Record speaks volumes

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    It is with a distressing sense of resignation and troubled curiosity that I read a prominently featured article concerning the Sierra Club endorsement of Carolyn Van Horn and Walt Keller in the upcoming city elections.

    This endorsement is a clear demonstration of the way things happen in our town where cronyism and selective values have become an accepted part of political life.

    Fact: Joan House is the only incumbent candidate who supported the appeal of the 146-room Adamson Hotel. Had the appeal been granted the hotel would have been limited to 106 rooms, which the EIR referred to as the “Environmentally Superior” recommendation. Joan House believed that a hotel over twice the size of Malibu’s current largest hotel was enough for our town. Not so for Ms. Van Horn and Mr. Keller.

    Although both candidates now say they voted for the smaller number of rooms, the truth is that Ms. Van Horn and Mr. Keller voted to allow the larger project which permits removal of eight acres of endangered coastal scrub supposedly “mitigated,” according to Ms. Van Horn and Mr. Keller, by the retirement of 30 acres of unbuildable land located well outside the city limits. In addition, Ms. Van Horn and Mr. Keller granted the project grading of 119,000 cubic yards where the city code permitted only 1,000 cubic yards. Still, Ms. Van Horn and Mr. Keller get the endorsement.

    Fact: Joan House is the only incumbent candidate to vote in favor of the Malibu Lagoon Septic Study which demonstrated that residential septic systems were not a significant factor in lagoon pollution. Ms. Van Horn and Mr. Keller voted against this important piece of environmental legislation. Still Ms. Van Horn and Mr. Keller get the endorsement.

    Fact: Joan House is the only incumbent candidate who voted for an environmentally sensitive six home settlement of the 28-unit Portshead Project. Still Ms. Van Horn and Mr. Keller get the endorsement.

    Joan House’s list of endorsements includes those of Former Mayor Jeff Kramer, Dr. Jeff Harris, and Bill Littlejohn all of whom are strong environmentalists.

    Question: Why would the Sierra Club ignore Joan’s clear and positive environmental record?

    Fact: Ms. Van Horn’s close friend and advisor Marcia Hanscomb was one of the three Sierra Club selectors. Yes, the same Marcia Hanscomb for whom Ms. Van Horn sought a $25,000 city grant.

    One last important fact: This rigged endorsement will not change Joan House’s clearly demonstrated commitment to environmental issues. What separated her from Ms. Van Horn and Mr. Keller is this. When it gets down to voting as a City Council member, Joan House keeps her word and is proud to tell the truth about her voting record.

    Elliott Megdal