City Council Candidate Profile: Carl Randall

Carl Randall

The Malibu Times sat down this week with council candidate Carl Randall for the sixth of six interviews — one with each candidate leading up to the election.

What do you think is the theme of your candidacy?

I would say the theme is that I’m a lifelong Malibu resident so I have a lot of historical knowledge of where we’ve been. I also have an 11-year old daughter in our public schools, so I’m living in our community every single day. Because I have a daughter, it makes me think about the future and where we’re going. I think about that for my child and all the rest of the kids in our neighborhoods. I would say that’s probably [the theme].

What is it about right now that makes it good timing for you to run for city council — why now?

I would say I’m as grounded here as I’ve ever been with my child here. I was born and raised in a house on Las Flores Beach; now I’m raising my child in the same house. I’m grounded with her in our public schools. My wife and I had that realization, maybe a year ago, that this was our time in life to do our community service piece. We chatted about it for a while and she said, “You know everything about this town.” I wouldn’t say I know everything about the town; nobody knows everything about the town, but I have a lot of history here, a lot of understanding. I realized that this was my calling, that I’m supposed to do this. I’m supposed to be up on the bench doing this. I called two of my good friends on council, John Sibert and Lou La Monte, and they laughed and said, “Yeah, you’re supposed to do this.” So, I felt like this was my time.

One thing I found interesting is your focus on Malibu Bluffs Park. What is it about Bluffs that needs to be focused on so much that you made it fundamental to your campaign? Is that issue a strong foundation for a campaign? Some opponents have said they don’t want anything done at Bluffs Park.

Someone did a master plan update a couple of years ago, maybe three years ago, and we looked at what we were deficient in, in the community, and there were massive numbers of active things we were missing. We don’t have enough ball fields. My daughter just played three years of softball and when she practices there’s three or four teams on the field at the same time. We have one soccer field. Last year, we had 540 kids playing soccer; this year, we have 610. We don’t have enough amenities for the kids. We know that Theresa Odella, who does such extraordinary work in the senior center, has doubled her number of folks in the last four years. She’s outgrown her walls. We have a community that’s 27 miles long and we don’t have a central place where we gather. I think one of the ways to solve that is having a community area that we can gather for the Chumash festival, for any number of events we can do.

We’re totally deficient in a lot of those things, so I think it is a huge issue. If we don’t have that, we have to determine who we want to be in the future — if we don’t have these kinds of places, these kinds of amenities, these kinds of open space. Then we just become an exclusive retirement community-slash-tourist destination. If we don’t pull in younger families, if we don’t pull in kids, we don’t pull in the next generation. That’s all we become, and then we age out and that’s that and then we become a tourist destination. That’s not a community. Lifeblood of any community is the youth coming up and the definition of a community is how we treat our seniors. 

How do you think your view on development differs from other candidates who claim they are “the anti-development people?”

I think all of us would agree. All six candidates are looking to find ways to restrict development. There’s not much appetite anywhere in the community to do large scale development of any kind. We absolutely have to manage that. I think we have a relatively well set-up path at the moment. With Measure R having gone through the courts and failed at the lower level, having been ruled unconstitutional at the lower level, we have the appellate court ruling and we’ll see what happens with that.

I think the blind support on Measure R, when it’s been proven unconstitutional once, and trying to enact that is a foolish path. I think you need to get back into the room and the five council people and our attorney need to find and define legislation — or I guess an ordinance is the proper word — that will accomplish what folks are hoping for.

I see the potential outcome on both parts of it. If Measure R is ruled illegal, then we go back to the drawing table and we try to constrain development as much as we can wherever we can in the process while respecting the rights of the property owners to do this. If Measure R is installed, then the concern is at that point — where are we going to get the legal bills at that point? If we’re going to undertake takings at that point, there’s a dangerous precedent there. That concerns me long term.

Do you think your insider status has worked against you, since on many different levels of government people are looking for outsiders?

I have knowledge in the inside of how our city works and I think that’s helpful in the process. It certainly allows me to not have the usual 18-month-to-two-year “get used to it” period before I start in. I’ll hit the ground running because I understand what it is to run our city meetings, I understand the constraints we have, I understand a little bit about how policies come together.

I understand how it works but it’s hard for me to fathom being called an insider. I certainly would not consider myself an insider but I’m a knowledgeable person with how our government runs and where we’ve been.

What do you think is the worst case scenario for Malibu in 20 years?

The worst case scenario would be that the council make decisions that would bankrupt the city. The county would take us over and the plans from 20 years ago would become enacted — whether it’s tens of thousands people more or hundreds of thousands of people more. The original plan was 200,000 people situated in this city with hotels lining the beaches, just an overwhelmed tourist — just a tourist destination, not a town. This town has been an extraordinary place to live for all of my life. When I went to college it was an easy decision for me to come back here as soon as I could. It’s an amazing place to live with oceans and the mountains and all of that — it’s just an extraordinary spot. I’d hate to see that go away by development takeover, by decisions that are made that cost us.

The order of candidate interviews was randomly selected. This interview was abridged for length and clarity. A full transcript of each interview can be found at

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