Upcoming is Labor Day, the traditional end of summer, time for a beach picnic, a backyard barbeque, kick back and reflect, as I do on public radio 99.1 KBU and select websites.
If anything, it has been a Summer of discontent for my Malibu. There is of course the natural beauty that attracted us to this singular seacoast village, the benign climate, the beach, the mountains, space to breath. These are blessings.
However, creeping into the conversation among family and friends, the dog park crowd, in the social media and the KBU “real news” sanctuary, is an unease with what I perceive is the drift of local government.
For me the unease chills to the bone, even in this day and age of record temperatures. Fires are a constant concern, prompting my pointed opposition to the mindless (or is it Machiavellian) ) MRCA proposed campground atop Puerco Canyon, and a seemingly helpless city.
And what has the city’s paid State- wired consultant done for the millions of dollars, yes, millions, paid over the years, other than to make the occasional councilperson feel important in Sacramento or attending spurious conferences, padding their expenses accounts in the process?
Why isn’t someone kicking the MRCA’s fat ass? I don’t think giving him a Dolphin Award will help.
Meanwhile, there are other local concerns, most often voiced being the traffic, on the dreaded PCH. But also on secondary streets, leading to the beach and trail heads; the clutter and the crowds. And the city continues to twiddle its thumbs.
Why isn’t someone at City Hall riding full time herd 24/7 on Caltrans? And what has happened to the long promised traffic improvements on PCH. Or just the right turn lane at Trancas?
Then there are the once family friendly homes in our neighborhoods metamorphosing into second house trophies for the distant one percent, or weekend party pads rentals. And too bad about the parking, trash and noise. And the recent rash of petty car robberies have to be a concern.
Too bad also about the long promised new surface for our dog park. Dogs don’t vote anyway.
The list unfortunately goes on: the curbing of the misshapen mansionizations corrupting neighborhood character, and the misdirected legacy of Legacy Park, for which the city is to be billed a half a million dollars and no doubt more to redo. It is not nicknamed Lunacy Park for nothing.
You would think the open space deeded to the city could be amended to allow a ballfield there, maybe a skateboard park, a community garden, and a well designed dog park.
And, by the way, what has happened to plans for the recently acquired Trancas Field, paid for by the public for I assume public use and not someone’s front lawn? And what is going to happen to the city’s latest land purchases?
Meanwhile, City Hall is making more hires to do exactly what is not known beyond the usual bureaucratic babble, though, most likely there will be an increase in pay, perks and pensions. Yes, it high time for some oversight and perhaps an overhaul.
These are issues that should be raised by the city council candidates this election season, which traditionally heats up after Labor Day. Stay tuned.