In that thin strip of a seaside rural village labeled Malibu where I live, the struggle continues to nurture an idiosyncratic identity., and the subject of my latest KBU commentary
No, I am not referring to Measure W, and whether the city should impose constraints on proposed development in its fractured civic center.
As I have commented in the past, planning and development in Malibu has been politically vulnerable, bureaucratically bungled, and frankly haphazard. Major surgery is needed. Not band aids.
More critical and immediate in my opinion is the future of our public school, whether enough signatures can be collected by November First to advance the drive for a separate school district. 4,500 signatures are needed.
The group known as AMPS, advocates for Malibu Public Schools, will be circulating petitions for signatures all this week and next weekend at the shopping centers. Or you can sign on–line. Just contact them at www.ampsmalibu.org. or call 310 734 2021.
The 20 miles of beaches may lend Malibu an identity; the ocean sunsets a touch of romanticism; the backdrop of mountains drama; a resident celebrity a hint of enigma.
But it is the public schools, Webster, the Point, Cabrillo, Malibu middle and senior highs, that are the soul of the city, where one senses its egalitarian spirit. Democracy perseveres here.
Yes, there are problems– I like to think of them as challenges –but more pervasive is their vitality.
My opinion is Influenced by being a parent of four children who all attended public schools, be it in New York, Santa Monica, or for the last several decades, Malibu.
Wherever, the schools were integral to our sense of community.
They were our principle concern; their ranking, their scores, the buzz among parents: All weighed heavily in finding homes in select neighborhoods. In our case, it was north of Wilshire, 30 plus year ago, Point Dume nearly 20 years ago..
Beyond the personal, there are many reasons for an independent Malibu School District:
It will prompt local accountability.
No longer will Malibu be a step child to Santa Monica, separated by a long stretch of the PCH.
No longer will Malibu at best be represented by only one member on the local school board.
And studies have shown that it will actually improve the financing of both districts: NO increase in tax burdens for either city; NO increases in school operating costs
A separate Malibu School District also should have a special appeal to the real estate community, the exclusivity giving them yet another sales point. It most certainly can be expected to give prices a boost.
It’s a rare win win for all, especially the children.