Can we talk? Really, for it seems nearly everyone with a passing concern for Malibu wants to talk, specifically and not humorously, about the last City Council meeting,
“Exasperating” was the one of the kinder word heard to describe the meeting. That was in reaction to the words upon words that flowed from the dais past Midnight, from what appeared to be conflicted and confused councilpersons and servile city staff.
The votes recorded and the actions notwithstanding, the deliberations I and others witnessed was marked by rambling remarks, self-serving statements, and contradictory comments. In a word, embarrassing, and so I comment on public radio 97.5 KBU and select websites.
Those who actually attended the meeting to or near the bitter end left disappointed, even those who seemingly got the vote they wanted concerning preserving Bluffs Park.
Those watching it at home, as I was, said they turned it off at some point, or fell asleep, as did their pets. Mine did.
For political observers, the meeting also was a vivid demonstration of that infamous mathematical formula being cited more and more these dog days, from the White House to State Houses, to local Civic Centers, which is: Public service equals megalomania divided by paranoia.
Here in Malibu, the lame ducks on the council need to lower and limit their quacking, and the so-called reform slate frankly needs to be reformed, or simply better prepped.
Perhaps their comments should be limited to 3 minutes, at the public meeting, as they do for residents in the audience wanting to speak. That also should apply to the many lawyers and lobbyists that haunt City Hall who seem to talk on and on.
Meanwhile, isn’t there some sort of instructional orientation offered to neophyte office holders by one of Southern California ‘s many academic institutes? For City Hall personnel as well?
If not, there certainly should be, staffed by astute former legislators, enlightened educators and experienced journalists. There should be a few around. This I feel could be a legitimate expense, as opposed to, say, the many self congratulating, glad handing good government association get-a ways that several of our council members seem to love to attend.
As had been suggested previously, perhaps it is time for the city to consider an independent ombudsman, for oversight, or some sort of ad hoc citizens committee to monitor the city’s governance. Formation might be tough.
But expressing hope over experience. I like to think there are some knowledgeable residents who would come forward to volunteer their expertise. But can City Hall handle it?
I note that our big city sister to the south, Santa Monica, recently created an ad hoc committee of residents to review the cost and effectiveness of the city’s government.
Talk about poking a hornet’s nest with a stick.