Letter: Good Suggestions

Letter to the Editor

I hope council members who are put off by Council Member Bruce Silverstein’s aggressive style won’t let that distract their focus from the substance of actions recommended by Silverstein. For the upcoming council meeting, Silverstein has drafted an agenda item to consider city process reforms. You don’t have to believe in any conspiracy theories to conclude that many of his suggestions should be no brainers.  

For example, Silverstein wants to eliminate a city process that has staff members routinely deleting their email messages. It would take a lot of effort to delete messages without violating the law by deleting those that the public have the right to requisition. It’s much easier not to delete them. And there’s no possible goal of serving the citizens’ interests by deleting emails. 

Another suggestion of Silverstein is that when staff gives info to one city council member they simultaneously should give it to all city council members and, if legally possible, to the public. I agree. It’s better not to have a system where one or two council members could have a back channel to staff and set anything in motion that could, unknowingly to other council members, shape the outcome of their future deliberations. 

Finally, I’m a big fan of Silverstein’s suggestion that the city investigate whatever the heck happened to Jefferson Wagner when law enforcement raided his house two years ago (18 or more heavily armed officers repeatedly refusing to show their warrant forced Jefferson and his partner Candace to sit in the cold, barely dressed, for many hours; no charges were filed. Yeah, that happened.) I was frustrated at the time that the city council wasn’t wildly distressed about this and demanding answers. I have no theory as to why this was done to Jefferson, but it was such an egregious abuse of power that we should make whatever effort it takes to know why any Malibu citizen, let alone a sitting council member, could be subjected to such treatment. 

I hope other citizens and council members will support these actions.

Lynn Norton