The following speech was read by outgoing Mayor Laura Zahn Rosenthal at Monday night's council meeting:
I have been asked to reflect on my time being Mayor of our wonderful city. When I took the oath to become Mayor of Malibu, I felt a deep sense of responsibility and accountability to our City and its citizens.
Over the last 9-½ months, I have been honored to represent Malibu at official city ceremonies; I have travelled to Sacramento several times to testify before state commissions. I have met numerous times with State, County and Federal legislators on behalf of Malibu issues (like ). I have met with the Secretary of Transportation to push for safety improvements on PCH; I have represented the city at the League of California Cities Conventions. I also travelled to Seattle for a Mayor’s Convening on Education at the Gates Foundation with other Mayors of some of America’s largest cities. I was asked to travel to with other national and international mayors.
We have worked very hard to improve the perception of Malibu as a serious city and we need to continue that mission. We all agree that Malibu needs to be taken more seriously – whether from legislators, State and County agencies, Coastal Commission, Regional Water Quality Board, environmental organizations, our regional cities, and also with our own residents. The Mayor must be the epitome of that behavior, always representing us as a responsible, determined, progressive and steady city. It has been my privilege to be your Mayor and I hope that I have responded accordingly. I have learned a lot and become aware of how my time and experience as a Councilmember helped me become a better Mayor for the people of Malibu.
Malibu needs leadership that can be consistent, responsible and receptive to the many various needs and desires of our City. We have agreed and disagreed on different items and I have tried to dmonstrate a respectful demeanor and calmness during some trying times. People ask me all the time how I can stay calm when others are yelling at me or suggesting things that I know to be untrue. My respect for the office of Mayor and for our City is just what I have needed to maintain my composure and to listen to others.
While I believe that I helped improve communication between us all during these last months, we still have a long way to go. As I pass the baton, I won’t be curbing my efforts to get the facts out and develop ways to enhance communication. In fact, I will have more time to devote to this and my other concerns: safety on PCH, from development and becoming our own (among others). Malibu has a number of very important issues on our agenda in the very near future and a measured, mature and meaningful debate and guidance has never been more necessary. I am proud that we are nearly finished implementing a and that we also produced a tobacco retailer registration ordinance to help prevent the sale of tobacco to minors.
We have a wonderful staff at City Hall that makes the Council’s job so much easier. Their professionalism, dedication and hard work often remind me that we can solve any problem when we work together. And I say the same for the many, many people in Malibu who have stepped up, gotten involved, taught me and tested me and pushed me beyond my comfort level. The stress inherent in the Mayor’s job was eased for me by the wonderful sense of collaboration and the partnerships that I have formed during this last year.
I have worked hard to try to provide the leadership that this City deserves and wants and I have really enjoyed my time as Mayor. I have discovered a passion for public service (thank you Mom & Dad!), problem solving and partnerships. Being Mayor reinforced my love for this City and my belief in working together and I truly believe we can continue to work together for the benefit of this entire city.