City Council hears summer traffic and safety concerns

City Council met virtually on Monday, Aug. 8, and received summer traffic and safety concerns from residents and visitors. The council was unable to receive support from Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District to implement a Request for Proposal (RFP) before the school year on Aug. 15. The Ad Hoc Committee discussed with SMMUSD representatives the possibility of adding additional unarmed campus security officers to Malibu campuses as soon as possible. 

According to the agenda, SMMUSD staff reported that they do not have a current list of eligible applicants to hire from. The best alternative is to issue a Request for Qualifications (RFQ), also referred to as Statement of Qualifications (SOQ), so that a list of qualified security firms can be acquired and then engaged once needs are clearly outlined. The RFQ was being finalized at the time this staff report was prepared.

To start off the meeting, Lt. Dustin Carr announced his new position as lieutenant for the City of Malibu and provided a report for the month of July. 

“Unsafe speed continues to be the largest factor in these collisions,” Carr said. 

For council updates, Mayor Pro Tem Bruce Silverstein addressed the Sunset Jazz Festival that occurred on Saturday, July 30, and said the Planning Commission responded adequately in allowing the event to continue. 

“I think this is the perfect example of what the Planning Department is supposed to do — following the law and the planning commission exercising discretionary authority,” Silverstein said. “Personally I think a jazz concert is a fabulous type of event in general, … there is a question to [whether] the residents of Malibu want events of this nature in Malibu. They’re touristy events, they’re not really events for locals.”

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Silverstein said safety in general is an issue and questioned how the event got approved and how the fee was determined.

“I think these are all legitimate questions that I’ve had and residents had and ought to be considered next time residents want to rent our property to have a large event in our town,” Silverstein said. “Having concerts here is not necessarily what Malibu is about.” 

For public comments, residents continued to question the city’s permitting process with Woolsey Fire Rebuilds.

In response, Environmental Sustainability Director Yolanda Bundy gave an emotional statement in response to the Woolsey Fire Rebuilds and permitting allegations. 

“I’ve been doing this for close to 18 years now, I just want to make clear to the public and to council that myself and your city staff hold the public safety and service as our highest obligation and priority, we treat everyone fairly and equally,” Bundy said. “I have been with the city for more than three years and I have been blessed to help a lot of people.”

Bundy said they have done about 8,000 plan checks for projects and have done over 30,000 inspections.

“I just want to make it clear for the public again, that there is no corruption. I feel like I have treated everyone with compassion, integrity and fairness, and if there is anyone that has a question regarding our reviews or our professional determinations, we are more than willing to explain the process and we are open — I’m always at the city — so I can do it by person, I can do it by Zoom, I can do it by phone,” Bundy said. “I’m just here to serve you all and that has been a blessing in my life and I want to continue doing this.”

Council moved on to Amendment No. 6 to Agreement with Turbo Data Systems the Professional Services agreement with Turbo Data Systems for Parking Citation Processing Services.

On Nov. 24, 2014, the council approved a Professional Services Agreement with Turbo Data to process parking citations. The services provided by Turbo Data Systems include smartphone ticket writers and thermal printers to issue tickets, as well as a completely automated citation processing services; online access to all citation records from the time of issuance through resolution of the citation for both the citizen and city staff; digital imaging/archiving in accordance with the city’s records retention schedules; paperless appeals; and complete administrative adjudication processing.

Council motioned to approve amendment No. 6.

The next item addressed was School Safety Ad Hoc Committee Update. On June 27, the City Council deliberated jointly on council directed staff to develop and issue two requests for proposals (RFP) for a private security service and a school safety assessment. The Council also formed the School Safety Ad Hoc Committee of Silverstein and Mayor Paul Grisanti to research school safety issues, review and provide input on the RFPs, and report back to the full City Council on these issues within 45 days.

Silverstein said they received pushback from the representative of the school district about implementing a program to help educate students prepare for an emergency.

“That’s not in our hands because we’re not in charge of the school district, I think it would be great if a lot of parents were to let the school district know that that is something they would like as well,” Silverstein said. 

Silverstein moved to receive and file an update, Grisanti seconded the motion. Motion carried. 

According to the agenda, the committee will continue to meet and coordinate with staff, SMMUSD, and the sheriff to implement the findings of the RFPs and increase school safety. To view the proposal visit, malibucity.org/primedov.com.

Council approved Item 3B7, to approve the contract agreement with the American Guard Services Inc., extending the term of the agreement for security services at Trancas Canyon Park, Las Flores Creek Park, Malibu Equestrian Park, and Charmlee Wilderness Park through Aug. 22, 2023.

Council approved item 4A for Zoning Text Amendment No. 22-00, regarding allowable light trespass from service station properties onto the public right-of-way. Motion passed 4-1. 

Council motioned to pass the staff recommendation and move the item forward. 

Council addressed Malibu Middle and High School Specific Plan – Local Coastal Program Amendment No. 21-002, Zoning Map Amendment No. 22-001, and Zoning Text Amendment No. 22-002 – An application to redevelop and modernize the existing Malibu Middle and High School campus and former Juan Cabrillo Elementary School campus. Motion carried 3-2.

Grisanti said he’s against sending the project to the Planning Commission in the future.

“We have a Planning Commission that is extremely overburdened and maybe [at] some point in the future they won’t be trying to get through mountains of people remodeling their houses, but I think the level of inspection that’s required, requires people who are working on this more than twice a month,” Grisanti said. “So I’m against that idea of sending that automatically to the Planning Commission. This is a huge complication project, and I’m very comfortable with the Planning Department doing their work on it and bringing it to the council, or the Planning Commission, to bless it, but expecting them to do all of the work, there simply isn’t enough hours of the day.”

Council addressed the consideration of the resumption of in-person meetings. Council motioned to make the item appear on the agenda at the discretion of the city manager. 

Public Safety Liaison Luis Flores presented the Homelessness Task Force recommendation for securing beds at an existing facility outside of the city and providing direction to staff.

Funding for homeless shelter beds was not included in the Adopted Budget for Fiscal Year 2021-2022 or the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2022-2023. Depending on the council’s direction, a moderate fiscal impact is anticipated in connection with the procurement of existing shelter beds at a facility outside of the city. The associated costs will depend on factors such as the number of beds, case management and general service provision, and transportation from Malibu to the contracted facility, but are likely to be approximately $2,400 per bed, per month, or $24,000 this fiscal year for September 2022 through June 2023.

Silverstein completed the homeless task force for their work and report presented.

“I think this report is very clear, concise, it sets out the issue, the problem and the solution and how this is the best thing going forward,” Silverstein said. 

Councilmember Karen Farrer also thanked the task force and Public Safety Director Susan Dueñas for their work on the proposal.

Silverstein motioned to approve the proposal and Farrer second the motion. Motion passed.

The next item on the agenda was the request to waive the Boys & Girls Club of Malibu’s fee costs for the Chili Cook-Off event in September. 

Farrer motioned to support the request to waive the fee for the event. Grisanti seconded the motion. Motion passed.

After hearing Item 6C, Silverstein motioned to approve the submission of a Proposed Measure to the Voters to Impose a One-Half Cent (½ ¢) Transactions and Use Tax. Farrer seconded the motion. Motion carried.

Council motioned to continue the action regarding Malibu Library Set Aside Fund for Fiscal Year 2022-23. Motion passed 3-2.

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 22. Visit malibucity.org for the meeting agenda.

Samantha Bravo
Samantha Bravo
Samantha Bravo is an inspiring photojournalist based in Los Angeles California. She began her journalism career at Pierce College Media Arts Department. Twitter @samanthavbravo

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