John Sibert Announces Re-Election Bid

The incumbent says he wants to build on accomplishments made during his first term on the City Council.

It appears the two incumbents eligible to run in the 2012  campaign will be in the race. John Sibert picked up his nomination papers at  Thursday afternoon. Jefferson "Zuma Jay" Wagner pulled papers on Tuesday. The two men have until Jan. 13 to return to City Hall with the documents signed by at least 20 registered Malibu voters.

"There are things left to do," Sibert told Malibu Patch when asked why he was running for a second term. "We've gotten good starts on a lot of programs [involving clean water] ... We've got good relationships with the , so we want to build on that."

Sibert was elected to the council in 2008 when he placed third in the five-person contest. Wagner placed second and Pamela Conley Ulich, who is termed-out, was the top vote-getter.

He served on the  for more than five years prior to joining the council and has been involved in Malibu politics since the 1980s.

Three other people have pulled papers for the 2012 race—former Council member ,  and skateboard enthusiast/local YouTube star "Malibu" Hamish "The Illusion" Patterson. They and anyone else who might pull papers have until Jan. 18 to return them with the 20 valid signatures. 

It could be an interesting series of campaign forums if they include Sibert and Lyon. The last public interaction the two had was in April when Lyon  from the audience during the council hearing on .

Lyon is an opponent of the state project. Sibert is not a supporter, but he sided with the majority of the council that declined to submit a letter to the state to oppose the plan, with the major reason being they feared it could kill the chance of any project being done to help what they consider to be an unhealthy body of water.

The top three vote-getters in this election will earn seats on the council. Election Day is April 10. 


