Santa Monica Makes Nice-Nice With Malibu As Divorce Terms Are Laid Out – Farmers Fire Insurance Accused Of Redlining – Still No Immediate Relief From Caltrans On Sunset PCH Lane Closure

Written by on May 23, 2024

The Santa Monica school board last night met for the first time – in public – to air out the proposed financial aspects of the pending Malibu school divorce.

Not much of a turnout.  Unlike past sessions held by the LA County board of education … the Santa Monica PTAs and minority communities were not there … decrying Malibu’s independence drive and expressing their perception of racism and elitism in Malibu.

The district’s chief negotiator told the school board that …. an end to the stream of money coming from Malibu will not hurt the school district … but that it will reflect the financial environment that the district must operate under.

The school board was told that … its budget will go up and down with the fortunes of the region … and the state budget.  Just lioke everywhere else.

School board negotiator Shin Green:


“That is your reality as a unified district.

“You have growth – each year .

“You must fit within that growth – each year.

“You’ve been fortunate enough that tax base grows normally 4% 5% 6% a year.

“But the reality is is that one day when it won’t get that number ,and you’ll have to learn to adjust for that.

The district financial expert told the board that – under the dicorce terms – tax money from Malibu’s lucrative property tax rolls will be flowing to Santa Monica for 17 years.  Taht is … unless Santa Monica’s massive development generates so much property tax revenue that Malibu contributions phase out.

Then … in 17 years … one way of the other …. the Santa Monica-only schoiol district is going to score a major financial bonanza .  In 17 years …  bonds issud 13 years ago for Santa Monica redevelopment projects will be paid off … and that means an enormous ncrease in Santa Monica property tax revenue.

If … for some reason … that doesn;t happen … then Malibu will commit to continue payiong support money to Santa Monica … with that tailong off in about 27 years.

Again … district divorce counselor Shin Green:


“I think a 15 to 20 year window is an acceptable time frame for turning something off.

“And having that backstop of a taper – a kind of predictable step down in augmentation or support year over at 5 to 10 year window – is adequate safety – I think – to adjust.

“So every district must learn to live with its revenues that are made available to it, we’re hitting this termination date with no transfer required and we’ve seen some 4% group over that time frame not exceeded to have this thing turned off, which should allow revenue for the district to maintain its normal operating patterns.”

There were complaints last night that the actual financial deal between the city and the school board is still being kept secret.

The school’s team says the deal is finished except for a review … what they called dotting the eyes and crossing the tees.

School board member Lori Lieberman said she did not see the point of releasing it yet …


“I understand the desire to see if it’s just …  I don’t think it serves the purpose to put it out now when it’s really in draft form and then there’s nothing being hidden other than the eyes and tees that are really finalizing that matches the concepts that are being shared.”

The teachers union is not buying that.

Claudia Bautista-Nicholas is president of the joint district’s Classroom Teachers Association.


“How will the two new district split liabilities?

“What about a bonded indebtedness?

“What research was done by the district formulating framework … we have access to review that information?

“If you’re only doing crossing tees and dotting eyes … what is the actual agreement?

“I haven’t seen anything only a lot of vagueness.”

So why hasn’t the Santa Monica school board met with its unions to discuss the financial arrangements for the pending Malibu divorce???

Karen Farrer is the Malibu woman who went from the PTA to the city council over10 years … working on the school district separation thew whole time.  She asked the school board last night … to get together with its employees.


“It’s your place to invite the unions to meet and hear about this. I wish that the City of Malibu could do that, but I don’t believe that our place.

“So the ball is in your court to do that, and I hope you will consider doing that.”

And that frustration was also voiced by one Malibu parent and teacher … Alicia Peak.

She told the board that there two public meetings … one by the Malibu city council … the other by the school board … still haven’t yet produced an actual agreement on paper.


“Both of these meetings lead to one thing and that’s you guys need a deadline. We need a deadline the poor teachers need a deadline.

“We need something that is concrete that we that is tangible that we can all hold onto.

“How long did the potatoes need to cook?”

Farmers Insurance Sued Over Fire Policies In SF Bay Area

The Farmers Insurance Group companies is engaging in illegal business practices … redlining  … and intionally underinsuring many of its fire insurance clients in California.

That’s the charge from the county prosecutor in Alameda County … a.part of the bay Area that includes a lot of hillside fire country much like Malibu.

Alameda County D-A Pamela Price accuses the company of coming up with low-ball estimates to win customers’ business … but then leaves them with insufficient coverage to rebuild after a. Fire.

Price announced the lawsuit yesterday … against a group of companies operated by Farmers.


“These insurance companies have utilized a software application that allows them essentially to defraud homeowners one of the features of the ‘360 Value’ software that we are alleging improperly underestimated that the replacement cost is that is based on ZIP Code so it’s another way of redlining.”

The Alameda County District Attorneys Office claims the companies offer lower prices to entice customers … but then leaves them woefully underinsured if they need to rebuild.

They claim Farmers sets its rates based on an entire zip code … and does not factor in unusual circumstances … like having to build on a slope … or replacing a house built with unusual roofing materials.

The Alameda County prosecutor says she doesn’t care if the lawsuit forces Farmers out of writing policies in California.


“If an insurance company chooses not to unfairly cheap residents of California, then that’s a good thing because that means it opens the door for insurance companies that are willing to comply with California law.”

The DA told KGO television in San Francisco that she wants Farmers to improve its computer software … to taekinto account individual risk rather than general risk … from an entire zip code.

She said a settlement would mean insurance companies would have to make significant software modifications and use actual replacement values … if they want to do business in the lucrative and huge California insurance market.

Farmers writes abut 15 percent of the fire insurance policies in California.

It’s the second largest company in the state.

A spokesman for the company says “The allegations in the complaint are simply incorrect.”

They say they do not seek to provide low replacement cost estimates… and that they intend to discuss this with the DA’s office to address these concerns and defend their position.

PCH Closure Remedy Still Weeks Away, Caltrans Says, As Possibly-Related Crash Injures 3 On Sunset

The continued closure of one lane of Pacific Coast Highway is causing major problems getting to Malibu.

Impatient drivers are speeding up the center left turn lane to bypass all the cars waiting to squeeze through.

And many drivers are using Sunset Boulevard through Pacific Palisades to get wrong the 45 minute waits during evening rush hour.

Speeding and driving like idiots … on the twisting and narrow section of Sunset above PCH in the Palisades.

It’s not clear if this is related … but two nights ago …. A vehicle speeding towards Malibu overturned a half mile before PCH … in the sharp turns near SRF Lake Shrine.

Just before 6 p.m. Tuesday, crews were sent to the 17000 block of W Sunset Boulevard and found an overturned vehicle, which was resting against a two-story apartment building, the LAFD said.

Six peile inside that SUV were hurt.

Two of them were seriously injured and the third moderately injured, according to the department.

Three other people who were involved in the crash received medical aid on the scene, but declined to be taken to a hospital.

At Caltrans headquarters … plans are still being drawn up to add a second lane heading towards Malibu … at  the tramanto Landslide … on PCH west of Sunset Boulevard.

That’s the cause of there major traffic cork.

A Caltrans spokeswoman told KBUU last night that the state has engineering plans and is seeking a contractor to take on the job.

No dirt will be removed … it’s simply. A matter of removing the current pylons … erasing the current stripes … and restripoing four lanes

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