Meet the City Council candidates

The Malibu Times sent a questionnaire to all 10 Malibu City Council candidates. They were all given the same time frame to respond and were limited to 75 words per answer. Two candidates, Jan Swift and Michael Katz, did not submit their answers. Election Day is April 13.

Name: Ed Gillespie

Birth date: Nov. 30, 1947

How long have you lived in Malibu?

Since 2002

What is your education and employment history?

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Sunnyslope High School in Phoenix, Ariz.; attended Glendale Community College on a track scholarship and then Northern Arizona University; transferred to Arizona State University.

Invested with an entrepreneur in a company with an existing chain of 60 restaurants and built another 176 units across the southern United States.

After selling the chain to the Marriott Corporation I took some time off to cruise on my 45-foot ketch sailboat “Fantasy.”

I have owned the Malibu International Yacht Brokerage since 1989.

Why are you running for City Council?

I believe Malibu must be run in a business-like manner and decisions must be made that are economically sound and for the good of Malibu and its citizens.

What makes you qualified to be on the city council?

I have a strong business background and I have been very involved in public service.

What, in your opinion, are the three most important issues facing the city at this time?

Public safety (a “fire safe” Malibu and a safer PCH), assuring an environmentally responsible Malibu and preserving the rural charm of Malibu.

Have you been involved with any organizations, homeowners associations, city committees or other community groups? If so, how are/were you involved and for how long?

Served as: Malibu Planning Commission chairman, 2009-2010, vice chair, 2008; Malibu Chamber of Commerce president, 2007, five years on Board of Directors.

Served on: Malibu Zoning Ordinance Revisions and Code Enforcement Subcommittee (ZORACES) and Legacy Park Project Task Force.

Spoke before the California Coastal Commission and State Lands Commission in opposition to the BHP Billiton’s proposed LNG terminal for Malibu’s coast.

California Sheriff’s Association member since 2003.

I am an active member of the Malibu Presbyterian Church and volunteered as a deacon.

What experiences have you had dealing with budgets?

In the restaurant business we would prepare a detailed budget for each restaurant and operate within that budget.

How about legislation?

I have supported legislation I believed in and opposed legislation that I felt was flawed or unnecessary.

How many people are in your immediate family, regardless of whether they live at home? Feel free to mention their names and ages.

Two: my wife Laura and I.

Name: Harold L. Greene

Birth date: June 6, 1936

How long have you lived in Malibu?

20 years

What is your education and employment history?

A.A. and B.A. in psychology from UCLA; LLB (Juris Doctor) UCLA 1962 with honors; admitted to California State Bar as an attorney in 1963; owner, senior partner and managing partner of various law firms, presently Law Offices of Harold L. Greene in Woodland Hills, Calif.

Why are you running for city council?

My goal is to ensure a responsible, accessible and accountable city government.

What makes you qualified to be on city council?

My history as an attorney, business owner and legislative draftsman. and my involvement in community associations and city government in various positions has given me the necessary experience to qualify me for city government.

What, in your opinion, are the three most important issues facing the city at this time?

The View Restoration Ordinance, wastewater issues in the Civic Center, and managing issues to avoid litigation.

Have you been involved with any organizations, homeowners associations, city committees or other community groups? If so, how are/were you involved and for how long?

I was on the board of the Point Dume Club Residents Association a number of years in the 1990s; was the chair of the Zuma Mesa Property Owners Association for a number of years; have been a member and chair of the Native American Cultural Resources Advisory Committee for at least 10 years; was vice chair of the View Protection Task Force and a member of its Ad Hoc Committee.

What experiences have you had in dealing with budgets? With legislation?

My experience with budgets spans over 45 years of independent business ownership, as well as the management of homes and rental properties. As a State Bar Section chair, I reviewed, drafted, lobbied or opposed all legislation relating to my field of law. As the attorney for many statewide peace officer and firefighter associations, I was tasked the same. As a city committee member, I helped redraft the cultural resources portion of our zoning ordinance, and helped draft that portion of our Local Coastal Plan.

How many people are in your immediate family, regardless of whether they live at home? Feel free to mention their names and ages.