J. Flo December 26, 2011 at 08:09 PM
I found the numbers here, dated August 10, 2010 > http://www.malibucity.org/news/index.cfm/fuseaction/story/ID/1097/
Jonathan Friedman December 26, 2011 at 08:14 PM
J., that city page is not accurate for whatever reason (I'd have to look into it further to figure out why). The number I gave is the actual compensation, according to the city.
J. Flo December 26, 2011 at 08:22 PM
Thanks, Jonathan. I also found documentation for monthly payments, with a City check number from this year, made out to Miramar that equal > $70,307.82 a month. Which would equal for a year - $843,693.84
Andy Lyon December 26, 2011 at 08:27 PM
check # 33526 MIRAMAR Miramar Investment Co. 10/27/2011 $74,102.12 City Council Meeting 11-14-11 Item 3.B.2.
Jonathan Friedman December 26, 2011 at 08:27 PM
That is an accurate number. I did not mention the figure in the story I wrote by just making it up or asking a city official for the number without verifying the statement with city documents. That is how I operate and how my mentor Bill K. of the Surfside News operates, and hopefully The Malibu Times does that too. If people believe city documents contain made-up numbers or there is some sort of fraud going on, then please let me know. I will look into it. I want to win a Pulitzer.
Marshall Thompson December 26, 2011 at 08:28 PM
Hi, Jonathan, your link illuminates what I have believed for many years: the City of Malibu basically exists to provide salaries, benefits and retirement for City employees. Given the state of the economy - California has 12% unemployment - I propose a three-year moratorium on any new hires and a review of current salaries and benefits. (fat chance, I'm sure all contracts are iron-clad). I'm not being mean-spirited, but as I scrolled through the pages of employee positions for a city of around twelve thousand residents, how can anyone legitimately accept this level of staffing and payroll when the country's economy is so deeply in trouble? Many Malibu residents I know are self-employed in creative or service industries and a lot of them are hurting. We self-employed and private sector folks are getting hit right and left with layoffs and all these lucky public employees seem to be a protected class. A class that we working residents pay for. So I ask: Do public employees share our burden? Do we need this level of staffing to properly serve the Malibu Community? Are our tax dollars being put to the highest, best and most efficient use? Should we have a moratorium on new capital-intensive projects? Any prospective new city council person needs to address these critical fiscal issues with restraint and wisdom.
J. Flo December 26, 2011 at 08:31 PM
From your link > Management Services City Manager — Annual salary minimun > $189,649 Annual salary maximum > $201,528 Wages subject to Medicare > $200,043 Applicable Defined Benefit Pension Formula > 2%@55 Pension Contributions > $21,743 Deferred Compensation > $10,488 Health Dental Vision > $15,054
J. Flo December 26, 2011 at 08:37 PM
I found the City Register > # 32137 MIRAMAR Miramar Investment Co. O5/27/12011 $70,307.82 Your check amount is even higher. Thanks, Andy.
J. Flo December 26, 2011 at 08:38 PM
HAHAHA - OK that's funny. Thanks for the laugh.
Mr. Malibu December 26, 2011 at 08:48 PM
I perceived that, though it is not Kosher to throw around big inaccurate numbers, by saying $300K it would have the desired impact that precisely manifested here. Apparently J. Flora is blogging for the city.
J. Flo December 26, 2011 at 08:50 PM
Important questions, Marshall. I really do think that good decisions and fairness comes out of asking honest questions and garnering accurate answers. Marshall, can you find out what other "same" cities staff salaries are compared to Malibu? Outside of Bell, of course? :) I know I'm going to get tarred for this, but I really don't consider $200,000 an unfair salary in this day and age for managing a city in Los Angeles County - And that is not to say that changes shouldn't be made and or tightening done. There is almost always room for improvements in budgets - including my own. (hate that) What does seem really out of balance to me is paying the city council so little?! It's basically a volunteer job and in the long run actually costs people money to take it. That absolutely limits the pool of people who are able to run - is that a good thing for such an important position?
Andy Lyon December 26, 2011 at 08:52 PM
When I attended the first skate park meeting I suggested putting the ramps up in the very back lot of the city hall parking lot. (I would consider ramps at city hall a teen center) This would have been FREE to the city...they wouldn't of had to negotiate with another landlord or resurface blacktop as the lots up there are almost newly done, perfect for skating. Instead they voted to put aside $10k to try and find another location. Funny at the same council meeting they voted for I think $50k for a firm to do analysis for parks and rec. on trends. ?? I'm not going to try and quote what the parks and rec guy and his assistant make here, clearly we have many discrepancies , but it's a lot ! Do we have so many parks in Malibu that we need to spend $50k on trend analysis because the parks and rec people are so busy, or would that money be better spent on an actual park ? Time to trim the fat folks.
J. Flo December 26, 2011 at 08:58 PM
I appreciate an honest conversation. I'm interested in learning truth. It's truly pathetic, when requesting accurate facts and fair, honest reporting is cause for yet another unfounded accusation. If a person cannot base their writings and accusations on solid facts - there is zero credibility. Show us accurate numbers and facts before you castigate people. That's fair. And still - the question remains unanswered > Did you have an affiliation, either now or in the past, with either building? You seem to have contacts with these buildings, that's a fair question -
Mr. Malibu December 26, 2011 at 09:02 PM
J. Flora - it was only a matter of time before you began attacking the person and not the message. You failed to answer my questions above. Why should I waste my time answering your question while you are trying to tell the Malibu community that Jim THorsen deserves $250K a year? I'll let the readers decide what to think about you.
Andy Lyon December 26, 2011 at 09:03 PM
J., It's a beautiful day in Malibu...let's all go outside while it still looks like this.
J. Flo December 26, 2011 at 09:11 PM
What question above? Happy to answer anything I can. The only person attacking numerous people here - is you. I am allowed my opinion on a salary. You on the other hand refuse to answer a very simple question of your affiliation with these buildings. Which only leads to the conclusion that you have one. If you don't, please respond. Thanks.
Mr. Malibu December 26, 2011 at 09:35 PM
have they been paying the $70K a year since 1998?
J. Flo December 26, 2011 at 09:42 PM
Once I latch onto figures - gotta go to the end! :) According to city records on August 2, 2010, Agoura Hills pays their City Manager a base salary of $191,776.00 a year. Malibu's base salary is > $189,649.00 - $201,528.00 In addition Agoura pays: City contribution towards health, dental, vision, life and disability insurance benefits; deferred compensation plan; auto and technology allowances; and potential for performance bonus. First benefits are the same but Malibu doesn't show that it also pays: "auto and technology allowances; and potential for performance bonus" - ? Basically, the same salary, maybe Malibu's offers a little less -? But if citizens in any city feel that salaries are too high - they can work to lower them. A city is supposed to be run - primarily by citizens. That's the beauty - I hope this election season brings all of these questions to the forefront!
