Meet the candidates for Malibu City Council

The most important choice on the Nov. 3 ballot might just be who to send to the City Council. After all, this five-member body has more say in the day-to-day life of Malibu residents than any elected official — even if their day-to-day doings don’t inflame passion like others in higher office.

Are you even registered to vote? Check your registration status here.

Three council seats are up for grabs, including that of incumbent Rick Mullen, who, along with seven others — all men — qualified for the ballot.

We asked them some questions.

What follows are their responses.

 

1. Full name: Mark P. Wetton

2. Age: 61

3. Occupation: Consultant

4. Spouse/partner: Elisabeth C. Wetton

5. Any children? Samantha, 29; Patrick, 25; Madison, 25

6. Community group/city affiliations: Former chairman of the Malibu Parks and Recreation Commission; member of Arson Watch; member of the Malibu West Volunteer Fire Brigade.

7. How long have you lived in Malibu? 1978-81; 1998-present

8. Why are you running for Malibu City Council? I am running for City Council to improve public safety, protect the environment and save/enhance our sense of community.

9. When we say parking in Malibu, you say? Parking in Malibu is a mess. Correcting this is part of my public safety platform. We need to take back our city from visitors who don’t feel obligated to follow our ordinances. We need to tighten parking regulations to discourage overnight parking and camping along PCH and provide a safe parking lot for people who are currently “unhoused” so that we can enforce our ordinances. Parking fines should be increased to provide a stronger deterrent to illegal parking.

10. What is your stance on short-term rentals? I am in favor of a strong ordinance regulating STRs. The ordinance currently being considered by the city is very strong and I support it. I would support a few small tweaks in the final version.

11. The Malibu Chamber of Commerce is the bridge between the people and businesses to form a tight, thriving community. How would you empower the Chamber of Commerce to drive the community to new heights? In my view the Chamber of Commerce could use an injection of creativity to boost its effectiveness. I think it does a decent job connecting businesses to each other but needs to find better ways to help drive traffic to our local merchants, which is what they really need. I think we can do a better job of making the city more business friendly. I believe they have done a good job on providing relief during COVID-19, especially relative to adding outdoor seating for restaurants. That said, on a go-forward basis, the city should do all it can to streamline permitting for remodels and improvements. If elected, I’ll bring forward specific proposals to encourage our small businesses to stay around. These businesses are the fabric of our community. Creating economic zones that provide for percentage based leases vs. fixed or triple net type leases is one idea.

12. Parting words: If elected, I will do everything in my power to deliver on my platform. I want to protect the environment from overdevelopment, unnecessary toxins and single-use plastics that end up in the ocean. Create a safer PCH by reducing speeds, increasing parking regulations, reducing noise by enforcing aftermarket exhaust laws and getting an efficient towing program back on track. We can’t forget improving efforts in the area of fire safety and general disaster preparedness. Let’s protect and enhance our sense of community with more funding for the arts and recreation. We all know that the city’s budget will be strained for the foreseeable future due to lack of revenue caused by the Woolsey Fire and now COVID-19, but where there is a will there is a way. I will propose public/private partnerships and use outside funding to get the projects done. Why not? Universities and other institutions do it, why not the city of Malibu?

On the web: wetton2020.com

 

1. Full name: Rick Mullen

2. Age: 

3. Occupation: Fire captain, L.A. County Fire Department

4. Spouse/partner: Jenny Ball

5. Any children? Marshall 26, Tatiana 18

6. Community group/city affiliations: Former president, Paradise Cove Homeowners Association; former president, Ramirez Canyon Association; former Malibu Public Safety Commission member; present City Council member

7. How long have you lived in Malibu? 

8. Why are you running for Malibu City Council? To continue to support Malibu’s Mission Statement and keep Malibu the wonderful place it is.

9. When we say parking in Malibu, you say? Parking in Malibu has gotten worse for visitors since the “Boise decision” has resulted in many vehicles parking long term on PCH and restricting public access to the beach. This is a big challenge.

10. What is your stance on short-term rentals? Short-term rentals are not just a Malibu problem, they are a worldwide problem. There is a solution to managing the problems and we have learned from the experiences and legal expenditures of other municipalities.

