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MALIBU : 6 Candidates Target Development Issues


Six people are seeking two City Council seats in the April 12 election, with campaigns focusing on slowing development and streamlining City Hall.

The field includes incumbents Walt Keller, who is seeking another four-year term, and John Harlow, who was appointed to the council in 1992 to fill the unexpired term of resigning Mayor Larry Wan.

Candidates have focused on keeping Malibu rural, preserving private property rights without harming the environment, expediting rebuilding in areas destroyed by the November firestorm, and developing a civic center development plan.

Here is a look at the candidates:

* Harlow, 63, is a retired division manager for Hughes Aircraft and has lived in the city for 33 years. He vows to streamline the city bureaucracy to enable homeowners to easily improve their property, cut city litigation costs through more arbitration and oppose government condemnation of properties affected by the fires and floods.

* Keller, 63, is a retired aerospace engineer and 33-year resident of the city. He promises to facilitate rebuilding of burned-out areas, adopt a General Plan that emphasizes slow growth, negotiate agreements with Caltrans to reduce traffic on Pacific Coast Highway and negotiate water delivery improvements with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works.

* Tom Hasse, 33, is a management analyst for the city of Los Angeles. Hasse, endorsed by Mayor Carolyn Van Horn and Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Kramer, has campaigned to elect council members Keller, Jeff Kramer, Joan House and Van Horn. Hasse promises to keep Malibu rural by establishing a land trust to buy property and "retire it" and to initiate a bond issue for the acquisition of land that would be left undeveloped.

* Jeff Jennings, 50, is an attorney and 22-year resident. Jennings pledges to uphold strict development controls, expedite rebuilding for residents burned out of their homes and end council micro-management.

* Louis Ragsdale, 72, is a semi-retired real estate agent and a 36-year resident. He ran for City Council in 1964 when voters considered cityhood, but incorporation was rejected. Ragsdale promises to reduce litigation costs, maintain private property rights and fine-tune environmental protection regulations. He objects to a recently introduced ordinance that would require residents to sign liability waivers to receive permits to rebuild property lost to fires.

* Robert Stratman, 71, is a retired educator and a 24-year resident. Stratman promises to broaden the city's economic base by exploring the establishment of a think tank in the civic center area. He also supports slow growth.

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