Three Agoura Hills City Council members greeted Friday's opening of a day laborer pickup site in Malibu with guarded optimism, but they said they have no plans to propose a similar program for their city.
"I certainly wish them well," said Councilwoman Darlene McBane. "I don't think we can afford it. You have to have a site and a coordinator, and there's just not that much money in our budget."
The Malibu site, 23535 Civic Center Way, will cost about $35,000 a year to operate, said Lt. Jim Pierson of the county sheriff's Lost Hills/Malibu station.
If successful, it could lure a few day laborers from their Agoura Hills hangouts, but Malibu's program probably won't solve its neighbor's problem, Pierson said.
Two years ago, responding to complaints that the workers caused a public nuisance, the Agoura Hills council banned roadside solicitation by day laborers and set up a phone service to match workers with potential employers.
But those measures failed to thin the ranks of day workers near the corner of Agoura and Kanan roads, and the city spent about $100,000 battling a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union, which described the new law as a racist affront to the mostly Latino workers.
The law against day laborer solicitation in Agoura Hills was upheld by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, but it is tough to enforce, because deputies don't have time to stake out the corner of Kanan and Agoura, Pierson said.
Agoura Hills, which was forced to make several minor budget cuts this fiscal year, has tried to better promote its bilingual phone service recently, instead of building a pickup site, said Councilwoman Fran Pavley. The day laborer service phone is (818) 707-2304.