The nomination period is now closed and six Malibu residents have pulled filing papers to run for the two seats that will be vacated on the Malibu City Council. First-term incumbents Karen Farrer and Mikke Pierson decided not to seek re-election after each serving four years.
The six candidates are Ryan Embree, Marianne Riggins, Hap Henry, Doug Stewart, Jimy Tallal, and Bill Sampson. As of Aug. 19, Sampson, Stewart, and Tallal had qualified for the ballot after the city clerk verified their submitted nomination papers. The nomination papers of Embree, Riggins, and Henry were still being reviewed to confirm qualification. One other candidate who had apparently announced his candidacy was Andy Lyon, who ran twice unsuccessfully in the last two council races. According to a City of Malibu spokesperson Lyon did not file his nomination papers by the Aug. 17 deadline. Earlier in the month, unsettling video surfaced of Lyon in an apparent rage at the beach after a skirmish in the water at Surfrider Beach.
In their candidacy statements, each hopeful wrote a few words about their campaign.
A resident for more than 30 years, Embree wrote he “envisions a Malibu Community Center near Point Dume that will bring families together for learning, sports, and the arts. Soon $16 million funding will be available to construct a second Library if the City of Malibu chooses.” Embree has served “eight City Councils by appointment to both Emergency Preparedness and Civic Center Way Task Forces, eight years to Transportation Study Group (co-chair), and seven years to Public Safety Commission (chair).” Embree has attended over 1,000 Malibu council, commission, and city meetings.
Hap Henry is a 29-year-old who listed his occupation as “entrepreneur.” The lifelong Malibu resident wrote: “If elected, I commit to: preserve and restore our natural environment, pursue community-serving recreational programs and facilities, responsibly plan for future fires and other disasters, enact effective public safety measures, negotiate firmly with outside agencies which dictate policies affecting Malibu, and diligently review all budget items to uphold Malibu’s strong financial standing for generations to come. I am beholden to no special interests and pledge to lead ethically as a member of Malibu’s City Council.”
Marianne Riggins is a Malibu municipal employee who grew up and raised her family here. “My goals as a city council member will be to bring the residents of Malibu much needed community recreation facilities like a swimming pool that can be accessed at all times during the day, not just after school hours,” she stated. “I will continue pursuing the creation of a Malibu Unified School District so that the residents of Malibu can make the important decisions about our local schools. I feel strongly about providing a place for our residents to gather to enjoy cultural events as a community. I will work hard to ensure that our government is fiscally responsible and maintains our high bond rating so we are able to be in a position to improve the lives of Malibu residents.”
42-year resident Bill Sampson lists his occupation as “lawyer.” The 75-year-old wrote: “I devoted significant time to city task forces, the chamber of commerce, service clubs, youth sports, charities, and car clubs. It’s time to volunteer for more-public service. The peaceful neighborhoods of our town are now less so. Some are an array of businesses including what are, in effect, motels. I will do everything in my power to reverse this unfortunate trend and/or to halt its progress.”
Doug Stewart is a 23-year resident, CERT member, and vice chair of Malibu’s Public Safety Commission. He wrote: “I’ve helped lead the charge for a more robust public safety presence in Malibu, pushed for a humane, legal solution to Malibu’s homeless problem, and sought better traffic laws to make PCH safer. As a successful businessman, my career depended on helping failing businesses develop quality leadership, sound fiscal policies, and strong morale to get them back on track.”
Jimy Tallal is a freelance writer at The Malibu Times newspaper. After losing her home in the Woolsey Fire Tallal wrote in part: “I’ll never forget: impromptu citizen fire brigades, volunteers bypassing roadblocks to bring in badly-needed supplies, and people doing whatever they could to help those (like us) who lost their homes. That’s what can happen when we work together, but that’s not what’s happening right now. Political infighting is driving us apart. With corporations eroding our neighborhoods, some of the least reliable utilities in the state, and outside agencies working against our interests, we need to establish better alliances.”
The Malibu Times reached out to Pierson and Farrer for comment on not seeking re-election. Farrer replied, “I have other plans for how I’ll be spending my time.” Pierson indicated he may respond at a later date.