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LETTER: Will Tradition be Upheld in Upcoming Mayoral Rotation?

It tradition is followed, on Monday August 27, 2012, Lou La Monte will be tapped for Mayor and the top vote getter in the April 2012 election, Skylar Peak, will become Mayor Pro Tem for the next 9.6 months.

The position of Mayor in City of Malibu is to be rotated “among all” councilmembers.  This system is also called the weak-Mayor system because the Mayor has no more authority than any other member of the City Council; however, the Mayor holds the gavel and runs the City Council meetings to insure they are orderly and efficient.   

Charles Adrian and Charles Press explain, "The weak-mayor plan is a product of Jacksonian democracy. It comes from the belief that if politicians have few powers and many checks, then they can do relatively little damage."  (Wikipedia) The Mayor Pro Tem is the “next in line” to serve as Mayor and will fill in for the Mayor in his/her absence. 

The City Manager is hired by a majority of the City Council to run the day-to-day operations of the City and the City Manager is instilled with the power to hire and fire all City personnel.   

In a strong Mayor-Council system of Government the Mayor elected directly by the people and has additional duties and powers (for example they can hire and fire staff and prepare the budget). 

Since the City of Malibu was formed in March 1990 over 21 years ago, there have been 10 men and 5 women who have served as Mayor for various periods of time.  Traditionally, the order of the rotation of Mayor is determined by who has the most votes.  In 2008, the City of Malibu voted to reduce the length of the Mayor’s term from 1 year to 9.6 months to insure that every elected Councilmember had the opportunity to serve as Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem.

Mayor Rosenthal became the Mayor November 2011 because she was the highest vote getter in 2008. The next top vote getter, Lou La Monte became Mayor Pro Tem. 

It tradition is followed, on Monday August 27, 2012, Lou La Monte will be tapped for Mayor and the top vote getter in the April 2012 election, Skylar Peak, will become Mayor Pro Tem for the next 9.6 months.

Will the current City Councilmembers honor the will of the voters and select Skylar Peak to serve as its Mayor Pro Tem on Monday? 

If Laura and Lou vote against this tradition on Monday, then they may be held accountable at the polls in April 2014.  Neither John Sibert nor Joan House are eligible for reelection due to term limits, so they do not have to fear being held accountable in an election.   

If the people of Malibu do not agree with the outcome of Monday night, then another option exists. The people of Malibu could vote to change to a strong-mayor form of government to insure that the Mayor is elected directly by the people, for the people and not by Councilmembers who may or may not be accountable to the people.

JamieDixon August 29, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Concerned Local, Based on the over development, increased congestion, lack of planning, disregard for the General Plan, willingness to allow variances that have destroyed the character of the community, inability the prevent State Parks and the State of California from doing whatever they want within the City Limits, unwillingness to enforce Conditional Use Permits when businesses violate them, overspending, cronyism and most likely corruption within the City government for the past 20-years, the majority of City Council members have had “no grasp of the complexity of local issues”. Just curious, how long have you lived in Malibu?
John Mazza August 29, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Character assassination by someone who will not give their name is cowardly. Accusing someone of assault who has been found innocent before a jury is wrong. Using the tactics of the Barovsky machine is slimy. You must be slimy ,cowardly and wrong.
M Stanley August 29, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Skylar didn't go to China, he has no need to explain like so many of the ones who are publicly making demeaning statements while they sit on a pile of secrets. Secrets that they obviously don't believe voters need to know about or are too fearful to disclose for the stains it will leave upon themselves and the City. Who paid for the trips, the expenses and the entertainment that was offered to elected Malibu City officials? We know that Laura went...video proof exists right here on Malibu Patch. Skylar admitted his medical condition and is damned for it while others remain silent, secretive on how they act while they represent Malibu on semi/quasi (who knows?) official business. That video taped interview clearly uses the Malibu connection that Rosenthal has, it's not the first trip to China by elected officials. Have we voted in puppets that strive to become lobbyists for outside interests??? No more secrets, no more secretive trips and furtive ignorance to questions from the public. Maybe this is the actual reason that the Ask The Mayor column only lasted three weeks - they can't afford to tell the truth? Can't risk this question coming before them in a formal manner? It's here - Who Paid For the China Trip and How Many Elected Malibu Officials as well as Staff or Contract Employees have gone on similar trips? What are YOU doing with OUR city's name???
M Stanley August 29, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Excellent comments by Jamie Dixon and John Mazza - thank you for taking on the secretive silliness that is a hallmark of the puppet mastering in this town. Concerned Local seems to want to curry the image of being an Arsonist of Free Speech IMO. No real name, more of the same.
J. Flo August 29, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Well said, Jamie. Malibu's glaringly, embarrassing problems have nothing to do with Skylar Peak. He is the very least of them. Malibu's damaging issues have been on full court display for years. There are infinitely more pressing and critical problems in this city!

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