Seven Candidates for Three Seats Respond to MSN Questionnaire
2012 Malibu City Council Campaign—Part One
All of the Malibu City Council candidates on the April 10 ballot were asked to respond to a questionnaire from the Malibu Surfside News.
The first series of questions and answers are published in this week's issue, and the rest of the questions will be published in the March 22, March 29 and April 5 issues.
The questionnaire is an effort to provide prospective voters with an opportunity to compare all of the candidates' responses simultaneously.
The responses appear in alphabetical order for easy cross reference. Aspiring city council members were asked to be succinct, but were not restricted to a set word limit.
A brief biography provided by the candidate precedes this week's questions.
Age 73. I have lived in Malibu for 37 years. We lived in West Los Angeles prior to moving to Malibu. We live in the Paradise Cove/ Escondido Beach Area. I work part-time as a small business administrator for Kenneth M. House, M.D. Ph.D. Inc.
I came home to a house one block from the ocean in San Diego on April 14, 1957. I have lived in Malibu continuously for 15 years, and lived near Marina del Rey before that. My schoolteacher wife of 31 years, Diane, and I rebuilt a shabby fixer-upper with our own hands on the hill above Trancas. We didn't inherit our piece of Malibu, we worked damn hard to get here.
I have a B.A. in journalism from the University of Arizona (1982), an M.A. from Cal State Northridge (1995) and a Juris Doctorate from Ventura College of Law (2009).
I have worked as a professional journalist for 40 years, including 25 years in Los Angeles television news wars. I was an Emmy-winning news editor at KTLA, CBS News, and CBS2, then news operations manager at KTLA and ABC7.
I left TV to become a journalism professor via studying law, but journalism is nowadays a terrible career choice. I now work as the weekend news editor at City News Service, I take freelance jobs from LA TV stations, and I work on freelance environmental law issues.
Age 49. I have four kids ages 22, 21, 18, and 7. I have lived in Malibu my whole life. I am a third generation Malibu resident. I grew up across the street from the old animal hospital on Malibu Road. I currently live near Winding Way East on Pacific Coast Hwy.
I am a Realtor with Pritchett-Rapf Real Estate and also pursue an acting career. I have a few commercials running, most notably the Subaru spot with my two daughters that was nominated for an Emmy.
My parents moved me here as teenager in 1986. In 1994, I moved to Oregon where I published a novel, and was heavily involved with municipal water issues in Portland. In the late nineties, I moved to Milford Pennsylvania where I managed the third oldest dude ranch in America, which ironically is called the Malibu Dude Ranch. I returned to Malibu in 2002, where I have lived ever since.
Went to Culver Military Academy prep school. Graduated from Samohi Class of 1987. Studied environmental chemistry, NAU.
Work History: Resort manager, retail, counselor, carpenter, concrete cutter, copy machine technician, caterer, writer and YouTube sensation.
I am a third-generation resident of Malibu. My grandparents settled here in the 1950s and my grandmother Phyllis still lives here.
I am a graduate of Malibu schools, St. Aidan's to Juan Cabrillo, Malibu High School, and Pepperdine University.
I own and operate a small family-run electrical construction business that my father, Dusty Peak, founded in Malibu in 1978, Peak Power Electric. My parents taught me the value of hard work and that responsibility for the community begins at home.
In addition, I am a professional surf instructor, trained as an EMT, and have worked as a Lifeguard for LACo.FD at Zuma Beach for many years. I grew up in the ocean.
Age 74. Family: Wife, Blanca; three children, Jolie, John IV and Mia, and six grandchildren.
Moved to Pt. Dume in 1985, made a six-year move to Alaska, returning to Malibu in 1995.
I have a PhD in chemistry and have been a professor and administrator at Yale, Caltech and the CSU system. I started and ran the $100-million Alaska Science and Technology Foundation.
I managed a major corporate research laboratory and was managing partner of a technology-based financial organization. I continue to consult with state and federal organizations, as well as early-stage technology companies.
Kathleen "Missy" McSweeney Zeitsoff
Age: 65. I have lived in Malibu for over 27 years. First in Malibu West, now in Tivoli Cove, Latigo Beach. First worked in Malibu at Malibu Park Jr. High in 1969.
Currently I am employed by the SMMUSD as a substitute teacher, all Malibu schools, all grades. UCLA. B.A. in English/Speech; UCLA School of Education. Secondary Teaching Credential.
Children: Carly, Justin, Jordan, Caitlin and grandchild Brittny, and another on the way.
Why are you the best candidate to elect to the Malibu City Council?
HOUSE: We are facing issues from the Regional, State, and Federal agencies, and the local school board. I believe my experience, knowledge, awareness and institutional memory regarding these issues would best serve the city. Also, as one of the authors of Malibu's Mission Statement, I believe I am well qualified to fight for Malibu's rural life style.
LAETZ: I am an independent person, not a part of the current power structure, and not a person with a narrow, emotional preoccupation with just one part of town. I have covered Malibu as a reporter for 15 years and have seen city council after city council ignore the biggest problems facing our city, confronting vital issues only when forced to. And frankly, I am weary of all the concentration on the Civic Center—70 percent of Malibuites live west of Geoffrey's. Our issues are being ignored.
LYON: The best or worthy? I feel that I am worthy of representing Malibu and standing up for what makes Malibu Malibu. I am not afraid to say what I feel instead of what I think people want to hear.
PATTERSON: I am not subject to the dazzle and pressure of powerful well-connected people. I am a resident of the community who can think outside of the box and yet hold the line when it comes to tough decisions and adjust to the new information and ways of seeing an issue. I am not the best candidate, and only an egotistical liar would ever claim to be such, because every candidate in this election brings something to the table that can benefit the city as well as an agenda that some may find unpopular. This election is about who runs this city, residents or well-connected influence peddlers.