Marshall Thompson December 26, 2011 at 09:46 PM
Just drag the ramps over to Lunatic Park, problem solved, $10,000.00 saved! Why do we have to authorize an expensive study every time some common sense solution exists?
J. Flo December 26, 2011 at 11:14 PM
"I propose a three-year moratorium on any new hires and a review of current salaries and benefits." Marshall, that sounds fair and smart.
Steve Scheinkman December 26, 2011 at 11:33 PM
The correct number for the rent on the old city hall is +/- $785,000 per year. When you compare this to the cost of the New City Hall (you will find my number to be accurate) the City's costs will go up by more than $1 million once it has to begin making payments. Accoring to the 2011/12 budget, the City is going to spend 32% of its general fund expenditures on personnel. This translates to something in the order of $6.4 million. Carrying this forward to 2012/13, the City will spend $6.4 million on personnel, $6.2 million on public safety (2011/12 budget) and over $2 million for the cost to own and operate the City Hall building. These three items alone total $14.6 million out of a budget revenue of $20 million. So I think the question that needs to be asked is how are we going to pay for the increased cost of the New City Hall while at the same time spending more money on needed expenditures such as public safety, protecting the environment and facilities for kids. (sorry for the typos- spell check problems)
Marshall Thompson December 26, 2011 at 11:51 PM
Jae, I liked your "volunteer" thought. IMHO - and I don't know why this is - the City (capital C) appears to be loathe to make use of the abundant volunteer horsepower and goodwill of many Malibu citizens eager to serve the community in voluntary positions. For example, on my own dime and time and with CERT - Community Emergency Response Team Volunteer - labor, I wrote and produced 10 30-second video Public Safety PSAs covering items like how to safely respond to emergencies without endangering yourself; how to change batteries in your smoke alarm; what to do before, during and after and earthquake; how to use a fire extinguisher and so on. Do you think I got a squeak of appreciation from the City Manager or any other city official other than our fantastic Emergency Services Coordinator? (crickets....) City Commissions like Public Safety are frequently hamstrung by odd rules that seem designed to frustrate their having any truly significant impact on problems that we all face like the constant slaughter on PCH. They also are starved of even minor funding so they can't have public education events or publications. If the City is serious about saving money while supporting services, it needs to do much more to both recognize and support folks who want to donate their time and passion to help the greater Malibu community. Not every City issue needs an extra employee getting $80,000.00 a year with benefits.
J. Flo December 26, 2011 at 11:56 PM
Added to that approx 66K rent amount is also maintenance fee that the landlord charged, which seems to fluctuate - ? The lease amount was set to increase in 2012. Do you know if the mortgage is a 30 year or a 15 year? "So I think the question that needs to be asked is how are we going to pay for the increased cost of the New City Hall while at the same time spending more money on needed expenditures" What are your thoughts on that?
J. Flo December 26, 2011 at 11:59 PM
I think you make great points! Think it would be smart for residents to write out the most important top 5 - 10 greatest issues facing Malibu and hear the game plan that already exists or get one started!
Marshall Thompson December 27, 2011 at 12:19 AM
Here you go, Jae: 3 Earthquake PSAs starring dedicated Malibu CERT volunteers: http://vimeo.com/32018979 7 varied emergency preparedness PSAs starring dedicated Malibu CERT volunteers: http://vimeo.com/21834049 I love our Malibu CERT community! Here's our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CERTMalibu
Mr. Malibu December 27, 2011 at 01:04 AM
it is interesting to note that only one person in this entire blog used violence language and that was J. Flora ... "sniper attack" .... "throwing hand grenades".... typically bloggers who use such language are attempting to bring a negative light to facts being posted. The former owners of the new building frequently claimed the building was 46,000 sq ft. and not sure if the city's calculations are based on "useable" sq ftg - but that is not critical to this conversation. What is critical is the brazen waste and expansion while every other city in the nation is carefully downsizing... Andy's comment re: $50K study proposed of park trends pretty much says EVERYTHING about the current city.
Marshall Thompson December 27, 2011 at 02:56 AM
So to bring the conversation around in a circle, hey JOHN SIBERT, are you listening to what people are saying here? Are you going to do the same things as your last stretch in the Council, or will you take a different path, maybe listen to a few different voices, a few fresh points of view. What will YOU offer us that is bold, new, responsive, conserving of cash, rejecting of BS and endless process? What is the compelling reason we should vote you in to a second term on Malibu City Council? Public Safety and Environment and view protection/restoration seem to be the most compelling topics on the Patch. What the heck are YOU doing about them?
J. Flo December 27, 2011 at 05:27 AM
I'm glad that you made those and that I watched. Now I'll actually know how to use the huge fire extinguisher in the closet. Good info, Marshall - valuable! Thanks!
Andy Lyon December 27, 2011 at 05:06 PM
We hear that the new City Hall was a 'great deal' a lot... well, I suppose it might be looked at as a deal... there are lots of 'deals' in a bad economy. There are great deals on yachts and collectable cars right now too. I would be an idiot to go extend myself on a yacht right now because it was a good deal , when instead I should be making sure I have money to support my family. We can go back and forth here about the new City Hall but the fact is that they already bought the yacht . Now, do we stand by while they change the face of Malibu to try and pay for it by turning Malibu into exactly what we were trying to avoid by becoming a City in the first place ? Or do we try and live within our means as a City by pulling in the reigns ? The Machine needs to be stopped at City Hall.
Mr. Malibu December 27, 2011 at 06:00 PM
Andy - yes you're totally correct - except for one thing. The city should unload the building and significantly downsize. Get rid of Thorsen, Feldman, Hogan.. cut out half the staff and get a new lean clean machine and channel Pepperdine and Tapia back to the valley to water golf courses and other areas. GO VIRTUAL. We do not need a giant building to "host crowds of people" as there are already a ton of unused spaces.... what about the city moving to that building were WEA was? Let's face it - retail / commercial space demand will never come back.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »