Mayor Hopes to Get Council to Join Anti-Paparazzi Crusade
• Will Seek Formation of Ad Hoc Committee Next Week
BY ANNE SOBLE
BY ANNE SOBLE
Mayor Pamela Conley Ulich wants to transfer her volunteer efforts to curb paparazzi activities in Malibu to a formal municipal ad hoc committee that will work with the Chamber of Commerce on the controversial issue involving the balancing of First Amendment rights in the community.
The mayor is going to report to the city council at its regular meeting on Monday, Oct. 27, on her participation in the Los Angeles Regional Paparazzi Task Force, which held a sparsely attended meeting in Malibu earlier this month where the group introduced it’s “citizen’s guide,” a one-page sheet of vehicle infraction and public disturbance citations with recommendations to “call the police” or an “attorney” without further clarification.
The mayor hopes to tie her de facto efforts to control what she perceives to be overly aggressive paparazzi to “the possibility of reactivating a sheriff’s substation in Malibu to bolster safety for residents and visitors alike.”
Conley Ulich also has worked for several months, mostly out of the public eye, with faculty members at the Pepperdine University School of Law in an effort to draft possible municipal ordinances to curb paparazzi activities.
The current legal situation regarding paparazzi complaints consists mainly of urging citizens to dial 911 if they feel threatened by paparazzi, or 310-456-6652 if there are non-emergency circumstances they wish to report.
Although only one elementary school has provided public testimony on ostensibly unremediable paparazzi problems, the task force is urging consideration of “whether it is appropriate to establish safety zones around schools when children are arriving, departing and playing outside in playgrounds adjacent to public sidewalks.”
Conley Ulich has downplayed concerns voiced by local journalists that these rules could impede the community press.
Also being proposed is “whether licensing provisions should be adopted to include commercial photographers, and/or whether taxes would be appropriate.”
The task force states that its primary goal is to “educate and empower the public about their rights and freedoms with regard to aggressive photographers.”
Conley Ulich will ask the council to request that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department “follow up with the Beverly Hills Police Department to learn how it has protected citizens and businesses from paparazzi” even though LASD representatives have indicated they are following similar protocols and implementing all relevant ordinances.