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County Seen as Abusing Power

November 12, 1989

I don't understand. My family and I are gainfully employed and contributing members of society. I am active in, and deeply committed to my community, family, friends and neighbors. I am obsessive about exercising my right to vote. I care about the quality of our lives and not merely its abundance. I do not consider myself special or unique. What I am is representative of what people are in my hometown--Malibu.

So, how did I end up disenfranchised in my own country? How did I end up with Supervisor (Deane) Dana telling me and my neighbors on Oct. 19 that if we wanted the right to vote on Malibu cityhood, we should stop exercising our moral, legal and social right to protest that which is immoral, unjust and socially repugnant to all men of conscience? How did I end up hearing county counsel direct our government representatives to disregard the law by ignominiously advising the supervisors that they did not have to set a cityhood election date within the time frame set forth in the law because the law was only a guideline and not mandatory?

How did all this come to be? It is because I wanted to trust the system and the people whom we have empowered to make it run. It is because by the time I woke up to how the system runs, I was on the outside looking in. It is because I believe that dialogue is the tool preferred by moral, rational men, that I employed it, only to be bashed and battered by the county, which is run by amoral, irrational men who will manipulate and pervert the cooperation of others to suit their own agendas. For the county, trust is a weakness; sincerity a sickness; honesty a concept demanded only for others.

Like it or not, (Assistant) County Counsel (Bill) Pellman has set the stage. The gods he serves are not bound by the law. Dana wants sewers in Malibu before a vote on cityhood, despite the law. Putting two and two together, we come up with the county's Catch-22: a condition that cannot be tolerated and can only be toppled through litigation. Better Malibu voters face that reality and prepare than turn our backs and despair.

The cancer caused by the county's misuse of power must be cut out. The court will be our operating theater. When wrong is right and our government representatives place themselves above the law, men of conscience must stand and fight.

BOB AREY

Malibu

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