Potential Council Candidates Start to Pull Nomination Papers
• Names that Will Be on the Ballot for April 10 Election Will Not Be Finalized until Jan. 18
BY BILL KOENEKER
The upcoming Malibu City Council election set for April 10 got off to an official start, as some candidates pulled papers, others made official announcements, a debate ensued between a potential candidate and a candidate, and already City Hall observers are speculating about possible slates, potential alignments and how this race could shape up to be like no other.
Activist, surfer and actor Andy Lyon was the first to pull nominating papers on Monday. Other candidates included incumbent Councilmember Jefferson Wagner, who had said he was pulling papers either Tuesday or Wednesday, and did so on Tuesday afternoon.
A dark horse candidate could be Hamish Patterson, also known as Malibu Hamish Illusion, whose series of videos are posted on YouTube.com.
Patterson, a skateboarder, pulled papers on Tuesday morning. says he got involved because of the skate park issue.
Current planning commissioner and former council member Joan House made the media rounds formally announcing her candidacy on Monday morning before arriving at City Hall on Tuesday to obtain her nominating papers.
Councilmember John Sibert has already filled out a notice of intent to collect campaign contributions, according to City Clerk Lisa Pope, but as of Tuesday afternoon had not picked up nomination papers.
Another potential candidate Missy Zeitsoff, who has been absent for years from Malibu but has rejoined the community and is expressing possible political intentions, called into question House's bid for a council seat.
"Why would House run for a fourth term, thus opposing the spirit, if not the legality, of the voters' double mandate [on term limits]?," Zeitsoff wrote in an email.
When asked that question, House said, "I am entitled to run for another term." She explained term limits were enacted after she had already served two terms in office.
"I completed one term and can run for one more term," she added.
House said her number one reason for running, "I love Malibu."
Zeitsoff, who served as a council member, said, "I would certainly be a one term council member, if elected in April 2012, as I would honor the vote in 2000, and in 2006. I already served one partial term, which is considered one of two terms in the Measure A. Maybe House forgot about the two ballot measures? I hope someone reminds her."
The nominating procedure is a formal process whereupon candidates must obtain the signatures of not less than 20 Malibu registered voters "nominating" the candidate for a position on the ballot. No more than 30 signatures may be obtained.
Next April, there will be three seats open. Councilmember John Sibert is expected to run to try 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.
Lyon would be a newcomer to government office or civic duty. His involvement with local politics stems from his opposition to the Malibu Lagoon restoration plan and he recently announced another issue would be the Civic Center septic prohibition and resultant sewer system.
Lyon, in the past, said he considered his citation for illegally breaching the berm at the lagoon a badge of honor in opposing the status quo.
When asked to comment about Lyon, Wagner, a fellow surfer, declined to speak other than to say he is not familiar with any of Lyon's platforms or issues nor did he know of any other civic work that Lyon might have done.
Lyon is best known nationally for a Subaru commercial, which his two daughters appear in as he plays the father sending his teenage daughter off on her first solo drive.
Various interviews with those who worked on the commercial say Lyon was asked to simply speak to his daughters first portrayed as a little girl, who emerges into the teenager.
His impromptu earnestness, so the story goes, caused the director to throw away the script
Wagner, however, was effusive in his praise for House, saying he did know about her history and was well aware of her popularity in the past elections in which she was top vote getter. He said he thinks she still has that same level of attractiveness to the voters.
Another surfer, who could possibly join Wagner and Lyon on the dais, is Skylar Peak, who said he is inclined to throw his hat in the ring.
That prompted talk by wags of a "Surfers Take Back Malibu," political campaign for 2012.
However, keen political observers say that the tense relationship between Wagner and Lyon precludes their working together.
Former council candidate Mike Sidley was asked last week, if he might give it another try. He said he had been thinking about it, but has been more inclined to not run.
Another planning commissioner John Mazza declined to talk about if he will try again for a council seat
The last date to file nomination papers for incumbents is Jan. 13, the last date for all others is Jan. 18. 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.