11. The Malibu Chamber of Commerce is the bridge between the people and businesses to form a tight, thriving community. How would you empower the Chamber of Commerce to drive the community to new heights? Running a business in Malibu is a difficult proposition and the Chamber of Commerce is a good resource for businesses. The city has a good working relationship with the chamber best emulated by the State of the City event hosted annually. The chamber does not need to be empowered by the city – but the city is smart to, and does, have a good working relationship with the Chamber of Commerce. It is a cooperative relationship.

12. Parting words: I respect all of my fellow candidates for being willing to step up and serve Malibu and I wish them the best of luck in their campaign during these challenging times. I also thank the residents of Malibu for trusting me to serve on the council and hopefully my actions over the last four years have given you the confidence to trust me again.

 

1. Full name: Paul Grisanti

2. Age: 67

3. Occupation: Real estate broker

4. Spouse/partner: Married to Sara C. Grisanti since 1988

5. Any children? Katie, mother of our younger grandchildren Autumn and Julian; Scott; Ashley, mother of our older grandchildren Morgan and Hunter

6. Community group/city affiliations: 16 years on the Malibu Public Works Commission; Community Emergency Resource Team; Malibu West Fire Brigade; Arson Watch (still waiting for full membership); Government affairs director for the Malibu Chamber of Commerce for the last three years; Malibu Association of Realtors government affairs; charter member of the Kiwanis Club of Malibu (motto Serving the Community and its Youth) and active for 29 years; Crest Club executive board

7. How long have you lived in Malibu? I moved to Malibu in January of 1978 and have lived here continuously with the exception of six months in Westwood (huge mistake) after the Corral Canyon Fire.

8. Why are you running for Malibu City Council? I have been involved in the city since its inception. I ran for office 30 years ago as one of 30 candidates (unsuccessfully) and then spent the next year as a member of the original General Plan Task Force, where I produced the official minutes for all 24 of the area meetings. Since that time I have attended the majority of the City Council meetings and spoken often. About 16 years ago, Jeff Jennings appointed me to the Public Works Commission. When he was termed out Lou LaMonte appointed me to Public Works for all eight of his years in office. Most recently Karen Farrer appointed me to Public Works about two years ago. In about 2011 City Manager Jim Thorson appointed me to the District 29 Task Force which studied our water system and produced a 600+ page report of the system and the necessary repairs. The work we identified was finally started after Woolsey and I would like to keep the pressure on to move forward on the necessary projects. We have gradually lost complete control of summer traffic. I want to support a further expansion of Volunteers on Patrol to help our sheriff’s deputies educate our visitors about the necessity of obeying traffic and parking laws in Malibu. Identifying a temporary tow yard site would help. We need a workable solution for our homeless and RV campers problems and I look forward to working on them. Looking forward to the completion of the Malibu High and Jr High projects and eager to help with the school district separation project.

9. When we say parking in Malibu, you say? Ticket and tow them. Our parking tickets are obviously too cheap.

10. What is your stance on short-term rentals? We need the capability to put problem properties out of business. I have been advocating for a code enforcement officer to be available to meet the sheriff’s deputies after hours on weekends. No one wants to call in a complaint to the city and be told that a code enforcement officer will contact them Monday morning after the troublemakers have all gone home. We need to declare problem properties as « attractive nuisance » and make it impossible to continue in the business.

11. The Malibu Chamber of Commerce is the bridge between the people and businesses to form a tight, thriving community. How would you empower the Chamber of Commerce to drive the community to new heights? The chamber has been looking to partner with the city on many issues, including an accelerated program to permit tenant improvements. It’s not easy to start a business here. No one wants to pay rent and be unable to open for six months or more as permitting or a trip to the Planning Commission drags on and on.

12. Parting words: Malibu is still the best place in the world.

On the web: paul4malibu2020.com

 

1. Full name: Steve Uhring

2. Age: 73

3. Occupation: Retired

4. Spouse/partner: Marcia Rybak

5. Any children? None

6. Community group/city affiliations: Malibu Planning Commission; Malibu Community Alliance (former president); Malibu Coastal Land Conservancy; President, Malibu Community Action

Network.