PEAK: I am a voice of new and fresh ideas for Malibu. I am an active civic participant and leader in this community. I am a Parks and Recreation Commissioner, a member of the Wastewater Advisory Committee, a board member of the Malibu Boys and Girls Club, a local business owner, and public safety officer. I understand responsible finance and budgets, the importance of public safety, and the significance of environmental preservation.
SIBERT: I have served four years on city council. I believe I bring a reasoned and civil approach in dealing with the myriad issues, which Malibu governance requires. I leave it to the voters to decide if I have served them well and am qualified to serve them for another four years.
ZEITSOFF: I would be a good choice because I have experience as a founding member of the Malibu City Council, I am creative and diligent in dealing with complex issues, and I am very motivated for change. I study and investigate all possibilities for solving Malibu's many problems.
Who would you most want to see elected to the two other seats on the city council?
HOUSE: Based on his record, I believe that John Sibert has earned another term on city council. At this point, there has only been one debate, and I do not know where the other candidates stand on most of the issues.
LAETZ: Thomas Jefferson and Walt Keller, but neither are running I will let the voters decide. I am not on a ticket and will state no preference.
LYON: Who would you most want to see elected to the two other seats on the city council? Hamish & Skylar. And then in order Missy, Joan, Hans, John.
PATTERSON: Did not answer.
PEAK: Come see the debates!
SIBERT: I'm supporting Joan House and, of course, my own candidacy. I have not yet decided on the third seat.
ZEITSOFF: Declined to state.
List what you perceive to be the current five most important municipal issues. Please prioritize them with the numbers one through five.
HOUSE: I consider some of these as equal importance: Public safety, budget, wastewater facility in the civic center, potential commercial development, Malibu Lagoon Project, and forming our own school district.
LAETZ: (1) Public safety on PCH: get bikes out of traffic, replace all land-side beach visitor parking 1:1 with spaces on the ocean side, provide roadside walking paths (not sidewalks).
(2) Public safety in the fire-danger areas: I have already helped win a $12 million judgment against some of the companies that overloaded the poles that caused the 2007 Canyon Fire, and I am fighting to divert that money from Sacramento to oversee Malibu pole upgrades.
(3) Public safety on water delivery: the city should demand local control of our local water district.
(4) Protecting beachfront residents and serving landside Malibu residents by taking local control of beach access issues.
(5) Earn outside agencies' trust and cooperation to replace the terrible sewer idea with a plan (below) to get all Tapia and Civic Center wastewater out of the Malibu Creek/Lagoon basin.
LYON: 1. The lagoon project, mainly because this is set to begin in June if we don't stop it.
2. The Septic ban for the central Malibu residents and how that affects property values unfairly.
3. The sewer project/ MOU… There is new science that shows the existing septics are not the cause of pollution and that should be used to argue against a sewer that will benefit commercial development.
4. The proposed overdevelopment in the Cross Creek area that will lead to constant gridlock on PCH.
5. Getting more law enforcement where WE decide necessary.
PATTERSON: PCH safety, the lagoon project, sewer and commercial property development, retail diversification, Transparency in city government.
PEAK: 1. Public Safety
2. Wastewater and the Environment
4. Development and Diversified Retail
5. Private Property Rights and Views
All of these coinciding with the reasons why we became a city and their benefit to residents, and supporting the General Plan.
SIBERT: 1. The Malibu environment, both quality of life and protecting our unique and fragile coast.
2. Public Safety, particularly with regard to PCH and emergency preparedness
3. Responsible City fiscal discipline
4. Gaining control of our schools and providing services for the youth of Malibu
5. Cultivating cooperative relationships with State and other external agencies
ZEITSOFF: The top five most important issues are: the co-projects proposed by the state—the Lagoon and the Civic Center Sewer—the unsafe PCH and the city roads in need of repair; the imbalance of commercial chain retail and local small businesses, requiring a diversification ordinance;
.Do you think there is a need for special legislation, such as a diversification ordinance, to promote the well-being of small, independent, locally owned businesses? Who would oversee any such program if implemented?
HOUSE: This is an intriguing idea that I support looking into. Government should tread lightly when it gets involved in regulating the private sector. We must study this carefully lest we face disastrous unintended consequences.
LAETZ: No. City government is not supposed to grant special favors to one class of commercial citizens over another. But our city has already stormed into the marketplace, by going into the high-end retail business at the Lumberyard. This has forced up rents (although the recession has been a moderating factor). Malibu needs take small, measured steps to ensure that its residents can get the commercial services we need. That's what the diversification ordinance would do, and I am proud to support this small zoning matter. Like every city, Malibu already broadly regulates what type of businesses locate here. I think the commercial landowners have been unduly defensive as Protect Malibu seeks small concessions. Our zoning officials already handle programs like this.
LYON: I am in support of what Preserve Malibu has put together and would hope that they would have a committee to help oversee along with council.
PEAK: Yes. Yes.
SIBERT: I believe that we need to do what we can to sustain community serving businesses. That certainly should include a citizen-driven buy local campaign. This issue of potential diversification regulation or ordinance has united a large number of Malibu citizens. I hope that will be the nucleus for such a grass-roots effort. It may be important to produce a diversification ordinance which could be enforced administratively or by the planning commission. However, that comes before the council on March 26, and I will listen to the arguments from both sides. It would be inappropriate for me take a position prior to that public hearing.
ZEITSOFF: I will support a diversification ordinance to balance local business, both service and retail, with some chain commercial. I would explore the possibility of a new—Independent Business—Chamber of Commerce. I would consider the creation of a Commerce and Finance Oversight City Commission. And, I am interested in the possibility of an Economic Element for our Gen -eral Plan.
(Continued in March 22 Issue)