KBUU Newswire Thurs April 29: After 13 Months, Council Settles on McClary As City Manager, Mazza Outraged – Cop Costs To Escalate 40% To Pay For Local Sheriff Station – City Budget Includes Major Overhaul Of Planning, Building Inspections – Speed Limits May Be Cut – More On Water Cuts

Written by on April 28, 2022

=.  Malibu has a permanent city manager of the first time in 13 months.

=.  But it was not a unanimous vote … and one political activist is outraged at the selection.

=.  A 40 percent increase in Malibu police costs is expected with the opening of the Malibu sheriff’s station. 

=. The Planning and Building Services departments are going to be overhauled … and planners are going to get some big pay hikes to keep them working here. 

=. Speed limits on major city streets may be dropping soon. 

=.  And good news … in Malibu schools …. very good news on the Covid front. 


This is Malibu’s Only Local Daily News … the Thursday edition … I’m Hans Laetz reporting. 

City Council Gives Contract To Steve McClary, After One Year of Looking For Someone Else

For the seventh time … the Malibu city council went behind closed doors to talk about that vacant city manager’s job.

This time … a surprise.


PAUL GRISANTI: “May I have the closed session report?”
JOHN COTTI: “the council did take reportable action tonight. The council has decided to appoint Steve McCleary to be the permanent city manager for the City of Malibu subject to the approval of a final contract with Mr. McClary.”

That was interim City Attorney John Cotti. 

The one vote against Steve McClary as permanent city manager came from Steve Uhring.

No immediate comment from him on that. 

Bruce Silverstein offered McClary congratulations.

No immediate comment from the other three council members. 

There was no public explanation … from any council member … as to why it took a year to hire McClary for the job…  when McClary has been the interim … temporary city manager for a year,

The city council has reportedly interviewed at least two candidates other than McClary for the job …

But those two candidates walked away from Malibu after taking a good look.  And they took a close look at the divisions in the community.

City council members have said publicly that the nasty removal of city manager at Reva Feldman last year would drive away qualified candidates for her replacement.

Any thoughts that the naming of Steve McClary’s as permanent city manager would end those divisions were snuffed out a few minutes later. 

Long time city activist John Mazza took to the city budget hearing to say he was outraged.

Both by the sudden appointment … and the choice.


“So tonight you came in and surprised us: ‘oh my God, we’ve got a new city manager.’

“We were promised when this process started well over a year ago that we would have citizen input.

“We have seen no candidates at all, the citizens have. 

“We were not pre-warned three days ago ‘oh we are going to select a city manager.’ “

Mazza also blasted the council for picking a new city manager just before elections,


“And now I suppose you’re gonna give him a contract that precludes the new city council that’s coming in seven months from now for reviewing this system. It’s a standard old trick: ‘let’s give him a three-year contract so the next city council can’t fix it.’ Well we can’t survive three years. We’ve already lost over 23% of our population in the last 10 years.”

And Mazza laid that population loss to the current city council … and what Mazza said was a lack of leadership.

Mazz also blasted the city council for failing to find a new city manager with previous experience as a full-time city manager in another city.

Of course … it is possible that candidates took a close look at the odious atmosphere swirling around city politics … and took a pass.


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The Mark & Grether Group is a small tightly knit team based in Malibu, with a full-time marketing and operations staff to deliver exceptional results and smooth real estate transactions. Mark & Grether Group is a top producing team…

With 35 years of experience… and over $1 billion of real estate sold or leased… From Malibu’s coastline to the canyons.

$98 Million City Budget Discussed, Biog Changes Coming To City Hall

Malibu’s nearly $98 million budget went before the City Council for preliminary discussions last night.

And there was unanimous agreement on nearly every issue … largest two issues being three organizations planned for the cities Planning Department… And the city is building an environmental services department.

The City Council had already approved to add additional staff to the Planning Department. And last night Planning Director Richard Mollica said it’s time to rearrange the way things are done there. 

Mollica surprised city council members … by saying the department had not been organizationally shaken up in decades… not even after the Coastal Commission imposed its coastal zoning plan for Malibu in 2003.

In the City’s building an environmental services department … the number of building inspectors is already scheduled to be bolstered by 15 percent… the current 17 staffers is already scheduled to increase to 20. 

Building and Environmental Services Director Yolanda Bundy says she plans to reorganize that department …. by naming a supervising inspector she says that will speed up construction projects under way … including rebuilding efforts after the fire.


“It’s critical that we have a supervising building inspector that can help me and can assist me in responding to those requesting inspection and keeping the quality control and ensuring that we are there and answering questions for that contractor right away.”

The biggest changes might come in the Planning Department … which is underwater right now.  Each Malibu planner has 57 open cases on their desk right now … 57 requests to review and approve building plans. 

In Beverly Hills .. that number is 10.  And Malibu is losing employees to Beverly Hills. 

Last night … several residents and builders urged the city to pay its planning staff more money.

Norm Haynie is building a hotel … and he’s been staying that Planning Department staff needs more people who are paid more … publicly … for years.


“They have a difficulty keeping experience planners. I think one of the reasons is that we are trying to get experience planners for the same price that other municipalities provide to their planners. And Malibu is different.

“Malibu is much more difficult for planners to navigate. We need to pay them a little more money than the other municipalities.”

Builder Norm Haynie … and city councilman Bruce Silverstein replied.


