Mullen Bounced Off Council – Silverstein, Uhring and Grisanti Win – Third Feldman Opponent Loses

Written by on November 4, 2020

Malibu split its vote last night on the city council race.

But one decision was clear.

Incumbent city council member Rick Mullen was deeply unpopular with just about all segments of voters.

Mullen got just 10 percent of the votes … finishing behind six other candidates.

The election results as of 2:27 this morning are about the same as they were when the first batch came out … last night at 8:30.

An impromptu slate of three candidates …. with a decided anti-City Hall bent … had mixed results.

Bruce Silverstein and Steve Uhring won.

But Andy Lyon lost … buried in the middle of the pack of  “close but no cigar” second tier candidates.

Instead .. the voters gave the third seat to longtime Realtor and city hall insider Paul Grisanti.

Grisanti can reasonably by considered to be an ally of the other two city council members …Karen Farrer and Mikke Pierson.

And that would be a majority on important decisions like hiring a city manager and city attorney.

Silverstein and Uhring seized on voter concerns about campers on the highway … vagrants in vacant fields.

And on safety.

In the last week … they hammered the city manager … Reva Feldman … for failing to execute the city’s plan to deal with blacked out traffic lights by putting city-owned generators out.

Caltrans has given the city permission to do that … but to the astonishment of many … the city manager held them back in reserve … only to be used in case of fires.

So … by the numbers … here are the results …. without an unknown number of provisional votes counted yet …

Number one … Bruce Silverstein …with 15 point 2 percent of the vote.

Silverstein has hammered away at city manager Reva Feldman on several issues … like the use of a vacant lot near his house for an emergency power company lot right after the big fire.

Number two … Steve Uhring … with just under 14 point 7.

Uhring is a member of the city planning commission … who has frequently clashed with city planners …  whom he accuses of overstepping limits placed on them.

Number three …. Paul Grisanti … with 14 point 5 percent of the vote.

Grisanti can can be painted as a property rights advocate … he’s worked hard on improving the water supply system.

The current results show that Grisanti has 141 votes ahead of the closest loser … Doug Stewart.

Stewart invested 52 thousand dollars of his own money into the race.

That’s 33 dollars per vote.

Andy Lyon fourth … at 12 point 9 percent.

Mark Wetton just nine votes behind … in fifth place at 12 point 8 percent.

The incumbent Rick Mullen finished sixth … just a hair under 10 percent.

There were a lot of possible reasons for that.

Mullen voted against the COVID face mask rules.

Mullen made 400 thousand dollars a year at the fire department.

And many many Malibu residents feel the fire department sucks.

Finishing seventh … on his second try … Lance Simmens.

His plan to add beach parking … and impose his friend’s artistic vision on Pacific Coast Highway clearly alienated eastern Malibu voters.

One important note … the county percentages are a mathematical representation of the total number of votes cast for all three council seats, divided by the number of votes tallied.

Assuming that each voter cast three ballots for city council – by all means an imperfect assumption – each candidate gathered a much larger percentage of support from the electorate.


These are not final results.

There may be some provisional ballots to be counted.

The number of ballots counted from Malibu does seem low … in a heavy turnout year.

It could be … the results will change.


One other election item in Malibu …. not really controversial.

Measure T is an increase in the hotel tax… also charged to bed and breakfasts.

It goes up now … from 12 to 15 percent.

That matches Santa Monica.

And it means an extra three quarters of a million dollars for Malibu’s shaky budget.

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