Letter: Protection from Feldman

Letter to the Editor

Nearly two-and-a-half years after the disastrous Woolsey Fire, the City of Malibu has released a weighty draft of its Community Wildfire Protection Plan.

Given City Hall’s pathetic history of procrastination and its present benumbed leadership and lack of accountability, it does not augur well for its manifestly needed recommendations.

For most of its 135 pages, plus 30 for appendix, the plan doggedly reviews Malibu’s fire history, weather and other finite factors, with just 13 end pages for “priorities and recommendations.” Listed are the familiar litany of partnerships, communication and reproofs, plus specific actions for east, central and west Malibu, some quite doable.

More are needed: neighborhood volunteer brigades, boots-on-the-ground resident city staff and how to aid homeowners who, in the next major fire, will not evacuate.

This raises the key to the plan’s hoped-for success, which is the dictum that however good a plan is, it needs good leadership to achieve its goals.

It also will require the confidence of Malibu’s now divided population, fueled by City Hall’s bureaucratic bunker mentality, certainly not with the council’s majority of Pierson, Farrer and Grisanti, who for whatever personal reason or gain persists in its credulous support of city manager.

Not to be forgotten or forgiven that in the Woolsey Fire and aftermath Reva Feldman was found absent and wanting, and in the opinion of many residents, still is.

Her removal should be a prime recommendation of the plan; otherwise, I fear it will end up on some dusty shelf. 

Sam Hall Kaplan