7. How long have you lived in Malibu? 26 years

8. Why are you running for Malibu City Council? I am running because I want to help our City Council make better decisions. I believe we need to do a better job of protecting our environment and rural character and I am certain we need to bring back a respect for the quality of life of our residents. I was promoted to senior executive positions in the companies I worked for because I learned to work as a team, listen to facts and make decisions that had a demonstrable positive impact on whatever was being acted upon. I can do the same for Malibu. If you know me, you know that I have been active in protecting our environment. I led the charge to stop a shopping center on Legacy Park and instead helped raise $500,000 to buy the land; and I was on the team that created the Dark Sky Ordinance, among other efforts. As a Planning Commission member I have seen the quality of life in Malibu slipping away. We ignore the rules, we play favorites, we pass ordinances without any enforcement, homeless encampments fill our highways and short-term rentals destroy our neighborhoods. Those problems are not insurmountable, We just have to have the willpower to fix them. If that is what you want, give me your vote this November.

9. When we say parking in Malibu, you say? Too Much: The Homeless RVs parked along PCH need to be resolved. The campers dumping sewage on our beaches is a health hazard and the permanently

parked RVs conflict with the Coastal Commission’s mandate to provide visitor access to the beaches and ocean.

Not Enough: The traffic congestion in front of Nobu and Soho on PCH is unacceptable. Another Planning Commission member and I met with Nobu and Soho

management to discuss a plan where employees and potentially some customers would park in a lot in the Civic Center and a shuttle would take them to restaurants on PCH. This concept is currently successfully deployed in Laguna and could work not only for Nobu and Soho but for other establishments along PCH. Nobu and Soho agreed, the Chamber of Commerce agreed so we took the idea to City Hall. Since that time we have seen no action on the part of the city.

10. What is your stance on short-term rentals? I agree with the city’s plan to create a short-term rental ordinance that mirrors the Santa Monica home share ordinance. In short, the homeowner is required to be on-site during the rental. After numerous short-term rental presentations at the Planning Commission and City Council it is clear that the presence of the homeowner significantly reduces complaints.

11. The Malibu Chamber of Commerce is the bridge between the people and businesses to form a tight, thriving community. How would you empower the

Chamber of Commerce to drive the community to new heights? Have the chamber highlight one successful Malibu Business per month at a City Council meeting. Provide funding to allow the chamber to host a monthly CEO speaker series to keep businesses up to date on the latest business and marketing trends. Help the chamber promote member businesses to the local community, encouraging residents to shop at stores that enhance the local economy.

12. Parting words: The residents I talk to are concerned with how quickly the “Malibu Quality of Life” is disappearing. They hope the next City Council can provide some workable solutions in areas like traffic, homeless issues and rising crime in our community.

On the web: facebook.com/steve.uhring

 

1. Full name: Andy Lyon

2. Age: 57

3. Occupation: Residential Realtor

4. Spouse/partner: 

5. Any children? Oliver, 30; Jake, 30; Lanna, 27; Georgie, 15; Glider, almost 3

6. Community group/city affiliations: Steward for Surfrider Beach World Surf Reserve. Was on the civic center design task force and Wastewater Advisory Committee.

7. How long have you lived in Malibu? Lifelong Malibu resident

8. Why are you running for Malibu City Council? I find the state of our town/city, that I have called home my entire life, so unacceptable that I can’t sit back another election cycle and watch as the situation worsens with no real say as a lifelong resident.

9. When we say parking in Malibu, you say? No overnight camping on city streets. No beachfront free RV parking. Parking meters if that’s what it takes on certain stretches of the highway.

10. What is your stance on short-term rentals? You could have a horrible long-term tenant, you could have a great short-term tenant. With self check-in, no vetting and no security deposit, you don’t know what you’re getting. I personally don’t own a rental unit, and I imagine if I did, that if I was being respectful and was on top of things, I wouldn’t want someone to blanket tell me I can’t. The on-site formula doesn’t work for all people if they don’t have a guest house or unit they are renting. Strict rules with a mandatory security/ neighbor nuisance deposit might be something to look at. But if these are corporate-owned homes acting like hotels … no thanks. 

