Council Majority OKs Funding for Municipa Version of Trancas Park
• Shuts Doors on Improvements
BY BILL KOENEKER
BY BILL KOENEKER
Despite a plea from a park activist to reconsider the so-called Goldman plan for Trancas Canyon Park, the Malibu City Council this week on a 3-2 vote, with Councilmembers Pamela Conley Ulich and Jefferson Wagner dissenting, approved nearly an additional $100,000 for a consulting firm to provide engineering and design plans for the council-approved redesign.
Malibu West resident Lynn Norton told the council she had a petition signed by 600 individuals throughout Malibu, who preferred a redesign drawn up by local architect Ron Goldman.
She said that topped the petition calling for a dog park that was the previously cited impetus for including a dog park at the Trancas facility. Discounting the out-of area addresses and names on the dog park petition, Norton said her petition had more bona fide signatures. “Either petitions count, or they don’t count,” she said.
Norton, who provided the council with more information about the Goldman plan, asked the council to consider the new information before they approved spending $98,890 on another plan. She said no retaining wall was needed in the plan and provided a copy of a preliminary budget.
Whereupon Councilmember Sharon Barovsky launched into a critique of government by petition and declared that it is not the way to lead. “I would have signed your petition. You are absolutely right, we should not govern by petition. It is a bad way to lead,” she said.
When Barovsky asked City Manager Jim Thorsen to elucidate “what is fact and not fact,” the city manager said there were cost estimates done on the original plan, and revised cost estimates done on the city-chosen plan, the costs of the Goldman plan were not done in engineering. “I can’t give you an engineering decision,” he said.
Thorsen talked about the different designs in the plans and said he felt the city’s design is a safer one.
Barovsky said the deciding factor for her was that the practice field in the Goldman plan would be reduced and it would not be a “regulation practice field.”
Conley Ulich agreed with Barovsky about the practice field. “The size of the field is wrong. We discussed it in closed session,” she said, referring to the council’s decision being challenged in court by the Malibu Township Council.
Wagner said he thought the petitions were a good litmus and would be considered by him. However, he said his first concern was the lawsuit and protecting the city. “That is my first priority to protect the city,” he added.
Councilmember John Sibert prefaced his remarks by saying he is not a big fan of adult supervised sports, but was convinced by his colleagues that it is important. “That is why I think we need a regulation field,” he added.
Sibert reminded his colleagues the actual decision about what plan to choose had already been made. “I don’t like to use a vote for funding to stop a project,” he said. “There may be reasons to revisit this because of the lawsuit. I look at petitions too, but I was elected to use my judgment,” he added.