My first effort to protect Malibu from harm was in 1963 when, as a new resident, I spearheaded a campaign against a proposed garbage dump in Pena Canyon.
The protest, with “Dump the Dump” slogan, resulted in the sound defeat of the ill-advised project. At the time, of course, we were dealing with the county.
Now, after all these years, we are still faced with those whose primary concern is profit and to hell with the environment and esthetic values. I am appalled at the idea of allowing a storage facility in the most prominent and environmentally sensitive area of Malibu. Even though we now have a different set of players, people are still trying to treat Malibu as a “dump” instead of the most picturesque and scenic coastal region which deserves better.
Has everyone gone mad? In town they relegate storage facilities to the back roads of the most industrial areas. Which brings me to ask, “What has happened to some of our council members and their campaign promises?” Every one of them pledged to “protect Malibu’s fragile environment” and to preserve “our way of life” and “scenic beauty.” Do they really believe they can say one thing and do another? They must assume the residents of Malibu are a bunch of morons who will tolerate every “Turncoat Tom, Dick or Harry” paying lip service to their promises. Promises which don’t make it past the inaugural party, after which those self-proclaimed environmentalists seem to develop galloping Alzheimers on this, and so many other, issues.
To those who are responsible for this travesty, I can only say: Before you become too enamored of your cleverness, remember not to count your chickens before they are hatched. The electorate may not move quickly and decisively, but we do wake up every once in a while and make our anger felt. Once Malibuites start to envision what it will be like to see a monstrous structure of this kind — and all the other proposed commercial development in the very heart of Malibu — they will be up in arms.
Remember, all we have to do is vote for those who haven’t disappointed us in the past. The valuable lesson we must learn is not to listen to those sanctimonious campaign promises, and not to be taken in by interminable smear campaigns. We simply have to check the record of each council member, and other candidates, running for office.
I, for one, will vote for someone who, as it turns out, may not be the most polished or eloquent speaker. I owe it to myself, Malibu, and the legacy we pass on to our children, to try to repudiate those who are conning us — and let their records speak for themselves.
We either make our will felt now — when it really counts — or forget about complaining when it is too late.