11. The Malibu Chamber of Commerce is the bridge between the people and businesses to form a tight, thriving community. How would you empower the Chamber of Commerce to drive the community to new heights? Is the chamber really the bridge between people and businesses, or businesses and the city of Malibu? Does the chamber have their own agenda and vision of what Malibu should be? More stores, more shopping, more businesses, more members, more memberships? I’m not sure. Who are the “people” they are bridging? I’d like to empower them in the area of focusing on resident needs above visitor needs. But speaking with the incoming president, my understanding is that they are not getting a lot of support from the city right now, which is surprising to me. The chamber should be allowed to use the Zuma room in City Hall to have membership meetings at least, since I was told they have to rent a space and tap into the city notifications network. In the past when I ran, the chamber was very much the “outside interest” organization, in my opinion, with not a lot of residents involved. That, I hope, could change with more local businesses serving locals. That will need help from the city for sure. 

12. Parting words: Malibu is at a critical time right now with some serious problems coming up the highway. It’s time to draw a line in the sand, not stick our heads into it. Status quo at City Hall has got us to this point with the same behind-the-curtains players running the show … into the ground. It’s time to turn this ship around. I’m ready to take the helm.

On the web: facebook.com/andy.lyon.14

 

1. Full name: Lance Robert Simmens

2. Age: 67

3. Occupation: Retired

4. Spouse/partner: My wife passed away 8 years ago

5. Any children? Christopher, 28; Nicholas, 26

6. Community group/city affiliations: Vice president, Malibu Democratic Club; member of Malibu Community Emergency Response Team; Vice chair, Malibu Public Works Commission; “From the Left” columnist, Malibu Times

7. How long have you lived in Malibu? 5 years

8. Why are you running for Malibu City Council? I have always given back to my community, even while I was spending nearly four decades as a public servant, a public policy analyst, author, adjunct professor and political activist. I want to employ the policy, political and intergovernmental affairs skills I have amassed over a four-decade professional career.

9. When we say parking in Malibu, you say? We need more. Parking has two special functions in our modern-day existence along a highway (PCH) that cuts through our community: first, we need to eliminate parking along PCH except for residents due to public safety concerns; second, we need to establish a safe parking zone to accommodate increasing numbers of homeless people occupying PCH. I believe that to accommodate visitors who have every right to take advantage of our incredibly beautiful resources we should identify parking facilities and institute a shuttle service to the beach. 

10. What is your stance on short-term rentals? I think there is a tricky balance between the rights of property owners to utilize their properties in order to continue to live here and protect the neighbors who may be subjected to raucous disturbances at all hours of the day by bad actors who may simply want to live out a beach fantasy for all their friends. City Council has been wrestling with this for many years and I have been outspoken in City Council meetings about the concept of accountability being the foundation for a solution. I advanced several years ago restrictions which basically stipulated two strikes and you’re out, protection of parking congestion, which is a premium in many neighborhoods, and a system where complaints can be dealt with swiftly and effectively. I think that we are very close to having a reasonable compromise that incorporates all of these restrictions.

11. The Malibu Chamber of Commerce is the bridge between the people and businesses to form a tight, thriving community. How would you empower the Chamber of Commerce to drive the community to new heights? Small businesses are struggling with the economic restrictions that have beset our community due to the Pandemic and the Woolsey fire. We have a community that is struggling with the necessary precautions that have been implemented by the state government. But even more impactful is the reluctance of those to engage in what were once considered “normal” activities,

like dining out, even when restrictions are lifted. The federal government stepped up and provided PPP assistance to many, not all, small businesses but we are now at a point where long-term demand may be stifled for some time. We need to work closely with the Chamber of Commerce to support those who wish to stick it out and incentivize those willing to come to our community. It is and will continue to be a daunting problem but one that could be discussed in the Citizens’ Visioning Commission I have proposed to identify issues that are important to our community.

