During the 1/28 Council meeting, Council member Laura Rosenthal asked how can the Council be accused of both offering to trade Charmlee Park for Bluffs Park in secret, and not having done any research as to whether or not sports fields they want can even be built on Bluffs Park.
I’ll tell you how – you did both. Joan House and Lou La Monte, ostensibly without knowledge of the other three Council members, and certainly without any knowledge of the public, met with Edmiston, SMMC Executive Director, to “float an idea” to Edmiston – trading Charmlee for Bluffs Park.
Obviously Edmiston thought an offer was being made by the city as he subsequently met with the city manager and city attorney and the conservancy’s “full legal team” and “hammered out the details” – still the public has no knowledge of this, least of all the homeowners who abut Charmlee.
Then we find the Charmlee trade on the Conservancy’s agenda and then – guess what - on the 1/14 City Council agenda – still no public notice. Alarmed residents send out chain email to warn other residents – and they show up to protest.
Why you might ask would your elected officials do this? Because five years ago that Council came close to giving in to Edmiston’s demands and giving permission to put camp sites in Charmlee – and residents put up a huge fight – and the Corral fire was set by guess what – park users. The city backed off. Why don’t we want campsites?? - because of the fire danger. Rules prohibiting fires can be made – but you can’t enforce them in the wilderness in the middle of the night. That’s the whole issue – fire danger.
Now, the 1/14 City Council minutes are out and guess what the lead sentence is in the motion all five approved. “Direct the city attorney to negotiate agreements and implementing documents to effect land swap of Charmlee Wilderness Park for approximately 83 acres of Bluffs Park….”
I was in the room – I don’t remember that language. The council members at that time denied the swap was a done deal and directed the city manager to determine if sports fields can be built on the 10 percent of Bluffs Park that can be used; to contact the Fire Dept. re the fire danger of campsites in the wilderness area; and review the restrictions placed on Charmlee Park when the city took ownership.
At the 1/28 Council meeting the Council continued to declare they were just considering the idea of this swap – nothing on paper – no details – just considering? Really? Then why does the 1/14 motion direct the city attorney to negotiate agreements and documents to effect the swap of Charmlee for Bluffs?
I call upon all five City Council members to rescind the language of that motion and start working with the residents to determine how to get the sports fields they want without burning down the West end of Malibu.
Lucile Keller, Malibu
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