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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Sheriff’s Substation Will Come to Malibu as Part of SMC Campus Package

• EOC Included in Dual Use Setup

BY BILL KOENEKER

Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, whose district includes Malibu, brought news to the state-of-the-city conference sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce last week when he announced the board had signed off on a tentative deal with Santa Monica College to bring a satellite campus to Malibu in the Civic Center area.
“Last Tuesday, the board approved the parameters of the deal,” said Yaroslavsky.
The third district supervisor ticked off the highlights of the agreement, which includes a 25-year lease with the college district for $4.4 million with the rent up front. After the 25 years, there are 14 five-year extensions. The college will consist of a new 57,000-square-foot building to replace the former sheriff’s station with a college facility and a sheriff’s substation.
“More importantly, there would be an emergency operations center for disasters. Parts of the college would connect to the EOC. Some of it would be built into the building,” the supervisor explained.
“It would be the first dual use of its kind, at least in the county,” he added.
The deal is expected to be signed in January 2012.
The supervisor also talked about the Pepperdine University expansion plans, which he called “modest.”
Yaroslavsky, who has made one of the cornerstones of his platform the protection of the Santa Monica Mountains, did acknowledge that “If I had been around when Pepperdine first applied, I would not have been for it. It is kind of an anachronism. But it is important to the area economy. I have a wonderful relationship with Pepperdine.”
Yaroslavsky said he knew that the new field house or event center is expected to create traffic problems.
“Don’t worry,” he quipped, “the basketball team is not that good.” He was greeted with laughter and a few boos. “If they get better, I’d be willing to suffer the traffic.”
He added the expansion plan accounts for increasing student housing, “which should help mitigate traffic.”
“This plan is outstanding,” Yaroslavsky said.
The supervisor said another favorable aspect of the plans is how the lights on campus will be directed downward to meet dark sky standards. He pointed to the Tucson sky and the night light standards there as an example.
He said Pepperdine will abide by those standards. “They are going to retrofit existing lights. All the lights will be downward. The whole campus will be on dark sky standards. I am delighted by this. Pepperdine is a partner. I love what [President]Andy [Benton] is doing there,” he concluded.
The supervisor also discussed the state of the county’s economy. He said that county is in good financial shape, and that was not by accident.
Yaroslavsky said the county has learned to curb its spending in both good years and bad. “In the good years, we sock it away to have money for the lean years. Don’t undertake things you can’t sustain in the lean years,” he said. “Most politicians don’t care. In six years they won’t be there.”
The supervisor went on to emphasize the value of not having term limits for elected officials.
The board of supervisors is one of the few government entities that has not enacted term limits.
He said folks should come to realize the economy works in cycles. “It is as old as the Bible. Common sense tells you, you have good years, but they don’t last forever.”
He said Los Angeles County “is in good shape, but we are not in great shape.”
The county’s billion dollar reserve is down to $250 million, according to the supervisor, who said that despite three years of recession, the county has still been able to navigate the economic downturn.
Yaroslavsky urged Malibuites to give testimony to the redistricting committee and tell them they want the entire city to remain in the third district and want to keep the third district much as it is. “Our district will probably play a role because it is in the middle of the other districts,” he said.
Mayor John Sibert also spoke and talked about the accomplishments of the city and said the municipality was “doing a great job,” on the budget.
“We have a balanced budget. We have increased the reserve. We have passed all audits. We are not just rural/residential, we are a small town,” he noted.
His most cryptic remark is that he said the city “is working on a place where you can buy a screw driver.” He did not elaborate.
Sibert said it is also important to try to get people to stay longer in Malibu, so they will spend more money.
He said the efforts to generate more of a sense of community has been successful with the farmers market in business and the construction of Legacy Park and the dog park at Trancas Canyon.
Sibert said he wanted to leave people with one thought: “Reasonable people can reasonably disagree.”

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