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Candidates Forum...the Final Staredown..

I attended!!!...yes, I attended the final shootout. No dead bodies, but a lot of shots were fired. It was entertaining (standing room only)...very informative ...and in the end, in spite of what I would consider, perhaps, a higher than average IQ on city affairs, I am left with little clarity.

It's not that these candidates lack passion and conviction and knowledge...I am quite sure that any one of these (5) would carry a torch in the darkness in a rainstorm for "Malibu".  Clearly, to me at least, they all love this little slice of Brigadoon.

Now, what happened?  Well, on the one side, we had Hamish and Andy, the modern day version of "Woodward and Bernstein".  These guys are burning a lot of calories investigating and pointing to a Malibu sized equivalent of "Watergate".  They point to scandal here and there...."smoking guns" and all that. Is it "Watergate", or is it "Whitewater"?, the mirage of a scandal.  Or is it something in between?  I, for one, couldn't tell you.  Let me know when the DNA tests come back.
It is hard not to be impressed with Hamish Patterson...the guy has the "it" factor from head to toe.  I would pay money just to hear him put sentences together.  The guy is no dummy, either...he attends everything in Malibu..from Cub Scout campfires to City Council Meetings, Planning Commission meeting to the bi-monthly gatherings of the Malibu Beekeeper's Society.  It is hard to call the "dude" lazy.  You would be making a big mistake if you underestimated Hamish's veracity and conviction (and knowledge of Malibu happenings).  A cricket doesn't chirp in Malibu without Hamish hearing about it.  I think he believes everything he says...that is called sincerity.  In case you haven't noticed, it's often in short supply on this planet.  Is he our Charleston Heston character parting the Red Sea and saying, "Set my people free"?  I dunno.

Sitting just three seats away was another clean up batter...a Titan in her own right..she has a resume' in Malibu that takes two people to carry down a flight of stairs.  I like this lady!  She is what I define as "a tough broad", if I may be excused the (non) perjorative.  Not in this case...Laura is all lady, charming, attractive, she can out-poise anyone and she would make a great hockey goalie..very few shots would get by her into the net.  She "fights" with a smile and a style that is always feminine, but it can expose a "bleeder".  I think she would prefer to beat you in a game of tennis, or backgammon, but she'll bring out the gloves if she has to.  I would be willing to wager than Laura has left (and will leave) a footprint in every stage and phase of her life..from elementary school (in Long Island?) to where she will be tomorrow, and the day after.

If Andy Lyon were a "fighter", which he most certainly is, he would be a "Cage" fighter, MMA style.  Bare knuckles is the only way Andy gets into the cage.  Archival videotape hasn't been entirely kind to Andy but ask him if he cares.  I know the answer if you don't.  Andy has watched a few "Billy Jack" movies in his youth; just take my word for it!  I am not saying whether or not he deserves your vote but if I was a kid and someone stole my bicycle I would feel good if Andy told me that he was going to find the guys who stole it and bring it back to me.  I'd have my bike back.  His most effective line, in my opinion, was "I'm tired of hearing, "it's out of our hands"".  I think Andy thinks that everything is "in his hands".  That can be good or not so good, but it definitely makes for good television.  I respect a lot about Andy.

Watching Lou LaMonte debate made me constantly want to turn to the person next to me (Amy Young) and say, "is he the sweetest man or what?"  He is just the most lovable sounding guy you could want to hear, not an arrogant bone to be seen in his body.  He may have me fooled, but he comes across as a guy you would love to have as a dad, uncle, husband, etc..  He strikes me as a sincere and honest citizen....heck, any man who talks glowingly of how he steadfastly attended all of his kids little league and soccer games in the city of Malibu is a man who is "singing my song".  That, alone, does not make him the Abraham Lincoln of Malibu politics but it sure means he will always warrant a warm and respectful handshake from me.  I make no apologies, I like the guy.

To have the backbone to sit on the stage with those other four War Veterans is something that impressed me.  Jane Louks was a breath of fresh air.  I found her to be a very articulate and effective advocate for the "Original Charter", you know, "Keep Malibu, Malibu".  She had a great temperament and charm.  Even when the intricacies and intense pressure of this brightly lighted inquisition seemed to catch her off guard, she stayed steady and dignified, and fully intact.  Her best days are ahead of her.....in my opinion, Jane wins even if she "loses".  Her four daughters have to be proud, and so should the rest of Malibu.

They all agreed on one thing....maybe it was only one thing....Malibu needs it's own school district.  They sang 5 part harmony on that tune.  High Five!

I am confused to report that I don't know what to think...no one is asking me for my opinion and that is fine because I would be pressed to have a strong one.  Some things are not clear. I want a Malibu that is genuine, not generic; one that is more concerned with it's residents and less with it's visitors.  But, I can't find any "black box" to tell me that those aren't the wishes of (every) candidate.  Are developers the "bad" guys?  Uh, well, it seems way too simplistic to frame it that way.  "Bad" development is "bad", and "good" development is "good".  Did I make myself clear?  Of course not!  The question is...who gets to decide?

Did anyone notice Hamish's touching tribute to his long time, loyal, friend, Andy?  I was really impressed that Hamish would take the time to publicly show his appreciation for a guy who Hamish said, "was there for him when he really needed support" (or something to that effect).  That showed heart!

I like all of these guys/gals.  I mean it.  I can't, nor would I, advocate for any of them against the other.  I don't know what I don't know.  I am willing to concede that.  Now, argue with me about statewide school vouchers and I will sit with you all night....it is easy for me to take a side...

Don't ask me to take a side on this one....except the side that says (thanks) to all of these candidates for their investment on behalf of all of us here in Malibu.  It takes a great deal of time and preparation to be a candidate.  We all appreciate your efforts.

 

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Bob Perkins DDS April 03, 2014 at 11:53 AM
total apologies to June for calling her Jane!! Please forgive me.
Mikke Pierson April 04, 2014 at 11:18 AM
Excellent article Bob. I too applaud the commitment, time and dedication of all five of the candidates. And I hope that everyone votes on Tuesday.

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