attorney Christi Hogin told Rosenthal there would be no conflict, as this type of ad hoc subcommittee is “not bound by the meeting formalities of the Brown Act.” 

“You have no regular meeting schedule, you have no continuing subject matter jurisdiction,” Hogin said, adding, “Instead you’re being asked to do a single task on behalf the council.” 

The committee, consisting of Rosenthal and Peak, will now move into the community in order to “investigate community support,” for the bond measure.