Tom’s take on time

Time has passed quickly during my two years on the City Council. It remains my honor to serve you by governing Malibu by getting results.

Next Tuesday, we go to the polls to vote for three of six candidates running for City Council. I urge you to vote for John Wall, Joan House and Ken Kearsley. I also urge you to vote Yes on Measure A, a two-term limit on future city council members so we never have to face this type of election again.

Malibu must have the courage to change the composition of the City Council next Tuesday if we’re ever going to get beyond ceaseless argumentation and ideological litmus tests. No-growth extremism is as dangerous to Malibu as pro-growth extremism because both lead to the same result: high-density commercial development.

By now, most of you know that Council Member House and myself have negotiated a proposed development agreement with the Malibu Bay Company. That agreement will be the subject of public hearings in about a month. It reduces by 75 percent the MBC’s potential commercial development under the city’s existing Interim Zoning Ordinance and General Plan. It provides a $21.5 million gift of 19-acres at Point Dume and the construction of a 15,000-square-foot senior-teen community center and three sports fields there. It provides another 26 acres of permanent open space at Trancas and in the Civic Center, including the two-acre, scientifically-confirmed wetlands. It also enacts a 10-year moratorium on the development of the 19-acre Chili Cook-off property. This allows those who claim they can raise the millions of dollars needed to buy the property 10 years to do so.

Unfortunately, a couple of incumbent candidates are now promising no development in the Civic Center — period. That, my fellow Malibuites, is a legal and financial impossibility. Not only does the MBC own about 40 acres of vacant property in the Civic Center, but four other property owners own about another 50 acres of commercially zoned, vacant property. That’s 90 acres, valued at about $750,000-$1 million per acre according to independent real estate appraisers. The city of Malibu, with an annual budget of about $13 million cannot even begin to afford the purchase of the Chili Cook-off property alone, much less all 90 acres of vacant Civic Center property. Federal and state grants take years to apply for, process and, if awarded, disburse, and many require willing sellers and a local match.

Sadly, these same two candidates, as eight and 10-year incumbents, have failed to solve this problem over the decade/near-decade they’ve been on City Council. There would be no need for our proposed development agreement in 2000 to cut back MBC’s potential commercial development by 75 percent, gift us a community center, sports fields, open space or preserve wetlands if these two incumbents had worked with their numerous colleagues over the years (Harlow, House, Barovsky or yours truly) to solve these land use and recreation & parks issues at any time between 1992 and today.

Ask yourself: Who voted for the General Plan (1995) and IZO (1993) that set the current commercial build-out densities? Why isn’t permit streamlining done? Other cities do it. It’s not that hard. Who campaigned on it in 1996, then voted against making it a top priority in 1999? Why did it take nine years to do a simple economic plan for the city? Who delayed it and repeatedly voted against it, claiming it was going to be some secret pro-development manual? What two “citizen”-politicians supported term limits in 1992, then voted as two-term incumbents against letting Malibu voters decide the term limits issue for themselves in 2000?

I, for one, am tired of being called a “traitor” and “sell-out” by these same two incumbents and their small band of no-growth followers who get mad at anyone who doesn’t follow their ideologically rigid mindset. People don’t live their daily lives in some ideological fantasyland. And it’s no way to govern a city. We’re a municipal government organized under the laws of the United States and the state of California with about $12 million -$13 million in revenues annually.

It brings me no joy to say this, and how I wish both incumbents had decided not to run again. It would have saved many people, including me, from having to publicly oppose their re-election. They will always be owed the thanks of a grateful community for helping to found the city of Malibu.

But for the good of Malibu, enough is enough. To lead is to choose. Join me in choosing John Wall, Joan House and Ken Kearsley next Tuesday. Together, we’ll get your local government working right, solve these and other problems that have been festering for years, and take the city of Malibu into the 21st century.

Tom Hasse

city councilmember

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

Related Articles



Latest Articles

%d bloggers like this: