KBUU News Thursday Sept 28 – Silverstein Is Gently Rebuked By His Colleagues For Missteps Over the Kardashian Charges

Written by on September 28, 2023

Last week … city council member Brice Silverstein publicly blasted his employees at City Hall. He accused the City of Malibu of placing “celebrities and the uber-wealthy over residents.”  He publicly accused the city staff … and we quote … of “selling out to the Kardashians.”

He accused city staff of rushing through an “emergency expedited permit for a large event” in a Malibu residential neighborhood.

Silverstein misfired.   The city staff offered to process a special events permit, over the counter, without any notification to the neighborhood, one day before an event.  And while the terms of that permit may have later been violated, issuing it was exactly within the Malibu Municipal Code’s provisions, according to the city manager, Steve McClary.

TMZ loved it.   And although Silverstein claims TMZ misquoted him, the above quotes are what Silverstein posted at the top of his social media article.

Silcverstein’s accusations got picked up by TMZ and made news worldwide. 

Turns out … the city staff was following routine procedure … in handling a special event permit.  City manager Steve McClary … Monday night:


“In speaking with my staff, it is my understanding that it is not unusual for homeowners or organizers to apply for, and receive, an SEP (Special Event Permit) on the day of the event.”

All this is newsworthy this morning … because the city is right in the middle of analyzing … why morale among the city staff inside City Hall is so low.

People are quitting … positions are vacant … City Hall has problems paying enough money for people to work in Malibu.

Critical projects … requested by residents and their city council members … are not getting done.

The city manager … last night:


“I do have to say that the last several weeks have been a bit challenging for the city.

“I know there are a lot of factors factors for that.

“But … I just have too say we are struggling a little bit with staff morale, and we are going to have to find some ways to I think shore that up.” 

So … an entire city council meeting last night … planned long ago ….devoted to reforming the culture inside city hall … 

And in the middle of that …. a battle breaks out on TMZ over city staff supposed bending over backwards to help the Kardashians and the Uber-rich.

In his Friday editorial, Silverstein wrote that “it is incredible and entirely unacceptable that the city staff, including the Chief Code Enforcement Officer, Planning Director, Interim City Attorney, and possibly the City Manager would join together to move heaven and earth to get this accomplished on no day’s advance notice for a wealthy celebrity …”

In point of fact … as the city manager said Monday … the city staff was enforcing rules and policies that were ultimately set by the city council. 

Wednesday night … there were gentle reminders from other city council members.  Things about finding the facts first.  And treating staff with respect.  Paul Grisanti:


“We have a look at this as if it’s our marriage. In our marriage, if there are problems within the marriage, we don’t run to newspapers or the television to talk about the problems with our marriage.”

Marianne Riggins has a unique insight … she worked the front desk and other positions in the Malibu Planning Department until a little more than a year ago … when she retired and ran for city council

Marianne Riggins last night:


“I am going to speak from first-hand experience. Every single staff member, whether they are brand new, or whether they have been here for years, they strive to enforce these rules, these regulations, because that’s what they’re being paid to do and that’s what they value. 

“And so we need to make sure that we give them the opportunity to do their jobs, and if they’re not doing their jobs, we go to the city manager and we work to find a solution to that.”

No apologies from Silverstein … at last night’s special city council meeting on “Malibu culture”:


“Unsurprisingly we don’t agree … I ran to be a representative of the residents of the city … not to be a representative for the city … or the staff for that matter.”

All of this is newsworthy because of what the topic of the special city council meeting was.

Creating a Malibu Culture  … and a guideline for city council members and city commission members … an actual written guide to provide values guidance for all City Council and commission members and staff for behavior and treatment of staff. 

A two-member committee will be set up to draft a code of conduct.

Wednesday night … the council also picked its 20 top projects … out of the 150 projects approved in recent years for the city staff to work on. City manager Steve McClary wants guidance on priorities.


“We just simply have too many priorities … the work plan is too big.

“As the mayor correctly stated at the meeting on Monday… when everything is a priority then indeed, then nothing is a priority.”

And we’ll have more on that priority list top 20 … tomorrow.

[There are no radio stations in the database]