Possible alliances, upcoming challenges and impending votes, Malibu’s version of ‘Survivor’ has begun. But which three of the ffive candidates will be voted off the civic island seems to largely depend on their philosophy about the Local Coastal Plan.
Candidates are introduced in the order in which they will appear on the April 9 ballot. The order was determined by a random drawing by the secretary of state.
By Sylvie Belmond/Staff Writer
Robert Roy van de Hoek
Robert Roy van de Hoek is ready for another go at it and has acquired the initial support of a variety of local personalities, including that of actor Martin Sheen.
Van de Hoek is a scientist and environmental educator and is active with the Wetlands Action Network and the Sierra Club. He currently teaches marine biology at Long Beach Community College and provides biological consultation to various groups and organizations.
Van de Hoek, who has lived in Malibu for three years, has degrees in environmental biology, geography and archeology from CSU Northridge. He worked for the federal government for 10 years as a scientist and was a recreation supervisor for Los Angeles County for five years.
As he spoke about the city’s current planning situation, Van de Hoek noted over-development is the major issue in Malibu. “There is not enough water supply and we have to be concerned about future growth because of that,” he said. Regarding the LCP, Van de Hoek urged Malibuites to provide comments to the California Coastal Commission. “But bashing the CCC is not going to get us what we want,” concluded van de Hoek. “Fight over development, don’t fight the commission.”
Beverly Taki, a Malibu mom and Realtor, has focused her campaign platform coining, herself, “The quality-of-life candidate.”
Taki, a 21-year resident and homeowner, is the former president of the Malibu Association of Realtors and of the Malibu Women’s Club. She has sold real estate in Malibu for the past 12 years and currently hosts a public affairs cable TV program, which focuses on community issues.
She graduated from the University of Missouri with a bachelor’s degree in education.
If she is elected to the City Council, Taki said she would work to protect and enhance the quality of life in Malibu by providing amenities and recreational needs for its residents.
“Leadership starts with listening,” said Taki, who, like most of her opponents, believes Malibu should have a say in its local coastal plan (LCP).
Taki encourages local homeowners associations and organizations to develop coalitions to work on the LCP issue. She also suggested the city needs to continue to work with the Coastal Commission. “But if all else fails, the city may have to file a lawsuit to protect the interests of residents in Malibu,” she said.
Taki supports the proposed Crummer/State Parks Development Agreement because it would preserve ball fields for Malibu.
Andy Stern was appointed to the Planning Commission in June of 1998 and was chosen to chair the commission twice. As a commissioner, Stern is most proud that the current panel relies exclusively on the law to make planning decisions.
“As a lawyer, you see things that other people may not see,” he said.
Stern has practiced law since 1977 and he was the chief executive officer of several entertainment companies. Though he is an attorney by profession, Stern now mostly uses his legal knowledge in private business activities he undertakes.
Aside from serving on the Planning Commission, Stern is the vice chair of the Los Angeles County Beach Commission, appointed by Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky six years ago. Stern moved to Malibu in 1991. He graduated from UCLA with an undergraduate degree and went on to San Fernando Valley Law School where he obtained a law degree. He feels his legal and planning experience will be an asset for the council.
“In the next four years, the decisions our elected leaders make will shape the future of our city for decades,” said Stern in his campaign statement. “Therefore, it is essential we elect candidates who have a proven record of experience, fairness, integrity and leadership.”
John Wall, a retired executive, has lived in Malibu for 40 years. He has been active in Malibu public service for more than a decade.
In his campaign statement, Wall said he wants to put his public service knowledge to work in an effort to keep Malibu a beautiful and safe rural community.
Wall chaired the city’s Economic Plan and Flood Mitigation Plan Advisory Committees. He was a Public Works commissioner and chair and co-chair of the General Plan Task Force.
This active Malibuite also vice-chaired the Transportation Study Group and currently serves as an alternate member of the city’s Building Appeals Board. Wall also served on the board of the Malibu Township Council and as a technical advisor to the Malibu Coastal Land Conservancy. He raised four children in Malibu and coached flag and youth football.
Professionally, he earned a bachelor’s in engineering from Caltech and a Ph.D. from Cornell. Wall said he wants to win back the public’s confidence that city laws are fairly enforced and the city is competently managed.
Wall believes that current city laws need to be clarified, simplified and followed. “The General Plan is out of date and it needs to be updated,” said Wall, who feels the zoning code ordinance also needs to be fixed because it is too ambiguous. “I think I can help.”
Incumbent Sharon Barovsky was elected to the City Council in 2000. During her tenure on the council, Barovsky is most proud the council obtained hefty grants for the city.
“Working with outside agencies, we applied for and received $7 million in grant money,” she said.
Barovsky is a former member of the General Plan Task Force and has worked on the Civic Center Advisory Committee. This councilmember, writer and high school teacher, who has lived in Malibu for more than 30 years, wants to see the city move forward as it attempts to deal with land use issues.
“We are at a critical junction and the issues of local control are paramount,” she said. “If elected, I will continue to work for a master plan that will minimize commercial development, increase dedicated open space, provide a community center to serve our seniors and our youth, and supply additional active and passive recreational opportunities.”
“Should negotiations fail to bring forward an LCP acceptable to Malibu residents, I will seek any and all remedies that will preserve Malibu’s right to control its own destiny,” she said. “It’s going be up to the voters to decide what philosophy we should go for.”