I am very happily married to Francine, with two daughters, Susan and Sheri, and five grandchildren, ranging in age from seven to 21 years old.

Name: Kofi

Age: 41

How long have you lived in Malibu?

I have lived in the beautiful city of Malibu for 20 years.

What is your education and employment history?

I am a record producer.

Why are you running for city council?

I am committed to the quality of life and greater well-being of all residents. I want to invigorate the youth of Malibu and get them involved in serving their community. In the country of Bhutan, the government measures its success by the “Gross National Happiness” of its people. I plan to adopt Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness index for Malibu where the success of the city council will be measured by the happiness of all residents.

What makes you qualified to be on city council?

Most of the people who live in Malibu work in the entertainment industry and I know many of them on a personal level. They feel the city council does not represent them and they prefer not to have anything to do with local politics. I am a true representative of the people and will bridge this gap. We need everybody to participate. I will bring a fresh, new personality to the city council.

What, in your opinion, are the three most important issues facing the city at this time?

The safety and well-being of every resident is of the utmost importance to me. We must protect the natural beauty and environmental qualities of our city for both residents and visitors. We must improve education in our schools and develop more ways to engage our youth in the community. Finally, we must protect and promote the prosperity and success of Malibu’s locally owned small businesses.

Have you been involved with any organizations, homeowners associations, city committees or other community groups? If so, how are/were you involved and for how long?

I am the founder of a community group called the Oneness Village. For the past 20 years, I have gone to Malibu’s Country Mart at Cross Creek and spent three to four hours of my time everyday dedicated to adding value to young individuals who seek to reach their greater selves.

What experiences have you had dealing with budgets? With legislation?

My experience with budgets began 20 years ago while producing my first album with producer David Foster. I created a successful track record of being very competent. This led to me producing and controlling the budget for the 1999 opening ceremony of the Super Bowl with Cher singing the National Anthem. I have worked with many artists that have multimillion-dollar recording deals and I had to deal with their budgets.

How many people are in your immediate family, regardless of whether they live at home? Feel free to mention their names and ages.

I have six siblings. They are comprised of three younger brothers, one younger sister and two older sisters. Having lived in Africa, I was literally raised by a village. Hence the phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child.”

Name: Lou La Monte

Birth date: Oct. 17, 1941

How long have you lived in Malibu?

18 years

What is your education and employment history?

School of Visual Arts in New York City. CBS Television Network and then my own Film and TV Production Company.

Why are you running for city council?

I have been blessed to live and raise my family in Malibu. I feel strongly that if a person is able, he or she should make every possible effort to protect and preserve what is best in their community and correct and change what needs to be improved.

What makes you qualified to be on city council?

I have years of practical leadership experience in local government, I have been president of one of the largest HOAs in Malibu for eight years, I am a Public Works commissioner and I have run a business for decades, meeting payrolls and dealing with real world financial issues. I have the business and personal skills needed to bring people together to solve the complex problems of our beautiful city.

What, in your opinion, are the three most important issues facing the city at this time?

1. Traffic: A priority is to find a way to bring the California Highway Patrol back to the PCH. The CHP specializes in traffic control; the Sheriffs specialize in crime prevention. We need both. 2. Eliminating any pollution that Malibu contributes to the city’s watersheds. I support the city’s efforts to improve water quality. It is not only the right thing to do, it is the responsible thing to do. 3. A fair, balanced View Ordinance.

Have you been involved with any organizations, homeowners associations, city committees or other community groups? If so, how are/were you involved and for how long?

I have been president of the Big Rock Mesas Property Owners Association since 2002. I led the fight against the proliferation of luxury drug rehabs and secured over $125,000 in fire prevention grants.

I am a Malibu Public Works commissioner, working on: water quality, supply, conservation and storage; and traffic at Malibu High.

I served on the View Protection Task Force, working for a fair, balanced ordinance consistent with Malibu’s General Plan.

What experiences have you had dealing with budgets? How about legislation?

I have been responsible for multimillion-dollar production budgets for decades.

How many people are in your immediate family, regardless of whether they live at home? Feel free to mention their names and ages.

