John Wall announces for council

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The race for the three open council seats to be held in April 2000 got a little more crowded last week when John Wall, a longtime community activist, as well as a supporter of Walt Keller and Carolyn Van Horn, decided to run for the council. Wall, who has toyed with the idea of running in the past, decided to take the plunge this time, he told The Malibu Times, because he was encouraged by many friends, including Keller.

Asked whether that meant Keller, whose term is up in April, had decided not to run, Wall indicated Keller had not yet made up his mind. Sources say Keller has been asking friends and supporters if they would support him again and has received a somewhat mixed reaction.

Lucile Keller, in a telephone interview, said Wall’s decision was his own and had nothing to do with whether Keller will run again. She also said, as of now, Keller had not yet made up his mind about running. The period for pulling papers for candidacy runs from December through January.

In a letter to the editor (page A4) in which he explains his reasons for running, Wall refers to “rancorous inter-personal relationships within the council, decisions based on personalities rather then data, and political posturing … and a view by many that our city government is dysfunctional.”

Wall has long been an activist and one of the mainstays of the Slow Growth movement and is currently on the city Public Works Commission, Building Appeals Board and Economic Plan Advisory Board, which he chairs.

Previously, he served on the General Plan Task Force, Zoning Ordinance Advisory Committee and Transportation Study Group.

He holds a B.S. and a Ph.D. in engineering and has lived in Malibu for 38 years, where he and his wife raised their four children.

Five candidates have indicated their intention to run. Four are from the Slow-Growth group: Mayor Carolyn Van Horn, Councilwoman Joan House, Planning Commissioner Ken Kearsley and Wall. The fifth is former Councilman Jeff Jennings.

If Keller runs, five people, all formerly allied, will compete with one another for three council seats, as will Jennings.

In a brief sampling of opinion relating to Wall’s announcement, Councilman Tom Hasse, whose term is not up until 2002, indicated he had decided not to endorse anyone until after the filing period closes on Jan. 20, and even then probably not until after one or two candidate forums.

Frank Basso, another longtime Slow-Growth Point Dume activist and currently a Public Works Commissioner, said he was “thinking about” running, thought Wall’s decision to run was “wonderful” and gave Wall his support.