A little detour

February 20, 2020

Last week, the total number of fire rebuild permits granted inched up to 71 with 8 initial applications currently being considered. 67 have been approved by planning and are working towards their first Plan Review. Another 77 have been submitted for plan review and are working their way through that process. That’s 223 homes that have made it to the first step. Most parties agree that between 235 and 240 applications is the 50% mark. What can we do to help?

This is my 55thcolumn to appear in the Malibu Times on the subjects of Fire Recovery and Disaster Resilience. I have strayed several times into the fringes of the political arena and hope you will forgive me for some comments about the upcoming Primary election on March 3rd.

Your polling place has changed. Malibu now only has 2 polling places. Juan Cabrillo Elementary and the Malibu Bluffs Park are the only Malibu polling places listed in the Los Angeles County Registrar Recorders publication.

You can now vote at any polling place in Los Angeles County. No ID is required, and no one will be there to make sure you are who you say you are.The days of voting in your neighborhood as locals find you in the registrar’s book are over. If you try to vote and are told that your ballot has already been cast, please report that you suspect your vote has been stolen.

You now have 9 days to cast your ballot from February 22 to March 3. Vote early to lessen the chances that your vote will be misappropriated.

Voting will be done on a tablet type of device that prints out a paper ballot. I participated in a test run of the technology and had no difficulty.

In addition to your Presidential Primary vote, there are several more local issues on the ballot.

The Voter information guide I received starts with Prop 13, which has nothing to do with the historical Prop 13 that stabilizes property taxes. The proposition is for a statewide bond issue to raise 15 billion dollars for schools. Total cost to retire this debt over the life of the bond is 26 billion dollars. The Howard Jarvis group is recommending a no vote.

The Sample Ballot I have reveals that both Henry Stern and Richard Bloom are running for reelection and both have been present and concerned about Malibu issues which wins my vote.

I have had no contact with Congressman Ted Lieu who is also running and feel no loyalty to him.

Next on the ballot is FD a new tax of 6 cents per sq. feet of improvements for Firefighters, Fire Stations and equipment.This is a tough sell in Malibu due to the Woolsey Fire where the Firefighters were ordered to let it burn. I believe that order was issued by the head of Cal Fire who suddenly retired at the advanced age of 52, only a month and a half later. Do you believe that our local Firefighters wanted to fight the fire and that they will use the money well?For some I have talked to it’s a “No” but I am going to vote for FD.

Last week Arnold York published a very useful set of recommendations for the various judicial offices from the Bar Association which you should be able to find on the Malibu Times website. I have relied on it for years.

The last vote I intend to comment on is County Measure R that beefs up the ability of the Civilian Oversight Commission to investigate Sheriff related issues. The Board of Supervisors is backing this to take back a little of the Sheriff’s power. I will be voting for it.