To be a livable seacoast city in a fragile, fabled environment, Malibu urgently needs to heal itself after the mismanagement of the now departed Reva Feldman.
But as any grunt battlefield medic knows, for healing to begin you must first cleanse a wound, as I have repeatedly metaphorically urged in the social media in calling out a compromised City Hall and a complicit city council majority.
That cleansing includes personnel evaluations, forensic audits and budget reviews to take a hard look at what public services actually are being delivered, not the bureaucratic boilerplate that has been offered up by City Hall apologists and local propagandists.
To be sure, already exposed in a welcomed recent report in the hopefully rejuvenated Surfside News and other reveals by concerned, informed residents, has been the flagrant abuses of staff time, expense reports and consultancies, as well as questionable attention and assistance to special interests, be it possible corruption, sloth or being just clueless.
As I have previously described the muddle that is Malibu governance, Reva’s years of feasting with favored friends and compliant colleagues behind closed doors has clogged City Hall’s bureaucratic arteries with fat. This will require corrective surgery by experienced hands and unblinking eyes.
Easing a recalcitrant Reva out the City Hall back door where she had been dealing in the shadow of her sinecure was a start, and for this we have to thank resolute reform councilpersons Silverstein and Uhring. They didn’t garner the most votes in the last city for nothing.
Personally, I would have preferred, as many other cognizant Malibuites, to just kick Reva out with a week’s pay instead of a sweetheart package that could total $300,000. Though, if there is any justice in our dicey home politics, may her reputation as an overpaid, underachieving city manager darken her days forward.
Meanwhile, I offer this not in anger, but in heedful hope.
Sam Hall Kaplan