City Council Members to Rotate Posts as Election Specifics Start Taking Shape
• Adding to Reward for Mountain Lion Poacher on Agenda
BY BILL KOENEKER
Some may call it the kick-off of the Malibu City Council campaign next week, others may claim the race has already started.
The city clerk has placed resolutions on next week's agenda for the council to set the date of April 10, 2012, for the upcoming municipal election.
Next week's agenda also calls for the council reorganization meeting, when the gavel will change hands from outgoing Mayor John Sibert to incoming Mayor Laura Rosenthal with Councilmember Lou La Monte tapped as the mayor pro tem.
Next April, there will be three seats open. Outgoing Mayor John Sibert is expected to run to keep his seat, as is Councilmember Jefferson Wagner. Councilmember Pamela Conley Ulich is termed out of office. Her seat will be up for grabs.
The staff report lays out the procedurals including a resolution calling for the election, setting the date for Tuesday, April 10, 2012, establishing the hours of the polls and setting the fees for poll workers. It is estimated the election will cost approximately $65,000, according to the staff report.
Another resolution before the council next week is rules for candidates' statements.
The first day of the period for nomination papers is Dec 19. The last day to call election for ballot measures is Jan. 13. The last day to file nomination papers as an extension if an incumbent fails to file is Jan. 18. The last day to cancel election for insufficient candidates is Jan. 26. The filing period for write-in candidates is Feb. 13 through March 27. Voters may request vote-by-mail ballots from March 12 to April 3. The last day to register to vote is March 26.
Two of the major items on the agenda next week include a request by Conley Ulich for the council to direct staff to bring back a resolution establishing a $5000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the death of a mountain lion in the Santa Monica Mountains.
On Sept. 11, a 7-year-old cougar, known to the National Park Service researchers as P-15 was found dead in a canyon near Newbury Park in Ventura County, according to the staff report.
The puma was one of several mountain lions in the region equipped with a GPS device that allowed NPS biologists to track their movements.
While the specific cause of death is still under investigation, Park Service officials state that the injuries to the lion were human-caused, leading them to believe that poachers killed the animal.
The City of Calabasas recently approved a $5000 reward to match earlier rewards offered by the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust. Other organizations are also offering rewards bringing the total current reward amount to $11,700.
According to the staff report, Malibu established a special reward fund and authorized the city council to offer rewards for information which leads to the arrest and conviction of a criminal.
"The code section states the city council may, by resolution, offer a reward for specific crimes committed in the city from the established fund. Although it does not appear this potential crime was committed in the city, Councilmember Conley Ulich is requesting the reward be established as it affects the entire Santa Monica Mountains area," states the staff report.
Also on tap, the city council is prepared to consider changing the appeal fee.
The planning staff is recommending changing the appeal fee from the current 25 percent of the original entitlement fees "minimum $1000, whichever is greater," to a flat fee of $500.
Planners offer several options from a flat fee of $1000 "to ensure hard costs are recovered," to a flat administrative fee for low to no cost recovery of $385 which staff is recommending should be subject to the consumer price index, if it is adopted or consider a two-tier appeal fee—for example $1000 for coastal permits and $500 for noncoastal permits.