Letter: Missed Something

Letter to the Editor

In Arnold York’s column from the March 31 edition, “Happy birthday, Malibu,” he actually missed something. 

Before there was cityhood, there was a group of people called Save Our Coast. When the county wanted to put a giant sewer system and processing plant on an earthquake fault in Corral Canyon as a precursor to developing then-unincorporated Malibu, a small group of us, including John Sibert, two people who have since passed away, a woman named Mary Frampton, an actor environmentalist named Ron Hays and others whose names I have forgotten, got a small group together to fight the sewer and galvanize Malibu. 

There were only a few of us, but we ended up delivering 1,000 people to the Board of Supervisors on the day they were going to vote in the sewer. We had 20 press organizations there. We also met with the LA Times editorial board and got an editorial published on the day of the vote, discouraging the county from rushing to put in a sewer that all of Malibu would have to pay for. Sibert and I would be happy to tell you the full story because the Board of Supervisors decided to postpone their vote and study the sewer proposal, given the enormous publicity we generated as to how they were going to turn Malibu into Miami Beach. 

That close call convinced most of Malibu to try again for cityhood during the year the county was studying. The catalyst for this attempt at cityhood was to prevent the sewer from being installed and the rampant development that would follow. The reasoning went that, if we formed our own city quickly, we could prevent the sewer everyone was against. The reason the Board of Supervisors tried to delay the vote on cityhood is because they wanted to postpone it until they could get the sewer in. Thanks to a number of dedicated people like Walt and Lucile Keller, Carolyn Van Horne, and Mike Caggiano, our group and others working together, the city was born.

E. Barry Haldeman