A former Malibu mayor encouraged the Malibu City Council Monday to explore whether to move toward a "strong-mayor" system of government.
The city currently operates under a "weak-mayor" system, in which council members rotate to the position every nine and a half months. Under that system, the mayor has little power beyond the title.
Under the "strong-mayor" system, the mayor has power as chief executive.
Pamela Conley Ulich, who served as Malibu's mayor from April 2009 to January 2010, brought up the request at Monday's regular City Council meeting.
"You were all elected by the people of Malibu to be city councilmembers. However, none of you were elected by the people of Malibu to our mayor," former Conley Ulich said at Monday's meeting.
She likened the position of mayor as a captain of a ship who can steer the course of Malibu in a consistent way.
"I would ask you to return the power to the people of Malibu to determine whether or not the 'weak-mayor' system, which is elected by only council members and not the people is better for our city or whether the time has come to have a 'strong-mayor' form of government," Conley Ulich said. "You have the power to put this on the agenda. You have the power to put this on the ballot and I hope you will have the courage to put it on the ballot to let the people of Malibu determine our fate."
She ended her statement, which came during public comments, with a promise that the people of Malibu will put the issue on the ballot even if the city decides not to.
"I’m hoping we don’t have to do that," Conley Ulich said.
Her request comes in the weeks following a to appoint Joan House to the position of mayor pro tem instead of Councilman Skylar Peak, who is for his alleged behavior at a Malibu shopping center. Peak was the top vote getter in April's election and was in line for the position.
Peak said during the meeting that he supports Conley Ulich's proposal to explore a "strong-mayor" system.
"I do believe that a 'strong-mayor' system is something that would be advantageous to our city," Peak said, adding that he will be working with his staff to explore the possibility.
Mayor Pro Tem Joan House said she likes the way the council currently operates, but will keep an open mind.
"I’m willing to look at it if others are willing to look at it," House said.
Councilman John Sibert said he will consider the request.
"I’m perfectly happy to see it on the ballot because I happen to believe in democracy," Sibert said.
Both Mayor Lou La Monte and Councilwoman Laura Zahn Rosenthal did not comment on the request.