Norm Haynie says ‘pay the people a little more.’ I don’t think that’s right.  

“Let’s pay them a lot more. Let’s make this a place where people want to come.”

One major increase on the horizon … 

The bill for police services from the L A County Sheriff’s office is 20 percent in the city’s budget … at 10.2 million dollars.

When the sheriff’s substation opens next summer in the Civic Center … that will go up substantially.

City finance director Ruthie Quinto says … prepare for a 40 percent increase in police costs because of the new p[ol;cie station.

NEWSCART A73323 POLICE QUNTO need in the future.

“The cost could be approximately $4 million annually, starting in 23-24, and this is without the jail operations. This is just to staff the station.

“This cost would be in addition to the cost the city is currently paying for Sheriff services that of course we are now getting out of the lost Hills station. So it would instantly be an increase in service levels.

“However we are requesting those variety of scenarios so that we can provide you the council with as much information as possible so you can make an informed decision about how to invest in this particular very significant need in the future.”

City finance director Ruthie Quinto says negotiations are underway with the county … on exactly how much this will cost … and how it will benefit Malibu.

Local Speed Limits May Drop

Speed limits on some major Malibu roads may be dropping.

Changes in California’s speed law … plus the latest radar average speed measurements … are allowing city traffic engineers to propose dropping speed limits.

Proposals include dropping the speed limits from 30 to 25 miles an hour on Dume Drive … Merritt Drive and Morning View Drive.

Civic Center Drive would be cut from 40 to 35.

Malibu  Canyon Road is proposed to have a 40 mile an hour speed limit … instead of 45 … inside city limits.

And the speed limit would be cut from 50 to 45 on the lower part of Kanan Dume Road.

The elephant in the room … of course … is Pacific Coast Highway. 

Caltrans is in charge of PCH … and its speed radar study is not part of this city initiative. 

These proposed city street speed limit cuts go to the Public Safety Commission next week … and eventually the city council.


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Mandatory Water Cutbacks Inside Malibu Not Yet Instituted – Y-E-T

We have to make a slight correction …. we jumped the gun.

The mandatory water restrictions announced for most of Southern California do not cover most of Malibu.

Not yet. 

But they are coming.

The county Department of Public Works … which sells water in Malibu through Waterworks District 29 … is not covered by the Metropolitan Water District order issued Monday.

But a county spokesman says the mandatory restrictions may be coming very soon to Malibu,.

Steven Frasher.


“The Waterworks District 29 that serves Malibu is not currently affected by the Metropolitan water District restrictions. But the district does encourage our Malibu Topanga customers to practice conservation. The drought situation in California is such that other restrictions are bound to follow that will affect all of us.”

The county’s Steven Frasher says there four agencies that hand off water for eventual delivery to Malibu will act together when it comes time to order water reductions.


“Waterworks is consulting with other agencies about the many steps that can be taken in a way to maximize the conservation effort. It’s not unreasonable to expect that a 20% requested cut back and consumption can be expected in the coming months.”

Steven Frasher at L-A County Public Works.


Support for KBUU Radio comes from the Malibu Foundation.

The Malibu Foundation underwrote the KBUU solar panels and batteries at the transmitter … which keeps KBUU’s FM transmitting on 99.1 during storms and blackouts… 24 seven… on clean renewable Malibu sunshine.

Grossman Was Just Below Official Blood Drunk Level Blood When She Moved Down Two Little Boys Over The Hill

Breath alcohol tests administer to Barbara Grossman just after her car mowed down and killed two little boys in a crosswalk show that the margaritas she had consumed at a bar had infused her blood with alcohol to just under the so-called limit.

Under the state’s drunk driving law … anyone with a point zero 8 blood alcohol content ior above is simply presumed to be intoxicated.

But a driver can be found to be drunk even with a blood alcohol content below .08 percent … although that finding is not automatic.

Grossman blew a ..076 on the alcohol breath test … a tiny fraction below the automatic drunk driving line.

She is not charged with drunk driving … but with the far more serious charges of two counts of seocnd degree and hit and run.

Testimony yesterday revealed that her SUV shut itself off after the crash … as it is programmed to do to prevent fire.

Somebody tried to restart the car 14 times … an apparent getaway attempt.   Grossman at first said she was not sure why she had stopped … but then repeatedly asked about the children that she hit.

Those children were Jacob and Mark Iskander …. Whom she had run over. 

Grossman’ preliminary hearing has dragged on three days … the judge is very unhappy with the defense attorney … who is aggressivelty cross examining witnesses. 

Due to scheduling conflicts, the preliminary hearing was continued to 9:30 a.m. May 4 at the Van Nuys courthouse.

And it seems that Westlake Village was not the only place where Grossman had been driving unsafely.

A CHP officer has testified he had earlier clocked her above 70 miles an hour on Kanan Road in Malibu. 


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More Good News About Covid In Local Public Schools

The latest school district Covid 19 tests in Malibu show very light positive infection stets.

Two students tested positive out of the more than 11 hundred enrolled in Malibu’s public schools.

That would be one kid each at Webster and Malibu Elementary schools.

No kids at Malibu Middle or High schools.

No staff either. 


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You can hear the news live every morning until 9:30 on KBUU.

FM 99.1 in western Malibu.  Also: streaming at www.radiomalibu.net

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