Legislators Approve Bill to Speed Malibu Incorporation

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Senate on Tuesday unanimously sent Gov. George Deukmejian a bill designed to help Malibu cityhood backers speed up the incorporation of their seaside community.

A 29-0 vote was cast on the legislation, which would nullify Los Angeles County's plan to delay Malibu's cityhood until March. The bill, introduced by Sen. Ed Davis (R-Santa Clarita), passed the Assembly by a 71-0 vote.

Although local voters approved Malibu cityhood by 85% in June, county supervisors have postponed incorporation to give them time to start work on a controversial sewer system before a new city government has a chance to block it.

The sewer issue is pending in the courts, where county officials say it should be decided. They contend that the proposed state law interferes with court jurisdiction.

Los Angeles County lobbyist Clarence C. Leland said the county will ask Deukmejian to veto the bill.

"It is the county's position that there currently are hundreds of millions of dollars worth of pending lawsuits concerning the sewer issue," Leland said.

Malibu City Councilman-elect Mike Caggiano, however, said after the upper house vote that he was "ecstatic. . . . We took on the county toe-to-toe and we won. But we still have one more hurdle. Now it's up to the governor. I sure hope he's in favor of local control."

A spokeswoman for the governor said Deukmejian has no position on the bill. The measure contains an urgency clause, which would make it effective immediately upon Deukmejian's signature.

Ill feeling in the Legislature over a November ballot initiative that would limit legislative terms, abolish lawmakers' pensions and severely reduce Senate and Assembly operating budgets, also played a role in the passage of Davis' bill. The initiative is sponsored by Los Angeles County Supervisor Pete Schabarum.

When Davis, a former Los Angeles chief of police, noted that Schabarum was opposed to the speeded-up Malibu cityhood concept, Sen. Dan Boatwright (D-Concord) said: "That's all you have to say to me. I ask for an aye vote."

"Let's put ourselves in the position of celebrating a new democracy--the city of Malibu," Davis said.

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