Mayor Laura Zahn Rosenthal said that the city's finances are in good shape and offered an update on the response to the council’s opposition to the Malibu Lagoon during her state of the city address on Wednesday.
During Rosenthal's 20 minute speech in the Council Chamber at Malibu City Hall, she said the city has been disappointed by the response from Gov. Jerry Brown and the California State Parks to the to the Malibu Lagoon project in its current form.
“The response from the governor and state parks is not what we were hoping for,” Rosenthal said. “The city attorney is coordinating with attorneys for the Wetlands Defense Fund. An amicus brief will be filed within the next two weeks.”
She added that the city plans to respond to a letter from state parks, and that the response will be posted on the city’s website soon. The council voted on April 9 to write a letter opposing the project to Gov. Jerry Brown and file the amicus brief.
The Los Angeles County Democratic Party came out in opposition soon after, and Former State Senator Tom Hayden also expressed concern about the project on Monday.
In response to the city's letter, Richard Stapler, Deputy Secretary of Communications for the California Natural Resources Agency, issued a statement to the Malibu Times.
"The Malibu Lagoon will continue in decline and is doomed to become a stagnant waterway, devoid of the kind life that historically thrived here. The science behind the restoration has led us to an unbiased conclusion on what is happening in the lagoon and what is the best way to remedy the issues,” Stapler told the newspaper. “We are confident in the science, its application, and the host of permits granted from multiple environmental and land use entities to continue with the restoration.”
During her speech, the mayor also outlined highlights from the last year, including the completion of City Hall, the installation of the surfer sculpture at Legacy Park, and a trails map.
She also said the city's budget is in good shape, mainly because of a diverse number of sources of income, including fees, taxes and services.
"It is one of the reasons why we are in such good shape because we do not just rely on one area," Rosenthal said, adding that the council had to spend $680,000 in unbudgeted appropriations after approving the last year’s budget.
She added that the Planning Department is working on a diversification ordinance and that an "aggressive street paving program" is in the works. Both a temporary and permanent skate park is also on the horizon, she said.
Rosenthal also praised the opening of the Malibu Library and the completion of City Hall.
This was the second state of the city the mayor has given in the past week. Her first one was on Friday at a breakfast put on by the Malibu Chamber of Commerce.