Meet the candidates:


Joan House

A former secondary school teacher, Joan House worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi, and with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, designing a curriculum for Navajo Indians on reservations. Awarded the National Defense Education Act grant, she led a study on minorities conducted at Cal State Northridge.

In Malibu, where she and her husband, Ken, built their house 25 years ago, she served on the Malibu Committee for Incorporation, helping raise more than $80,000 for cityhood.

She was elected to the City Council in 1992 and 1996.

She was vice chair of the General Plan Task Force, coordinating efforts to draft a comprehensive land use proposal, served on the Early Development Educational Program at Point Dume School and was a parent liaison for a Malibu Little League team.

She has served on the Administration/Finance, Parks and Recreation, Public Safety and Land Use committees. She also served on the school liaison committee that brought in the shared use agreement with the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. Last month, she and Councilman Tom Hasse presented a proposed long-term development agreement with the Malibu Bay Company that took nearly a year to negotiate.

House skis and plays tennis, and is learning to play golf.

The Houses have two adult children: David, an attorney in Northern California, serves Native American Indians; and Nicole, a resident in pediatrics at Harvard and Boston universities.

Jeff Jennings

Jeff Jennings, a 28-year resident, is again running for Malibu City Council. He served on the council from 1994-98 and was mayor from 1997-98. He is a strong believer in building consensus and feels progress can only be made through teamwork.

He supports retention of the Bluff Park playing fields and the creation of a community center for all ages. He seeks to effect strategies that will limit high-density development

He is a homeowner and horse owner and is dedicated to retaining open spaces.

Jennings has a long record of service to the community and in 1992 received The Malibu Times Dolphin Award.

He was chair of the SMMUSD advisory committee to create Malibu High School and now chairs the Malibu High School Governance Council. He served on the Los Angeles County Beach Commission and was on the board of the Malibu American Youth Soccer Organization. A past vice president of the Malibu Little League, he received the Distinguished Service Award of the California PTA.

A Vietnam veteran, he served in the 101st Airborne Division and earned a Bronze Star.

Jennings is a graduate of Yale University and Stanford Law School, and he now specializes in estate planning, business and trust litigation.

Kris, his wife of 19 years, is a teacher at Point Dume Marine Science Elementary School. They have three sons: Tyler, a freshman at UC Santa Barbara; Miles, a junior at Malibu High School; and Austin, a freshman at the same school.

Ken Kearsley

The current chair of Malibu’s Planning Commission, Ken Kearsley says his work on behalf of Malibu began when he helped form Malibu Citizens for Good Community Planning, in 1963, to fight the first sewer bond issue, defeating it with $85 bucks by knocking on every Malibu door.

He fought the second sewer, in 1968-1969, and formed a committee that gained passage of a law barring a freeway through Malibu. He fought the proposed Corral Canyon nuclear plant, “with a little help from God because the Baldwin Hills dam broke at that time.” He also served on the Malibu Committee For Incorporation.

Born in Chicago and raised in Santa Monica, he attended Samohi, earned a bachelor’s degree in urban geography from Cal State Northridge and a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Chicago.

He returned to teach geography at Samohi, where he remained for 30 years, elected for 20 years as chair of the department of social studies. He also taught anthropology and archeology, digging in Malibu and finding stone fishhooks.

He retired and began working in computer-assisted design for aerospace in his brother’s company, where Kearsley still works.

He moved to Malibu in 1961, paying $38,500 for his home at Escondido. There, he and his wife, Barbara, raised 4 children.

Kearsley is an Optimist and a board member of Save Our Coast, who also runs, swims and hikes “as much as possible,” having hiked every trail in Malibu.

Walt Keller

Walt Keller will forever be known as Malibu’s first mayor, sworn in on May 28, 1991. He has thrice served as mayor. He currently serves on the Malibu City Council.

In the 1970s, he represented Malibu on the L.A. Countywide Citizens’ Planning Council, serving one year as its president. Currently, he represents Malibu on, and is president of, the L.A. County West Vector Control District Board of Trustees.

He was raised in New Jersey and earned a B.E. in engineering from Yale. He also holds a master’s degree in engineering and a Ph.D. in transportation systems engineering from UCLA. He retired in 1987 from Northrop Corporation after 35 years as an aerospace engineer. He is a registered Professional Engineer and a former UCLA lecturer in transportation systems. He has published research on public participation in public services.

Keller and his wife, Lucile, met while Keller was in the service in Ohio. They celebrate their 44th wedding anniversary this year.

They have lived in Malibu for nearly 40 years, raising two children. They built their home in Encinal Canyon in 1961 and rebuilt in 1979 after being burned out.

Keller is a member of Malibu Presbyterian Church, Optimists, Malibu Senior Citizens Club (past president), Malibu Township Council (past president), American Legion, Friends of the Library and Friends of Charmlee, among others.

His favorite hobbies are hiking and running. He competes in, and wins, 10K races.

Keller believes in the preservation of Malibu, and he is committed to a city government that serves the community.

Carolyn Van Horn

It’s not surprising current Mayor Carolyn Van Horn, a council member since incorporation, got into public life. Her father, Marshall F. McComb, served on the California Supreme Court, and her mother was one of the first female attorneys in California.

Still, the catalyst for her entrance into public life was the 1988 hearing on alternative sewer sources at Pepperdine University. She was asked to join an effort to bring 1,000 people to a Board of Supervisors meeting on the Montgomery Co. sewer project, which would have greatly expanded the region’s capacity to develop.

Lucile Keller handed Van Horn a box of papers documenting 40 years efforts to stop projects such as freeways and a nuclear power plant. “I felt it was my turn to continue their dedication to the community” says Van Horn.

A teacher, she co-founded two alternative schools and a nonprofit neighborhood improvement group near USC, where she received a lifetime teaching credential.

Then the mother of three and teaching the youngest at home, Van Horn thought the county hearing would be an excellent civics lesson, so she invited junior high students. They asked the best questions, she said.

She works with the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station in developing its Juvenile Intervention Team. She serves on USC’s Community Advisory Board.

Her oldest son graduated from UC Davis and is an organic fruit farmer, her middle son is an office manager and her youngest is a deputy sheriff in Contra Costa County. She has four grandchildren.

John Wall

John Wall, a resident of Malibu since 1963, currently serves on the Public Works Commission, Economic Plan Advisory Committee, and as an alternate on the city’s Building Appeals Board. He formerly served on the Transportation Study Group, General Plan Task Force and Zoning Ordinance Advisory Committee.

He has served on the boards of the Malibu Township Council, Friends of Arson Watch, Malibu Park Homeowners Association and as technical advisor to the Malibu Coastal Land Conservancy.

He has coached YMCA youth basketball and football, and was Tribal Chief to the YMCA Indian Guides.

With a Ph.D. in aeronautical engineering and theoretical physics (Cornell 1957), his positions with Douglas/McDonnell-Douglas (now Boeing) included director of the System Development Center, chief of Aerodynamics and Preliminary Design, and deputy manager of Advanced Space Technology. He was also U.S. representative on the NATO Industrial Advisory Group.

Wall enjoys the outdoors — hiking and backpacking and mountain climbing, when he was younger — was a member of the Sierra Club Political Committee and grows avocados for the commercial market.

This is reflected in his positions on Malibu’s future and his priorities for the City Council: to keep the city a residential community with little additional commercial development.

He and his wife, Joyce, have four children and three grandchildren.