Four. My wife Laraine, sons Rich and Christian, and daughter Olivia.

Name: John Mazza

Date of Birth: Nov. 8, 1945

How long have you lived in Malibu? 38 years

What is your education and employment history?

Education: B.A., Claremont McKenna College, 1967; MBA, University of Southern California Graduate School of Business, 1969;

Employment History: 1969-1988 William O’Neil and Co., O’Neil Data Systems, O’Neil Fund, Investor’s Business Daily

Positions: Institutional trader, mutual fund portfolio manager, director of technical analysis, chief financial officer, secretary, treasurer, president

1988-1999: Drake Capital Securities, vice chairman, head of trading

1988-2008: Drake Holding Corp, president

1988-Present: Drake Strategic Corp and Drake Energy Corp., president

1980-Present: Panamint Properties, owner

Why are you running for city council?

For more than two decades, I have been participating in Malibu civic affairs and I believe that Malibu has never faced bigger challenges. My civic, financial and management experience can provide solutions to our pressing problems of dealing with water quality, fire protection, providing recreational and educational opportunities, and our massive debt in an uncertain economy. I am prepared to work and spend the time to find these solutions and to protect our way of life and environment.

What makes you qualified to be on City Council?

I have many years of experience serving on city commissions and committees, have attended hundreds of planning commission and council meetings and know how the system works. I have over 40 years experience in financial management experience and have founded and managed large corporations with hundreds of employees. I invest in and manage commercial real estate. I believe this experience is essential for the proper governance of Malibu in this challenging economy.

What, in your opinion, are the three most important issues facing the city at this time?

Financial management: Malibu’s surplus has dropped in half and its debt has ballooned to $45 million. Proper long-term planning and fiscal management is required.

Public Safety: We must address our pollution problems in a rational manner and protect our residents from the fire threat of public camping in the mountains.

Expansion of public services and facilities: Malibu lacks adequate sports fields, library annexes, senior services, arts programs and its fair share of school assets.

Have you been involved in any organizations, homeowners associations, city committees or other community groups? If so, how were you involved and for how long?

I am or have been active in the following positions dating back to 1990: Vice-chair Planning Commission (2008-2010); Zoning and Code Enforcement Subcommittee representative; Chairman of PCH/Heathercliff Blue Ribbon Committee; Library Task Force member; Business Roundtable member; Economic Advisory Committee member; Point Dume Services District director; Past president/director, Point Dume Community Association; Malibu Arts Foundation director; past president/director, Malibu River One Homeowners Association; president, Malibu Dog Adoptions; president, Malibu Surfing Museum; Malibu Green Machine member; Malibu Community Action Network director

What experiences have you had dealing with budgets? How about legislation?

I have an MBA from USC and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Claremont McKenna College. For the past 40 years I have been the chief financial officer and president of five companies. I have been a chief financial and technical analyst at a New York Stock Exchange firm as well as a licensed NYSE financial principal. I have done hundreds of budgets.

I represented Point Dume (PDCA) in the coastal plan negotiations in 2002.

How many people are in your immediate family, regardless of whether they live at home? Feel free to mention their names and ages.

My lovely wife Robby, myself, and my 94-year-old father Harold.

Name: Laura Zahn Rosenthal

Birth date: Dec. 31, 1954

How long have you lived in Malibu? 21 years

What is your education and employment history?

Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from USC; clinical psychologist for 27 years with a Malibu private practice; owner, managing director of the Brentwood Center for Eating Disorders; owner and manager of Zuma Granola, a locally owned small business.

Why are you running for City Council?

I am deeply committed to this community. I believe that we need strong, experienced and independent leadership now as we make important decisions about protecting our environment, ensuring public safety and ensuring that all residents have the services they need and deserve. My experiences with many local groups and organizations have given me the perspective and understanding to guide and to lead. Our leaders must be able to work collaboratively with outside agencies.

What makes you qualified to be on City Council?

I have served as: a Public Works commissioner working on water storage and conservation, road repairs, traffic and environmental concerns; Parks and Recreation commissioner lobbying the Coastal Commission to help secure Bluffs Park, create Las Flores Park; Economic Advisory Committee member studying Malibu’s economic and business issues; PTA president and Shark Fund director, managing public budgets in excess of $2 million; Business Roundtable member and Bond Advisory Committee member, planning, budgeting and fighting for Malibu’s fair share of a $268-million bond.