12. Parting words: I have proposed a series of long-term visions for our community, a Visioning Commission led by citizens from across a wide spectrum of issue areas in Malibu; a re-design of Pacific Coast Highway that will increase public safety, curb speeding, and present both aesthetic and environmental improvements such as cleaner air, less traffic noise and reduced run-off into the ocean; aggressive restrictions on the use of rodenticides; the creation of a fire reserve corps program similar to the National Guard devoted to fully trained and certified firefighters; a pilot project to underground electrical utilities; and a public dialogue on governmental structural reform. The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step and I want to position Malibu as a visionary community that is protecting future generations. It is big-think and never too early to start moving forward on our future. Of course we can do this while tending to the immediate issues that must be addressed as well, not the least being severe budgetary and financial issues at City Hall. I bring no BS and no baggage to the position of City Councilman, only a deep and dedicated commitment to those who will inherit the society and environment we leave them.

On the web: lsimmens.com

 

1. Full name: Doug Stewart

2. Age: 72

3. Occupation: Businessman

4. Spouse/partner: Sharon

5. Any children? One adult son, Doug Jr.

6. Community group/city affiliations: Vice chair of the Malibu Public Safety Commission; member of Malibu Community Emergency Response Team; currently president, previously treasurer or vice president of Malibu Pacifica HOA.

7. How long have you lived in Malibu? Over 20 years

8. Why are you running for Malibu City Council? During my over 20 years of living in Malibu, I have developed a deep love for this close-knit community, as well as Malibu’s one-of-a-kind nature and beauty. Between the Woolsey fire and the COVID-19 pandemic, our city has now faced two major crises within the last 18 months. Not only is there a near certainty for a financial crisis in the months ahead, but it is almost inevitable that we will also see another fire or natural disaster in our near-term future. With immense challenges headed our way, Malibu City Council must have the “best hands on deck” to bring their skills and expertise to lead us in a positive direction. Protecting and preserving the things that we love most by preparing for whatever might come next is what compelled me to run for office. I am certain that my decades of experience in finance and budget management, as well as leadership roles on Malibu’s Public Safety Commission, has prepared me to expertly serve our city.

9. When we say parking in Malibu, you say? What a mess especially when we are packed with visitors. We need to write more tickets for the violators, raise the fines to the point that it helps to deter the bad parking habits, and have tow trucks at the ready when the violators are presenting a hazard to public safety. This is a high priority to many of our Malibu constituents and these are issues that we are working on right now in the Public Safety Commission where I am the vice chair.

10. What is your stance on short-term rentals? Whatever law or regulations Malibu establishes is only the first step in the short-term rental equation. The important part is how we enforce these rules. We should have continual, dedicated code enforcement officers who physically inspect the properties, ensure compliance, promptly respond to complaints, and assist in checking for non-permitted operators. The funding for these code enforcers should come from the permit fees paid each year by the STR owners. No neighbor should have to wait for an STR problem to be resolved. Additionally, the city should limit its STR approval to only what the consensus is for the extent of licensing including how many days a year the property may be rented out. But in no case should the city allow corporate-owned properties or non-primary residences to be used as STRs in my opinion.

11. The Malibu Chamber of Commerce is the bridge between the people and businesses to form a tight, thriving community. How would you empower the Chamber of Commerce to drive the community to new heights? The Chamber is the advocate and facilitator for businesses to thrive in Malibu and other communities around the country. The Malibu city government has to be the equal and willing helping hand to both the chamber and its business members by being an advocate and facilitator as well as providing prompt constituency support. Yes, we have millions of visitors each year and we have to assist and promote our businesses to thrive with these out-of-town clients. However, we have to take care of our local merchant owners and our residents as they are our first and foremost constituents. It is in our mutual best interest for the city to have an eagerness to say yes to what is proper to support our businesses, but we have to always remember to protect our locals and our city.

12. Parting words: In early June, our city of Malibu came to realize how hard our city’s finances have been hit. The Woolsey fire, COVID and now our budget crisis are the types of disasters that are often referred to as Black Swan events in business planning. These are events that are thought of as only one in a million possibility of occurring, but when they do, everybody says we should have seen it coming. And it is highly likely that a natural disaster could be the next black swan for us as well. Today our Malibu is facing the worst financial crisis in its nearly 30-year history. This is the time to bring the competent and experienced leadership to the task so that we can get through this and remain the wonderful place we all call home. It won’t be easy, but it does require those who know what to do and will make it happen. It is for reasons like this that I am a candidate and am asking the residents of Malibu to vote for me, Doug Stewart, as I am ready to take on the tasks as their City Council member.

