Three of five city council candidates gathered at a forum last Thursday evening hosted by the Malibu Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Realtors. Candidates Andy Lyon and Hamish Patterson did not attend because the forum conflicted with a scheduled Board of Education meeting at Malibu City Hall.
“We’re all in the wrong building right now,” Patterson said in a brief statement at the beginning of the forum. He left after completing the statement. Patterson and Lyon, who are running on a slate platform, said it was more important for the Malibu community to gather at city hall in support of parents and students worried about the ongoing health scare at Malibu High School, Middle School and Juan Cabrillo Elementary.
In the days leading up to the forum, the Chamber and Board of Realtors attempted to work with the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District to assure there would be no conflict between the forum and the BOE’s public comment period.
Leaders with the Chamber and Board of Realtors assured attendees and candidates that the BOE would wait until 8:30 p.m. to begin public comment, but the public comment period began around 6:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, incumbents Laura Rosenthal, Lou La Monte and challenger June Louks participated in the Chamber/Realtors forum, held at HRL Laboratories, discussing issues such as the lengthy construction permitting process in Malibu, the ongoing statewide drought and the proposed Santa Monica Mountains Local Coastal Program.
The next and final forum, focusing on local education issues, is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 1, at the Point Dume Marine Science School. Advocates for Malibu Public Schools and each of the Malibu PTAs are co-sponsoring the forum, which will be moderated by former BOE member Pam Brady.