Monthly Meeting Notes for October




Karen Farer

Wendy Pumpelly

Marianne Riggins

Cynthia Kesselman

Christine Hovest

Roui Israel

Shannon Meyers

Scott Morrison


Cynthia Kesselman: Malibu Community Alliance lawsuit - There was an original agreement regarding the lighting in the parking lot at MHS.  There was a hearing in December 2014.  There was a compromise and there was a dispute regarding the compromise.  There was no agreement with the District to settle the issue with the language of the agreement.  There was a settlement conference with the Coastal Commission this last week and a lighting plan was determined.  This last week they came up with a detailed plan.  The lawsuit has held up the use of the bond money needed to rebuild the school.  The lighting plan is the only thing from keeping BB money from being used.  Stan Lamport with Cox, Castle, Nicholson represents MCA. 

Trancas Center lighting.  Lighting consultant James Benya worked with Malibu West neighborhood to achieve a suitable lighting plan.

This last week the District finally came up with a proposal for lighting on school grounds. The district has come up with a plan with approved fixtures.  James Benya is reviewing the District’s lighting plan now for MCA. 

Cynthia: We are trying to move forward and get the PCB’s out and the BB money to use to rebuild our schools. 

Karen, Scott: What is it going to take to resolve the obstacle of the MCA lawsuit?

We have been able to take simple actions – Karen was able to get the locker room showers at MHS cleaned by bringing it to the attention of the board, superintendent and others. 

Karen: Neighbor issues, etc.: When we have our own district, we will need to deal with these kinds of issues and others. 

One of the core issues is that we have a distant District Headquarters that has little knowledge of our local site circumstances and does not come to Malibu often. 

Per Wendy Pumpelly: Malibu schools will have to have a book, a volume of fundamental rules regarding how to keep the kids safe such as with pesticide use.  The District will have to be the keeper of the rulebook. We can sit down as a community and have that conversation. 

Karen: One goal is to make our schools as green as possible, with clean energy/solar panels, gray water systems, clean building materials. 

Wendy, Marianne, Karen, Scott: WiFi is really bad at schools – the router is in Santa Monica.  When we get to build out our own infrastructure, all that can be reevaluated and upgraded with sensitivity to community concerns. 

Karen: Our existing property taxes will allow a Malibu-only district to have much more than what we have under SMMUSD.  The donations are the icing on the cake – a very small part of the budget. 

Christy: With districtwide fundraising, we have no control over who we get for teaching art, when they come, how often, etc. Same for other SMMEF-controlled programs.  The District decides all of these things, the sites have no input. 

Scott: It is very difficult to have any pride of ownership now with such run-down facilities. 

Karen, Christy: Widely supported fundraising will happen as soon as we have our District.  People will want to contribute when they know where their money is going and have a say in how it is spent. 

Scott: We are trying to address various concerns people have about, i.e., “What am I losing?”  We are not going to lose anything by getting our own District.  The MHS Community Service Learning Program has approved high school students doing signature gathering.  Everyone is trying to get the word out, circulate the petition. 

Karen: Need 50% plus 1 vote to pass this measure (separation). 

Karen: The City does not have jurisdiction over the school district.

Cynthia: Malibu Community Alliance does not want to see infrastructure put in that is wrong.  We live in a dark sky community and are concerned about the lighting the school district wants to put into the high school.  

Karen: Is there anything AMPS we can do to help expedite the process?

Cynthia: The ball is in MCA’s court now – it is reviewing the lighting plan recently submitted by the District.  The issues are: which lights, the layout of the lights, the fixtures. 


Karen: AMPS “Weekly Open Meeting” will now change to monthly. This change will be publicized through email blasts, AMPS website, Facebook page, Twitterfeed, etc. Considering the first Wednesday of the month, to be confirmed.

 Next meeting: Wednesday, November 4, 6:30 pm at Michael Landon Center (Bluffs Park).

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