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Council Candidate: Joan House

Joan House answers questions about her candidacy.

Editor's Note: Malibu Patch sent a questionnaire to the seven City Council candidates. The questions come from Malibu Patch readers and Malibu Patch staff. All candidates received the same questions. Be sure to find out the candidates' views on more Malibu issues by watching the Great Malibu Debate .

What is your name, birth date and how many years have you lived in Malibu (if there are any gaps, mention them and explain them)? Who are your immediate family members? Feel free to mention names and ages.

Name: Joan House

Birthdate: 5/22/38  

Years in Malibu: 37 years

Family members: Husband, Ken; two children, David and Nicole; 5 grandchildren

What is your education and work history?

I got my B.A from San Diego State and teaching credential from Long Beach State. I taught in the Peace Corps, Garden Grove Unified School District, and on the Navajo Indian Reservation. I have been a small business administrator for Kenneth M. House, M.D. Ph. D. Inc.

Why are you qualified to be on the City Council?

I have dedication, experience, and institutional memory.

Who are you voting for in this election?

I am supporting John Sibert because I know he brings a unique expertise to the Council, and I am voting for myself because among other reasons, I have a proven track record of supporting the tenets of our General Plan.

What is your favorite book? movie? Why?

The Iliad because it’s a timeless adventure that teaches as well as entertains. My favorite movie is Harold & Maude because it is at once hilarious, touching, and entertaining.

Why do you live in Malibu?

I love the way of life. It offers everything I could ever want—beaches, mountains, trails, and small town friendliness.

Who was Malibu’s best City Council member? Why do you choose that person?

Each councilperson brings a different strength and expertise to the table. And while I might agree with one councilperson more than another, I respect their service equally. I think it would be inappropriate for me to choose one over the other.

Do you think the agencies involved in lobbying for sewers have any connection to the developers that will profit from them in our community?

I doubt it, since most of the agencies impose restrictive regulation on developers, especially the agencies that regulate the environment.

How will you help Malibu retain its beautiful rural charm?

I helped write the Malibu General Plan, and Mission Statement that states that we will preserve our rural environment. If we follow the vision set forth in our General Plan, we will stay on the right path

Some of the candidates seem to have hung their hats on being born here or living here a long time. What’s more important, being a long-time resident in Malibu or having a track record of showing up at City Council meetings and volunteering in Malibu organizations? 

The only criteria to serve on the City Council should be putting the good of the City first and working as hard as you can without worrying about who gets the credit.

The Tapia sewage treatment facility was built without Malibu community input and has caused grievous harm to Malibu's main watershed. It is set up to get worse as it processes more than 10 million gallons of sewage a day. Will you support an effort to hold the Army Corp of Engineers accountable for coming up with a plan to reroute that processed sewage to the Valley for irrigation purposes?

I believe in the reuse of all water as long as it doesn’t pollute. The installation of purple pipes to irrigate parch areas of the valley should be mandatory. If that water can be diverted to the valley or even to Malibu for irrigation, I would support it.

Do you support a livable wage for City Council Members, such as $2,000 per month or more, plus benefits? Is $2000.00 a month liveable? 

State Law sets City Council wages.  I don’t believe people should want to make money from public service.

A voter-approved city law restricts candidates to serving two terms on the City Council. But terms served before 2000 do not count toward that total. Is it appropriate for a candidate to use this loophole to run for three or more terms?

Jeff Jennings, Walt Keller, and Governor Brown all served two terms before term limits were passed. Each ran for a third term and two of them were successful and one was not. The voters spoke, just as they will in this election.

How do you feel about the Malibu Bay Co. Development Agreement (Measure M) that voters rejected in 2003? 

Once the voters make their decision I won’t argue. The one thing I regret is that with Measure M, we could have purchased the Chile Cook-off site without the deed restrictions we eventually had to accept.

Malibu shopping centers in recent years have started to resemble Rodeo Drive, especially in the Cross Creek area. Many shops and services used by local shoppers have closed due to high rents. What do you think of Preserve Malibu's proposal for a diversification ordinance that would require a broader offering of services, or do you have a better solution? 

The diversification ordinance is an intriguing idea. It, of course, has to be examined by the entire community.

How do you propose working with other council members with whom you might disagree on contentious issues.

There is never an excuse for not being civil.

How would you change city government (larger, smaller, different emphasis)?

The needs of the City dictate the size of staff. I support smaller government when possible. It is important to be flexible and meet the needs of the City. For instance, if there is a demand for more recreational opportunities, then it might be necessary to add staff to the Parks and Recreation Department. Where there is not demand, staff should be eliminated.

Do you support the acquisition of land for additional parks and recreation facilities? If so, how would you finance this?   

Yes, I support more parks and recreation facilities. More shared use agreements with the School District could offer many more recreational opportunities at a minimum cost. Buying large parcels of land would require passing a bond measure.

How do you plan to better prepare the citizens of Malibu for the next fire? Do you believe the last fire was handled well, and how will the Corral Canyon Volunteer Fire Department affect the next fire that will be coming soon?  

Malibu has fires; it is always a matter of when, not if. Brush clearance, Brush clearance, brush clearance is one of the most effective way to protect property.  Communication by Arson watch, volunteers, and citizen input are instrumental in containment. The outreach by the city via phones, fax and e-mails inform the community members. The City generated maps, illustrating where hydrants are located and other water sources, assist the fire department. I propose a dedicated city employee to help the fire department by annually inspecting and enforcing brush clearance on all parcels.    

M Stanley March 16, 2012 at 08:05 AM
Term limits lead my vote whether it be in Malibu or beyond. I also feel that Brown held office so long ago that the political climate - and connections - have changed significantly as compared to the relatively short span of time that Malibu has had term limits on the books. One more time, Pamela Conley Ulich challenged this voter approved legislation as one of her first orders of business when she became rotating Mayor and she is still on this issue today. Voters spoke, term limits are law and we should uphold the law including the "spirit" of that law's origins.
Annie March 16, 2012 at 12:46 PM
The question was not meant for anyone to actually state who they voted for, it was only to remind people that you can't pick and choose when you are going to believe in rules.
Carla March 22, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Thanks for your participation last night. I hope you realize how many people are concerned about the direction our city has been moving. You have been on three of the previous councils and on the planning commission for many years. Thank you for your service. However, the present council has been the first in many years to begin to listen to the citizens. It remains to be seen if they actually act on the concerns of the citizens, but I do thank them for listening instead of rolling their eyes at anyone who would question their actions. They also have enacted some positive changes in a variety of areas. I only hope more citizens get involved in our city and make the changes we need to Preserve Malibu. This is such an important issue and the one that is motivating so many of us. We will not lose our city to sewers, developers and bulldozers.
J. Flo March 22, 2012 at 05:53 PM
I, too, appreciate our new council. They listen, they are respectful, they look for solutions. And I hope that our city continues to go forwards - not into the past. We need some young voices, let the next generation get involved, it's time! The effort to preserve and protect Malibu - is not going away - if anything it's growing stronger and will encompass more and more Malibu concerns! YEA citizens -
Athena Shlien March 25, 2012 at 08:03 PM
I have been to two debates and I must say that I think Joan's answers are politicized. Isn't time for genuine people to represent us rather than sly politicians? I am sure she has done some wonderful things for Malibu but isn't time for real change?

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