From the Publisher / Arnold G. York


The Malibu Times council election endorsements

The Malibu Times endorsements for the two open seats on the Malibu City Council are:

-Laura Rosenthal

-John Mazza

This is a major year in the Malibu body politic. We are making these endorsements earlier than we normally do, since many of you will be voting by absentee ballot.

The old political teams who have been here for more than 10 years, and in my view have done very well, are all termed out. This will be the year of major shifts in who will be governing Malibu in the next two to four years, and probably thereafter.

Let me explain why I think Laura Rosenthal and John Mazza are the best of a broad field of candidates.

Both have been involved in community affairs for years. Both are very bright and knowledgeable, which is very important because governing in Malibu is not just an internal matter. Council members not only have to balance conflicting priorities within the city, but they’re also required to deal with outside agencies that have a large impact upon all of us. Our recent battles with the Regional Water Quality Control Board over a sewer (let’s call it what it is), the ongoing struggle with Joe Edmiston and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy over campsites and the lifetime battles with the California Coastal Commission all show that we perhaps need to take a fresh look at some of the underlining issues involved, and perhaps think about crafting and negotiating some new solutions.

The truth is, there are two political teams, or political parties, in Malibu. One is the team of Rosenthal and Lou La Monte, and the other is Mazza and Steve Scheinkman. In addition, there is a group of independents, several of whom are quite impressive.

I’m recommending one candidate from each team. During the next two to four years a new consensus will build in Malibu and it has to be given some time to evolve, which I believe will happen. It would be precipitous to give either team two votes at this time.

Tensions between some of the candidates and some of the sitting council members are more a matter of personality than policy. For example, when Jefferson Wagner was first elected I heard all sorts of predictions of doom and it just hasn’t turned out to be so. Jefferson is conscientious and focused, works very hard, listens well and has matured into a competent council member. In politics, people do grow and evolve.

I recommend both Laura Rosenthal and John Mazza to you because I know them personally and have seen them evolve. I’ve sat with them for several years on the Malibu Business Roundtable and have had a chance to hear how they think, how they problem solve and how they get along with others.

Rosenthal is quick, astute, strong-minded, able and broadly experienced in many of the areas a council member needs to know.

Mazza is equally as bright and has matured enormously during the last few years. When he first came on the political scene he was very much an automatic “no” on most issues, but serving on the Planning Commission has broadened his outlook, and made him more thoughtful and evenhanded.

Neither Laura nor John could ever be called anybody’s toady, which is why I have no hesitation in recommending them.

We’ve been fortunate this year in that there is a great deal of talent in the candidacy pool. If some of the candidates stay interested in politics, serve in some appointed offices, get some political seasoning and work on building a broader base of support, there is no reason why some of them might not be on future city councils.