Cheers for new Malibu


    I am writing to ask for your support for Jeff Jennings, candidate for Malibu City Council. I believe him to be a man of high honesty and integrity who symbolizes the kind of community I want to live in.

    When I moved to Malibu seven years ago, I was a young mother of two, following my husband, Mike, to his new position as principal of Malibu High School. It was an exciting opportunity, but I had doubts about the move. I was concerned about raising my two little boys in what I perceived to be a shallow, materialistic town. However, I found Malibu to be a warm, close community with many families who hold their children’s education and quality of life to be of the utmost importance. I felt fortunate to be able to send my two boys to Malibu schools and participate in sports and other community programs. I met Jeff Jennings in his role as a leader in starting the high school and serving on its governance council through good and difficult times.

    In 1997, my younger son, Sean, died suddenly in an accident. I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of friendship and support that came from many in Malibu who didn’t even know us. Jeff and his wife, Kris, were among those who offered support. I was more convinced than ever that this was home, that I would never find a more caring community.

    However, I have been dismayed to find that city government has not reflected these values of care for children and families. I have been appalled by less-than-honest election tactics and representatives who appear to look backward to some “ideal” Malibu of old that no longer exists. The “new” Malibu is vibrant and alive with children and young families filling our schools and parks. With the opening of Point Dume Marine Science Elementary School, where I currently teach fifth grade, our former community center has had to restrict its programming, affecting children and seniors, and further restricting our park space. Jeff has been in the forefront in advocating a new community center that would serve not only seniors and children but our growing population of teens in need of a safe place. These youth, although not voters, are a constituency we cannot afford to ignore.

    The kind of bickering and animosity that has characterized city government does not reflect the values of neighborliness and community that I know to be those of my fellow Malibu citizens. I believe that Jeff Jennings does embody those values and has proved that in his many civic activities, including helping to found and lead the high school to its current status and in his service to the Malibu Little League and AYSO. He has been unfairly labeled as “pro-growth” because of his attempts to be reasonable, fair and effective with people of diverse interests. His reputation as a mediator and leader is unparalleled.

    We 0need a council member who looks forward to the future and has the skills, intelligence and honesty to make good decisions for everyone. Please join me in supporting Jeff Jennings on April 11.

    Kelley Matthews