Mayor Pro Tem House spoke at great length at the last council meeting regarding the Charmlee Wilderness trade, professing that there were no backroom, secret deals. City staff agreed. However, in light of a memo from Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy’s Joe Edmiston on Dec. 21, regarding the same meeting, clarification of what went on would be appreciated.
House and LaMonte said their meeting with Edmiston was “just lunch.” to see if he had any interest in trading Bluffs Park for Charmlee. Edmiston states “By the end of the meeting we had the framework for a comprehensive solution to many of the issues between Malibu and the SMMC.”
Mr. Edmiston further states: “Yesterday [Thursday] our full legal team (AG plus our two outside counsel firms and MRCA staff counsel) and that of the city plus the city manager, met for two and a half hours to hammer out the details.” Specific points of agreement on 4 properties follow.
Two questions: why was this meeting not mentioned or discussed in the Agenda Report, and when was the City Manager and staff (presumably the City Attorney) attendance at this meeting authorized by the City Council? Two and a half hours represents considerable City staff time and expense. City Policy and State law require direction to staff to be authorized by at least three Council members yet the other three Council members seemed to know little about the subject.
Everything having to do with giving away valuable City property, and a proposal which will put a significant portion of the community at risk from wildfire should be fully disclosed so that the public can fully participate in the decision.
Walt Keller, Malibu
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