Letter: The Thin Majority

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Letter to the Editor

Bruce Silverstein may be laborious, as some learned lawyers are, in stating their positions, and he might have been precipitous in proposing reforms before he was even seated on city council.

But by any knowledgeable measure of local governance, indeed by any aged experience of our treasured coastal village, he is unerring in stating “the vision and mission of Malibu and its residents are being corrupted on an ongoing basis.” 

Witness a blundering City Hall in the disastrous Woolsey Fire and its unapologetic aftermath, the bumbled rebuild, the backdoor dealings, the pampering of special interests, a bloated bureaucracy and questionable consultancies, all shrouded by a lack of transparency and accountability. 

It was, therefore, no mistake that it was Silverstein’s forthright challenge that “something needs to change” that resonated in the last municipal election, garnering him the most votes and prompting his clarion call for the council to take back City Hall from the willful mismanagement of Reva Feldman.

Obviously shaken has been the status quo of what to date is a ceremonial, self-aggrandizing council and its sycophants, content to let the city manager do the heavy lifting. This might have been acceptable in the past, before Woosley, the abuses of Airbnbs, the scourge of absentee ownership, the homeless quandary, traffic and over-commercialization.  

Sadly, these blights are hollowing out Malibu, which is actually losing residents as well as its demographic diversity. And this while insidious over-development persists, our fragile environment further abused, and the council continues to play high school politics, scripted by a conniving city manager supported by a thin but critical three-to-two majority.

I unhappily accept Councilperson Paul Grisanti’s clearly pro-development, profit-oriented position as a rapacious Realtor. And I regrettably recognize the plodding Karen Farrer’s vain-glorious pose as Reva’s puppet, her shallow performances as of late being particularly shameful.

This prompts the hope Farrer will save herself and the city further embarrassment and not run for re-election in 2022. She already has done enough harm to the proposal for a Malibu independent school district.

That leaves Mikke Pierson the only possible swing vote, and makes one wonder what sway Reva has with him, and why. We trust the amenable Pierson in quest of future consultancies is not being led down the same garden path that former Mayor Rick Mullen took, and fell from top vote getter in his first election to next to dead last a few months ago.

Meanwhile, we note from the last two meetings Silverstein has shown admirable constraint, indeed appears reasonable as he is informed. If only all concerned would take heed, for I fear the future of Malibu is at stake.

Sam Hall Kaplan