I am writing to protest the public-be-damned manner in which a "public hearing" was conducted by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. The ostensible purpose of the Sept. 25 hearing: to receive public testimony on the county's "Suggested Modification of the Malibu Land Use Plan."
In preparation for my oral statement, I estimate that I spent more than 15 hours doing the following: reviewing the county's lengthy document, conferring with members of our organization, reviewing our organization's formal statement in comment on the county document, outlining my oral remarks, driving Pacific Coast Highway (which took 90 minutes that morning) to the McClure Tunnel and then on to the County Building.
I was in for several rude shocks when I arrived at the county hearing room at 9 a.m. The Malibu Land Use Plant subject was No. 19 on a 20-item agenda--done deliberately, I now conclude, in order to forestall any opportunity for significant input from the public and to provide seeming justification for Chairman (Pete) Schabarum's announcement shortly after the hearing got under way that because of the lengthy agenda "and the many people who want to be heard," remarks would be "limited to three minutes." Those who gave testimony were herded like sheep two or three at a time up to the podium.