Four pick up city council election papers

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Three city commissioners and a local artist join the April 2010 city council race for two seats. Several others are considering running as well.

By Jonathan Friedman / Special to The Times

A couple of surprises and some expected happenings occurred in the official opening two days of the Malibu City Council election campaign season. As of 5 p.m. on Tuesday, four people came by City Hall to pick up candidacy papers. They have until Jan. 15 to get 20 valid signatures from Malibu registered voters to officially enter the race for two open seats.

Those who “pulled papers” were Planning Commissioners Ed Gillespie and Regan Schaar, Public Works Commissioner Lou La Monte and a man named Kofi (he did not provide a last name).

Gillespie and La Monte had publicly announced prior to this week that they intended to run. Schaar has not publicly said anything about running, although several sources told The Malibu Times that she had privately stated she is considering it. Schaar did not return calls for comment.

Kofi, a local artist who also works as a personal assistant, left a voicemail with The Malibu Times saying he did not have a place where he could be reached at that time. He said he would soon have a phone number and e-mail “that everybody can use.”

Public Works Commissioner Laura Rosenthal, who is more well known for her school activism, announced in October that she would run for a seat. She said on Tuesday that she would pull papers either later this week or next week.

“There’s no rush and I’ve been a little busy,” she said. Rosenthal added, “My campaign has already begun. I have been meeting with people and learning, and getting up to snuff on what I don’t have as much knowledge on.”

Gillespie, who unsuccessfully ran in 2006, made it known nearly two years ago that he planned to run in the 2010 race. He said on Tuesday that he was “excited about getting this going.”

“I’ve got my signs ready to go up,” Gillespie said. “I’ve got my banner ready to go up and I have my red, white and blue business cards.”

La Monte, who recently served on the Viewshed Protection Task Force, announced his candidacy earlier this month. His campaign manager will be former Mayor Joan House.

Although there are no political parties in local campaigns, there are usually unofficial sides that have common supporters and views. La Monte and Rosenthal early on could have been considered to be on the same side based on their views and supporters. But neither publicly said they would be running on a ticket.

Last week, approximately 50 people closely allied with Malibu Township Council President Steve Uhring, and his political ally and friend Ozzie Silna, met at Guido’s Malibu restaurant to discuss the upcoming race. The Times has heard a variety of stories about what occurred at this meeting, ranging from two candidates being selected for the race to it being no more than an “exploratory meeting.”

What is certain, sources say, is that two people were selected as the frontrunners to represent that contingent. They are Planning Commissioner John Mazza, who had failed council runs in 2004 and 2006, and an unidentified man.

Mazza said in an interview on Tuesday that he is one of the persons considering a possible run. But he would not confirm whether he has chosen to run. Mazza referred to last week’s session as an “exploratory meeting to see what the locals would support.”

Uhring declined to comment on the meeting, but said he would have more information to provide after the first of the year.

Two seats will be up for grabs in the April 13 election. For the first time since Malibu’s first council election, there will be no incumbent in the race. Councilmember Andy Stern and Mayor Sharon Barovsky are termed-out. Former council members who served the maximum two terms prior to the voter-approved term limits law going into effect in 2000 are eligible to run again.