On the web: stewart4malibu.com

 

1. Full name: Bruce Lee Silverstein

2. Age: 59

3. Occupation: Attorney / legal consultant

4. Spouse/partner: Mindy Silverstein

5. Any children? Louis Silverstein, 33; Nolan Silverstein, 31

6. Community group/city affiliations: Operation Recovery (steering committee member); Malibu Township Council (member); Malibu Democratic Club (member); Malibu Coalition for Slow Growth (supporter); Sierra Club (member). I also was active providing guidance to the Malibu Foundation when it was first formulating its plans to be of help to members of the community who lost their homes in the Woolsey Fire.

7. How long have you lived in Malibu? 9 years in October

8. Why are you running for Malibu City Council? The Woolsey Fire was a devastating disaster. On Dec. 10, 2018, I attended the first regular meeting of Malibu City Council following the Woolsey Fire. I expected to witness the council members in full exigency mode, working to help the community in the aftermath of the fire. Instead, I witnessed 90 minutes of ceremonial platitudes and self-congratulations that were an insult to the community. I spoke out against the charade at that meeting, and I followed with an onslaught of public criticism (both constructive and negative) designed to generate a public discussion and reform. Following the Woolsey Fire, I conceived, created, organized, and led the Lawyer Project of Operation Recovery; we were able to help hundreds of Malibu residents obtain superior legal representation at unprecedentedly discounted prices (all contingent on a recovery). I devoted hundreds of hours to the Lawyer Project, and I did so without any compensation of any sort — and with a promise that I would not accept compensation if offered to me. When Malibu City Council was considering the city’s budget following the Woolsey Fire, the city manager initially projected $2.6 million in revenue from fees for rebuilding permits for homes destroyed in the Woolsey Fire. Through Operation Recovery, I spearheaded an initiative to prevail upon City Council to waive those fees — which the city manager and some members of City Council initially opposed (and now pat themselves on the back for approving). I also fought City Hall on various environmental matters, including two matters I appealed to the Coastal Commission to prevent destruction of environmentally sensitive habitat. I also advocated various reforms, including pressing City Council to exert greater authority over the city manager and city staff. Because of my public activism, many Malibu residents — including current and former members of City Council and city commissions — urged me to run for City Council. Ultimately, and with more than a bit of trepidation, I agreed to throw my hat into the ring. I did so out of a sense of civic obligation and not because of any personal desire. The current members of City Council were elected before the Woolsey Fire “woke” us to the reality that they are ceremonial leaders, whose main qualification is that they are the friends of many voters. Making matters worse, the city manager, city attorney and almost all of Malibu’s city staff are non-residents, who lack the personal perspective of the residents of our small community. That is why the City Council rarely acts contrary to a “staff recommendation” that often conflicts with the wishes of the community. That is why many residents are dissatisfied with City Hall. Today, Malibu’s unique environment, natural beauty, and calming serenity are under assault by commercial developers, transient visitors and a growing homeless population. Crime, traffic, and littered streets and beaches are on the rise. The omnipresent threat of wildfire, earthquakes and other disasters looms large. And the double-punch of the Woolsey Fire and COVID-19 pandemic have left the city’s bloated budget battered and bruised. The ceremonial members of City Council simply are not up to the task of dealing with these issues. Before becoming a community activist for Malibu, I practiced law for more than 30 years and was once identified as one of the top 500 lawyers in the country. I have substantial experience drafting laws, construing laws, and resolving complex disputes that require novel solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems — the same type of work required of members of City Council. Remarkably, City Council has not had a member who is a lawyer for more than a decade. It is not enough that Malibu employs a city attorney. It is important for City Council to have at least one member who is a lawyer to, among other things, serve as a check and balance on the city attorney; ask informed questions of the city attorney or other outside lawyers; aid and assist the city attorney and other lawyers when the need arises. That is why there is at least one member of City Council who is a lawyer in each of Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Camarillo, Laguna Beach, Los Angeles, Oxnard, Pasadena, San Diego, Santa Monica, Thousand Oaks, Ventura, West Hollywood, Westlake Village and Woodland Hills, among other places. No other candidate for City Council has this experience, and no other candidate for City Council has a proven track record of “speaking truth to power.” That is why I am running for Malibu City Council. I Won’t Back Down!

