Civic mindedness, please

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    Regarding the letter last week criticizing Malibu Homeowners for Reform, Julie Steinberg’s comment “When I looked at the public benefits they are giving, I didn’t see any benefits for me … I’m not a senior citizen, nor a teen …I don’t have kids. So what’s my benefit? All I see for me…” This “me only attitude” is contemptible. Malibu would be a richer place without people who are zealous about ensuring that the lives of children, teens and senior citizens are not improved. This is such an immoral position that one has to wonder how they became so selfish that they are proud to announce it and flaunt their lack of civic mindedness, compassion or concern for their neighbors.

    The letter has several false allegations that confirm the author was writing political copy. Our licensed contractors are experts in the building code and believe Malibu homes would be safer if the city applied reasonable state standards and if building department inspectors had a friendly relationship with the public. The current antagonism between the two has only produced widespread bootlegging. We believe it is possible to restore the positive communications between homeowners and inspectors that existed before Proposition 13 when cities began treating permits as a source of revenue to make up for tax shortages.

    Regarding the old “developer” attack, this reform movement has a vitality of its own and is far removed from developers. As the founder of Malibu Homeowners for Reform, my only previous political experience was as a community organizer for Treepeople for five years where I devoted my time to planting trees in schoolyards and neighborhoods all over Los Angeles and raising funds for tree planting. When I began hearing friends’ stories of the city’s Gestapo tactics against them for minor code issues, I rallied to their defense. Being a part of this effort and the outpouring of public support have confirmed my belief that we can have a beautiful environment in Malibu and still respect people’s right to privacy in their homes.

    Anne Hoffman