Mayor Pierson Calls Council Member-Elect Silverstein’s 80 Emails To City Manager ‘Harassment’

Mikke Pierson, speaking during a Sept. 2018 city council candidates' debate

At the Monday, Nov. 24, Malibu City Council meeting, Malibu Mayor Mikke Pierson directly and publicly addressed council-member elect Bruce Silverstein over Zoom:  “It’s really discouraging, what you’re doing right now, to be perfectly honest. … Over 80 emails to [City Manager] Reva [Feldman] since you’ve been elected? I don’t know how many public records requests taking massive amounts of hours of staff time? … I don’t know the legal definition, but it’s harassment.”

In response, Silverstein told Pierson he was focused on “getting things right,” rather than “getting along.”

Silverstein was the top vote-getter in the most recent city council election. One of his pledges to voters was to find a way to remove Feldman, who was also visible on the Zoom call and maintained a neutral expression as Pierson spoke. 

Silverstein also pledged he would work to remove longtime city attorney Christi Hogin, whom he promised to counter utilizing his legal expertise once on council. Hogin announced her retirement to spend more time with her new grandson earlier this month. 

Pierson mentioned his experience in HR, which he said taught him the best practices for hiring and firing someone—and said Silverstein’s way of “trying to bludgeon somebody ‘til they give up is wrong.” 

Pierson also mentioned his experience in Malibu which, combined with his fellow council member Karen Farrer’s, he noted, amounts to more than 100 years. He offered this and his many years of public service to the community on different commissions as evidence that there is no conspiracy going on at the city council level, something he said Silverstein is trying to find. 

“I don’t appreciate your veiled threats that if we don’t fall into line on this mandate you think you have, we’re not going to be re-elected. Bruce, I’m not running for re-election,” Pierson said. 

Farrer, visible on the call, nodded vehemently in agreement when Pierson said that not only are Silverstein’s emails and public records requests taking up time, but so are calls from their constituents about Silverstein’s behavior, as well. 

“I get that you’re passionate and I get you maybe come from a background of, you know, bulldog and just going after it. I am begging you to turn the other side and help work with us,” Pierson said. 

Silverstein was the first public commenter up for one of the following items. He used his allotted three minutes to play the Joni Mitchell song “Big Yellow Taxi” in reference to the parking lot ordinance before the city, then used the second half of his time to point out that city council members had spent “more time admonishing” him than responding to the multiple members of the public who had brought forth concerns about the encroachment of 5G cell towers in Malibu. Silverstein said, “It is important to get along … but it’s more important to get things right. If we get things right and get along, that’s great. If we can only do one or the other, I’m going to pick getting things right every day of the week.”