What, in your opinion, are the three most important issues facing the city at this time?

Water: Clean up Malibu Lagoon with a facility in civic center that will enable wastewater to be recycled for landscaping. Increase conservation efforts and pass a grey water ordinance.

Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Malibu Parks Plan: The current plan is a public safety nightmare. Unsupervised campsites so close to residential neighborhoods it puts everyone at heightened risk for fire.

View Ordinance: Pass an ordinance that is balanced and restores and preserves views, understands privacy concerns and promotes neighbors to find agreeable solutions without excessive and expensive personal or city government involvement.

Have you been involved with any organizations, homeowners associations, city committees or other community groups? If so, how are/were you involved and for how long?

PTA Board member and PTA president for 13 years; Malibu Little League Board member for eight years; Malibu High School Shark Fund Board, four years; SMMUSD Bond Advisory Committee, three years; PTA Council for SMMUSD, four years; Malibu Foundation for Youth & Families Youth Summit coordinator; Parks and Rec Commissioner, two years; Public Works commissioner, three years; Business Roundtable member, six years; Malibu Economic Advisory Committee member, two years.

What experiences have you had dealing with budgets? With legislation?

As a business owner for over 25 years, and a managing director and CFO, I have dealt with a variety of budgets. As a public servant, I have managed many budgets and been responsible for deciding allocations to various stakeholder groups. My experience with public entities has positioned me to be effective in the oversight of our city’s budget. I have participated in crafting legislation for both our city and school district.

How many people are in your immediate family, regardless of whether they live at home? Feel free to mention their names and ages.

My immediate family consists of my husband Walter Rosenthal and our sons Joe, 18, and Will, 15, and four adult children. My father, Len Zahn, lives in Malibu and rounds out our multigenerational family. We also have Rosie, our nine-year-old golden retriever.

Name: Steve Scheinkman

Birth date: June 27, 1953

How long have you lived in Malibu?

I have been riding my horses, hiking Malibu’s trails and enjoying its beaches for 30 years. I moved my residence to Malibu in 2006.

What is your education and employment history?

Graduate of George Washington University with a BBA in accounting; qualified as CPA; president, CEO and Board of Directors member of Transtar Metals (1999-2007, sales of $300 million, 450 employees); president, COO, CFO, controller and Board of Directors member of Macsteel Service Centers USA (1982-1999, sales of $1.2 billion, 1,500 employees); auditor/financial consultant for KPMG (1979-1981); auditor, tax practitioner for Hoberman Miller & Co (1975-1970); member of several companies’ Board of Directors (2006-2008).

Why are you running for city council?

Malibu is at a crossroads striving to balance the evolving needs of its residents while keeping its promise to protect and preserve its natural resources and rural characteristics.

I believe I can provide the experienced leadership Malibu needs to maintain that balance, while helping it implement solutions that will keep our water clean, protect our homes from fire, provide more educational and recreational opportunities for our children, and deliver needed long-term financial management.

What makes you qualified to be on city council?

I have a unique, broad-based background of both business and civic experience.

I managed a $1.2 billion business where I successfully led programs that protected our environment, provided financial oversight, attracted and retained talented staff and maintained effective working relationships with a variety of governmental agencies. Malibu is faced with many of these same issues today. I also have a record of 17 years in community activism, which I have continued since moving to Malibu.

What, in your opinion, are the three most important issues facing the city at this time?

Public safety and general welfare: protecting our homes from fire; cleaning up polluted waters; traffic safety, including safe access to schools for our kids; protecting rural characteristics and charm of all Malibu neighborhoods.

Fiscal responsibility: implement long-term financial planning to manage our $45 million of debt and increasing operating costs.

Providing for our children: expanded facilities for athletic and educational events; getting Malibu’s kids their fair share from the school district.

Have you been involved with any organizations, homeowners associations, city committees or other community groups? If so, how are/were you involved and for how long?

