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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.

John Denver August 26, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Why does Patch continue giving Ulich a soap box to tout her own personal views to the public? They have continued this tradition of sucking up since Jonathan Friedman was the editor. STOP following the last editor's footsteps Jessica! Be your own woman. Also stop neglecting local business such as Dukes that don't advertise on your site like your predecessor.
Matt Rapf August 26, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Right on Pam! Lets hope the other council members don't try any games here and respect tradition here. Malibu is sick of the back room dealings and lack of transparency from our elected officials. Skylar Peak was the top vote getter and for many of us, the only one who is a true guardian of Malibu ( see Lagoon Bulldozing fiasco and Sewer surrender.) We look forward to him as Mayor Pro Tem and eventually as Mayor. It would be unwise to attempt an end run around him. After all the recent blunders, I have faith that our council will do the right thing.
Jessica E. Davis August 26, 2012 at 09:59 PM
@John Denver: I run all the letters to the editor that are sent to me that are publishable. I also am not "neglecting" Dukes. No one from that business has reached out to me. I've mentioned them in articles many times in my four months here. Email me if you have further questions at jessica.davis@patch.com.
Jonathan Friedman August 26, 2012 at 10:20 PM
Denver, I published every blog entry and letter that was sent to me. Perhaps Pamela Conley Ulich sent me the most, but I didn't keep track. As for Duke's, I encourage you to plug "Duke's" into the search bar on the upper right of the site, and quite a few articles, announcements and calendar listings will come up.
Bob Perkins DDS August 27, 2012 at 04:48 AM
Denver- In defense of Jessica, I can tell you that she (is) her own person. She is very independent and she is not "bully-able". I don't always agree with everything that comes out of Patch, but her ethics and objectivity seem very intact. Odds are that she is tougher than both of us.
Bob Perkins DDS August 27, 2012 at 04:50 AM
In a non related comment...I, for one, think Lou LaMonte has shown a lot of thoughtfulness and balance over the last several months, during some very challenging moments. He seems a pretty good custodian up to this point.
M Stanley August 27, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Make sure to get the city attorney's take on this whole thing, can't quite comprehend the reasons behind such a change in established protocol without clear public statements by every single council member, city attorney and city manager. Every one of them. Oral and written statements that will allow the community to judge their actions on this matter while they attempt to play jury and judge on one of their own and in the process step on the will of the voters in the last election. Respect the voter intent, respect the votes, respect Skylar Peak's rights within the current protocol that has been upheld for others.
Jacky Tomlinson August 27, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Hi Jonathan!!! You said you would look in on us from time to time!!!! Nice to see you!!! I hope all is going great for you!!! : )
Jacky Tomlinson August 27, 2012 at 04:44 PM
hey Mari!!! Nice to see your input! Good idea!!! Hugs!
Julie Eamer August 27, 2012 at 07:05 PM
SHAME ON THIS CITY COUNCIL...... ALL 4 of YOU have children, AND I am most sure ALL 4 of YOU would be proud as hell if one of your kids, at 27 years old, would of run & won for any City Council....AND, each and everyone of you would fight to uphold your 27 year old's rights!!!! BECAUSE, how dare anyone strip A KID of his dignity who is just trying to do the right thing for his community! What happen to encouraging, helping & supporting the next generation in taking responsibility for their future????
R Y A N August 27, 2012 at 08:51 PM
It is important to watch at all times what the wizard behind the curtain is up to. We know who she is and what she wants. Like a viscious dog that tries to escape at every chance, responsible citizens must stay vigilant to anticipate and prevent misdeeds that affect governance and outcomes.
Concerned Malibu Resident August 27, 2012 at 11:17 PM
You are quite a gentleman for using a word like wizard to describe a real witch. How on earth someone like that is representing a tolerant city like Malibu on the council is beyond me. Plus, she is a clinical psychologist, too. wow!! such compassion and understanding....
Concerned Malibu Resident August 27, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Denver, Jessica is far a cry from Jonathan. She is doing an excellent job as far as I'm concerned.
Andy Lyon August 28, 2012 at 12:22 AM
Concerned Malibu Resident... The Wizard rules the witch from behind the curtain but is also a witch.
JamieDixon August 28, 2012 at 05:28 AM
Wow, I just witnessed the most astonishing display of lack of regard for tradition, protocol and probably the law by Council Members La Monte, Rosenthal and House at tonight’s City Council meeting, and it was just moments after they each spoke about how important Malibu's image is and how they were going to vote for what they think is best for Malibu. How can the three Council Members voting contrary to protocol and tradition in order to grab power away from another Council Member who has different values and concerns than they have possibly be the best thing for Malibu? The three Council Members just trashed our City’s image, and they don’t even know it. Skyler, You should be proud that La Monte, House and Rosenthal are afraid of you. John Sibert, Thanks for standing up for what is right!!!
susan saul August 28, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Lou, Laura, and Joan should be ashamed of themselves!!!!! If you were trying to eliminate bad press well you did not. Malibu made the press! We all have our own personal issues in life... all of us! Who are you 3 to determine a persons fate? You should have respected what the voters wanted! Skylar is an upstanding citizens he has shared his personal life with all of us. John, thank you...the rest of you I have lost ALL RESPECT for. Skylar will shine on long after you are gone...
R Y A N August 28, 2012 at 07:55 PM
I wonder what psyche meds the other council members have taken, or are taking. I've heard rumors decades ago. Also the PPO who chased Peak and confronted him on a public sidewalk may be concocting an exaggerated case to exact a private settlement for dropping the allegations, like the paparazzi do whenever they stick their toes under the wheels of a celebrity's car, or claim someone bumped into them while attempting the Money Shot. I've seen these tactics attempted and played out before. News of the World . . . has a following, even for made-up news. Let's not forget the Barovsky legal claim against the City of Malibu, rumored to settle in the neighborhood of $75,000, for walking into a construction ditch. Settled by insurance, the details and amounts mysteriously disappeared from city records.
Eric Myer August 29, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Skylar Peak is an embarrassment to the City of Malibu. A popular local "surf dude" who has no grasp of the complexity of local issues, he is responsible for an assault on a photographer at a local beach (yes - a paparazzi, but a vigilante act nonetheless), bullying a student at Malibu High School (who ended up bringing a gun onto campus), and an unhinged acting out with at a local market late at night. Malibu should be proud...
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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