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Months of acrimony brought on by a new City Council are coming to an end as Reva Feldman, city manager of Malibu since 2016, has agreed to step down a year before her contract ends in exchange for $300,000.
In a January letter accusing newly seated council member Bruce Silverstein of harassment over numerous records requests, Feldman, through her attorney Therese Cannata, said she would leave the city in exchange for an amount closer to $400,000.
John Cotti, interim city attorney, said Monday evening the council agreed to a separation payment of $300,000, “half of which will be paid by our insurer.”
The agreement had not been finalized.
Through Cannata Monday evening, Feldman said that she would be leaving as of May 1.
“It has been an honor to serve the residents of Malibu and to help the community that I have been part of for almost two decades,” Feldman said. “I am so proud of how much the city has accomplished, and I am grateful for the support of the city staff, residents and councilmembers that I have had the pleasure to work with.”
Feldman started with the city in 2005, serving as assistant city manager and administrative services director before her appointment as city manager in 2016.
Her ties to the community run deep, the letter states, having raised her family here and her daughter attending
Webster Elementary, Malibu Middle School and Malibu High School.
The departure letter calls Feldman “the behind-the-scenes force in every city special event since 2005,” and goes on to list some of her accomplishments, including:
Propelling the city’s General Fund reserves from $7 million to $30 million, “providing for multiple high priority projects to happen, including the city’s largest vacant land acquisition of 29 acres in 2018;”
Coordinating more than $75 million in debt issuance;
Helping establish the city’s AA+/AAA bond rating;
Overseeing environmental programs;
The acquisition of Trancas Field;
Development of a temporary skate park.
The letter also states Feldman “helped lead the city through the devastating Woolsey Fire (in 2018), and since that time, has worked with staff and the residents to improve public safety as well as to facilitate and expedite the rebuilding of the community.”
Feldman is leaving amid a very public tussle with Silverstein, one of three council members elected in 2020.
The January letter to the council claims Feldman has been subjected to “unprecedented personal and professional attacks” by Silverstein, adding that he “appears be to be acting as a self-appointed ‘special prosecutor’ in pursuit of his paranoid delusions about how the city of Malibu has or is operated through its representatives, including Ms. Feldman.”
That letter included an offer that Feldman be let out of her latest contract — expiring in May 2022 — a year early, for $375,000, along with release of any claims and a non-disparagement clause.