9. When we say parking in Malibu, you say? “Frustrating.” Not only parking, but also traffic is frustrating in Malibu — especially on weekends and holidays, and even more so on summer weekends, when most residents have learned it may be best to stay at home and off the roads as much as practicable. Public parking is nearly impossible to find in many parts of Malibu when transient visitors descend on our small town. Ironically, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the parking and traffic problems in Malibu, as shopping malls, movie theaters and other places that people would go in “normal” times are closed, and beaches and hiking trails are among the few places that are open to the public. Most vehicles parked on our streets belong to transient motorists who visit Malibu to enjoy our beaches, hiking trails and other local amenities. One way to free up parking for Malibu residents may be to adopt an ordinance that would restrict or limit parking in certain areas without a parking sticker that could be issued to residents (as is done in many neighborhoods in Santa Monica). In addition to freeing up parking for residents, an ordinance that would restrict or limit parking on our streets without a parking sticker could increase revenue to Malibu from transient visitors if it is combined with a local tax for parking fees paid at existing privately owned parking lots. This revenue source would come entirely from non-residents, except for the rare instance in which a Malibu resident might need to park in a private beach lot — and even that potential cost to Malibu residents might be offset by some form of “tax credit” for residents for any parking tax paid in Malibu. I suspect there are other creative solutions to the parking and traffic issues that I am not smart enough to figure out on my own. As a member of Malibu City Council, I will put my head together with other members, as well as members of city staff and any resident who may offer a creative solution. As the saying goes, two heads are better than one, and multiple heads can be downright powerful.

10. What is your stance on short-term rentals? My stance on short-term-rentals is that the community has spoken, loudly and repeatedly, and the time has come to give the community the law it has demanded and has been promised. The law should be adopted as a general ordinance of the city of Malibu, it should not be submitted for approval by the Coastal Commission, and it should go into operation ASAP. After that, it also will be incumbent upon the city to enforce the law, and not turn a blind eye to a tax revenue producing criminal enterprise.

11. The Malibu Chamber of Commerce is the bridge between the people and businesses to form a tight, thriving community. How would you empower the Chamber of Commerce to drive the community to new heights? If our local businesses are to stand a chance while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to plague our community and into the post-COVID-19 world of the future, it is essential that the city work closely with the Malibu Chamber of Commerce and other organizations whose purpose is to facilitate the success of local business. Among other things, it will be important to jointly explore all sorts of initiatives that will have the combined effects of reducing the costs of doing business in Malibu and increasing the benefits of doing so. Emphasis must be placed on local family-owned businesses, and not on national chains that maintain over-priced trophy stores in Malibu. Presumably, the Malibu Chamber of Commerce will serve as an important partner in the effort to help the local business community recover and thrive. The Malibu Chamber of Commerce is an engine for helping propel local business forward. As a member of City Council, I will make it a priority to become more knowledgeable about this important component of the local business community, so that I can learn about ways in which the city may be able to help local businesses recover and prosper.

12. Parting words: The 2020 election for Malibu City Council may be the most critical election since City Council was first created a quarter century ago. Neither the current members of City Council nor the city manager are up to the task of dealing with these difficult issues — as evidenced by the fact the problems identified above have only been exacerbated on their watch. There are five seats on Malibu City Council, and three of them are up for grabs in the 2020 election. That means that Malibu’s residents will have an opportunity to elect a new majority of City Council this year. Five of the candidates are cheerleaders and apologists for the city manager and the status quo. Three of the candidates are running on a platform of change and reform. It is easy to discern the difference. Just look who has the support of the “establishment” and who is running to disrupt the status quo. I am decidedly for change and reform, as reflected by my platform.

On the web: brucesilverstein.org

 

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