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Blue Smoke


Paul was born and raised about 200 miles up the 101 in Atascadero, California, where his family owned a hardware store.  As the fourth of five children, he followed the family practice of going to work in the hardware store at the age of 12.  He was taught to talk to everyone and try to help them find the solutions to their problems, even if it meant recommending another business in town.

Paul graduated from UCSB as a 4-year letterman in Crew with a degree in Business Economics. In Los Angeles, he went to work as an insurance adjuster for Lloyds of London.  Realizing his misstep, he earned a real estate salesman’s license in August of 1977. He moved to Malibu in January of 1978, drawn by the larger lot sizes, low crime, and wide open spaces.  In 1982, Paul received his real estate broker's license and went to work for the Jon Douglas Company.  He met Sara and her three children in 1987 and they married in 1988. The children went through the local schools and graduated from UC Santa Cruz, Pepperdine, and UCSB. In 1991, Paul and Sara became Associate Managers, a post they held through the sale to Coldwell Banker Company.

Paul was a candidate in Malibu’s first successful Cityhood Election and was endorsed by the Santa Monica Evening Outlook in June of 1990.  Paul was on the first General Plan Task Force and produced the minutes of each of the 24 area meetings conducted in the first 12 months. Paul attended every City Council meeting for the first few years and has continued to read agendas, attend and participate.


Paul has participated in the community as a charter member of the Kiwanis Club of Malibu and held all positions on their Board of Directors as well as a year as the Chair of the Malibu Chili Cookoff. At that time, the Chili Cookoff was the most successful Kiwanis fundraising event in the USA.


Paul has also served as the President of the Malibu Association of Realtors and is currently their Government Affairs Director as well as their representative to a study group representing 26 coastal counties in their dealings with FEMA and the Coastal Commission.


Paul has been a member of the Malibu Chamber of Commerce for many years and has been their government affairs chair for the last 4 years.  


Paul was first appointed by Jeff Jennings to the Public Works Committee 16 years ago. The appointment was renewed by Lou La Monte 10 years ago and again most recently by Karen Farrer.  In 2010, City Manager Jim Thorsen appointed him to a Commission formed to study the District 29 Water System and its shortcomings in the wake of the LACO Fire’s radical increase in the amount of Fire Flow required to rebuild after a fire.  Two years of meetings resulted in a 600+ page study which identified the weak links in the District 29 system.  The resultant $500,000,000 twenty-five year plan was shelved in 2016 by the County, leaving the city in in dire shape to fight Woolsey or rebuild afterwards.  After the fire, he met with several members of the Supervisor’s staff pointing out that the homes in Encinal and many of the homes in Malibu Park and Point Dume would not be able to meet the Fire Flow standards to rebuild.  Supervisor Kuehl instructed the head of Public Works, Mark Pestrella and LACO Fire Chief Osby to meet weekly until they hammered out a solution.


Grisanti was awarded a Malibu Times Dolphin Award in summer of 2019 for his role in the rebuilding solutions.

Since the Woolsey fire Paul has written and published in the Malibu Times over 78 columns about the fire, the recovery, rebuilding and being prepared for the next emergency. 

Paul has also logged many hours as part of Malibu’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and is currently a probationary member of Malibu West Fire Brigade awaiting activation in Arson Watch.

Paul Grisanti helping bring supplies from boats during Woolsey Fire

Paul helping bring supplies up the beach that were delivered by boat during the Woolsey Fire.

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