Selling out for beads

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    It’s pretty interesting to observe the fervor that the pro-EE forces display: this is one of those supposedly “pro-kid” issues that define those opposed as being “anti-kid.” Property owners bite would have been about $300 per parcel per year for 30 years. When the supporters of prop P, the property tax that would have generated about $15 million to support land acquisition for parks and ball fields there was no support from our City Council. In fact, they floated a bogus counter measure using much of the same language that confused the electorate. Prop P would have had a parcel tax ranging from about $25 to $135 per year. Somehow the defeat of P was not “anti-kid.”

    Regarding the defeat of prop “EE,” how many new property taxes do we have to get to support our schools? Remember prop “BB?” The general perception is that the public schools are badly managed, top-heavy with administration and have a lengthy track record of squandering the funds they already have. How come the parochial schools do so much better in every category with substantially less funding per pupil?

    The real issue in Malibu is not kids. It is about raw power, unimaginable wealth and the absolute determination of one man, Jerry Perenchio, to dominate and control the future of Malibu. The paltry offerings of his Malibu Bay Company deal in exchange for the right to develop a massive shopping district on a historical wetland are laughable. His behind the scenes manipulation of Malibu politics remind me of the little man behind the curtain in the court of the Wizard of Oz. A rather ordinary man, actually, consumed with a puffed up but ultimately ordinary vision for Malibu. My question is, who elected Jerry Perenchio the mayor of Malibu? In a supposedly staunchly Democratic Malibu, why is our city council so involved with such a corporate heavyweight? I thought all good Democrats were opposed to Enron-like power influencing politics. Why do you give this particular man a pass on the looming traffic snarl, air and water pollution and the crowding that will come from this unneeded and unnecessary gigantic development? What is in it for you?

    The Perenchio Family Foundation funded many, many anti-Los Angeles break-up television ads I watched during the November mid-term elections. Hundreds of thousands of dollars went into this effort together with nearly a million dollars donated to the Gray Davis campaign, as I understand it. This man is not about “Local Control” he’s about “Jerry Control.” The actions of well-meaning Malibuites who support his land swap remind me of the Manhattan Indians who were thrilled with the beads and cheap tools they got in exchange for the entire island. It was a bad deal then and it is a bad deal now. The Local Control issue was and is a lie mouthed by developers, our shameless real estate community, our “I-don’t-know-what-kind-of-a-city council” and the Malibu Bay Company. Think, citizens! Resist the corporate takeover of Malibu! Preserve some open space, if not for yourselves, then for “the kids” you claim to love. And while you’re at it, tell the Great Oz to take a hike with his sad little vision.

    Marshall Thompson