I have served as a member of the Malibu Park Homeowners Association; the Malibu Park Safety Coalition; as a member of the Shark Fund and PTSA; as a parent volunteer of AYSO and Little League; as a Board Member of the Hidden Hills Homeowners Association (approximately 2,000 residents); the Hidden Hills Trails Committee; as a vice president of the Hidden Hills Horseman and as a member of the Sherwood Forrest Homeowners Association. I also support environmental groups.

What experiences have you had dealing with budgets? How about legislation?

For the past 30 years, in my positions as a CPA, CFO, COO, president and CEO, I have prepared, reviewed and been held responsible for implementing budgets. I have managed budgets for a billion-dollar company with 1,500 employees and 30 locations across the U.S.

Legislative experience includes interfacing with lobbyists, direct meetings with representatives of federal and state agencies, and participation in organized groups seeking to influence legislation.

How many people are in your immediate family, regardless of whether they live at home? Feel free to mention their names and ages.

My immediate family includes my wife Nina and our five children who range in age from 16 to 32. I am also very close to my 89-year-old mother who spends a lot of time with us in Malibu, as well as my two brothers, one of whom is a New York State Supreme Court judge and the other a lawyer in Orange County. Our extended family includes our two horses and dog.

Name: Michael Sidley

Birth date: July 23, 1961

How long have you lived in Malibu?

My family has lived in Malibu for over 30 years. I went to school at Malibu Park Junior High School, class of 1976, and Santa Monica High School, class of 1979. My parents still live here. My wife and I returned to Malibu to raise our family in 1997. My daughters both attend Malibu High School and my wife Wendy is the PTSA president at Malibu High School

What is your education and employment history?

Graduate of UC Berkeley, 1983; JD, with Distinction/Order of the Coif, University of the Pacific, 1988. I am and have been self-employed as an attorney since 1989. My practice consists exclusively of litigation. Prior to opening my private practice I was a deputy public defender for Los Angeles County. In addition to my law practice I am a full-time father and real estate investor and manager.

Why are you running for city council?

To bring a fresh perspective to problem solving in Malibu. The city is almost 20 years old and the perception among many is that we still cannot govern ourselves. This, in my opinion, is the cause of a majority of Malibu’s problems. We need a new approach. I want to pass the view ordinance, fully support our schools to ensure quality public education, and to find funding for wastewater treatment that will not bankrupt our city.

What makes you qualified to be on city council?

My historic viewpoint from having been part of Malibu for over 30 years. I want to ensure that the Malibu I know and grew up in is a place where my kids will want to raise their own families.

My training and experience in the law has taught me to evaluate problems in a logical manner. It gives me the skill and insight to anticipate unexpected consequences from the decisions I will be called upon to make.

What, in your opinion, are the three most important issues facing the city at this time?

Clean water and the septic tank ban, and how to pay for clean water in a way that will not bankrupt our city.

Passage of the view protection and restoration ordinance as proposed by the majority of the view protection task force.

Finding adequate funding to support and ensure the quality of our public schools.

Have you been involved with any organizations, homeowners associations, city committees or other community groups? If so, how are/were you involved and for how long?

2009-present: Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District BB Advisory Committee; 2009-January 2010: Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District Parcel Tax Advisory Committee; 1996-1999: State of California Medical Board; 1994-1995: Los Angeles County Environmental Crime Sentencing Task Force; 1992-1995: Los Angeles Police Department Community Based Policy Committee; Member of Heal the Bay; Planned Parenthood; KCRW; Malibu High School PTSA; The Shark Fund; Committee for Excellence in our Public Schools.

What experiences have you had dealing with budgets? How about legislation?

My experience as a self-employed attorney/businessman and in real estate management has given me an understanding that limitations of budgets must be appreciated. Budgetary decisions must be made by evaluating what is necessary rather than what is popular.

I have been trained in the law; I work with statutes and ordinances as a regular part of my professional life. I understand how laws work and how they affect people’s lives.

How many people are in your immediate family, regardless of whether they live at home? Feel free to mention their names and ages.

My wife, Wendy; my daughters, Jane and Ally; and, of course, our dog, Charlie.

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