MALIBU DISTRICT ELECTIONS? 3.12.20

3.12.20

A couple of public hearings are upcoming in Malibu to air the question whether council elections should be changed from citywide to district: cue the cliché of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Actually, a more accurate adage would not be Malibu as a doomed ocean liner, but a leaky tug boat maneuvered by an overpaid, underachieving city manager, and servile crew, hauling an overloaded barge of mostly inept bureaucrats and unctuous consultants.

One wonders what this self serving gaggle really does besides put out labored press releases to a maladroit local media, while coddling select self serving, self aggrandizing city council members, though well intentioned a few might have been when elected or anointed.

However its council is structured, what the municipal conceit and construct of Malibu really needs sooner rather than later is an investigation of uncompromising, oversight by the State Comptroller or an independent task force, hopefully resulting in recommendations for a more responsible, responsive self government.

For that to happen and not be corrupted, the present city council must snap out of its stupor, however promulgated by the city manager, assert itself, and show Reva Feldman the door.  This should have been done immediately following her failures during the disastrous Woolsey Fire and fumbling the ReBuild, followed by a host of other mismanagements. But better late than never.

If not, by this council or the next, or I fear Malibu will just continue to be compromised by special interests catered to by a willfully ignorant City Hall.

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hallkaplan

Parallel careers as an urban planner and a journalist, principally at present airing commentaries on pubic radio 99.1 KBU.FM The many arrows in my quiver have included Emmy award winning reporter/ producer for local Fox Television News, design critic for the Los Angeles Times, urban affairs reporter for The New York Times, an editor of The New York Post, contributor to various popular and professional publications, news services and broadcast outlets, including Reuters, NET, NBC, CBS, NPR and the BBC. Founding editor of the East Harlem (NY) Independent. A diversity of professional positions and consultancies in the private and public sectors, (Metro, Disney Imagineering, Howard Hughes, M. Milken, NYC Educational Construction Fund, US Comptroller of the Currency etc,) assorted academic appointments (UCLA, USC, CCNY, Art Center etc.), and always open to new challenge. And let us not forget fashioning sand castles and acting on 90210, crafting TV docs, design reviews, master plans. Books: "The Dream Deferred: People, Politics and Planning in Suburbia," "L.A. Lost and Found," an architectural history of Los Angeles, "L.A. Follies," a collection of essays, and co-author of "The New York City Handbook." Writings have appeared in academic texts, commentaries on the web, scripts for TV, and wherever, latest the Architects Newspaper, The Planning Report and Planetizen.