Malibu City Council fails to select Peak as mayor pro tem
Malibu Councilman Skylar Peak, a 28-year-old surfer who in April became the youngest person ever elected to the City Council, will not become mayor next year, despite having received the most popular votes in the election.
By a 3-2 vote at Monday night's council meeting, Peak was edged out of contention for the slot of mayor pro tem. Had he been selected, he would have been in line to become mayor in about 10 months.
As expected, Councilman Lou La Monte was tapped as mayor.
Outgoing Mayor Laura Rosenthal cast the deciding vote that meant Councilwoman Joan House would assume the role of mayor pro tem that Peak had hoped would fall to him.
In recent months, some Malibu residents have expressed concern about Peak's erratic behavior. In July, he was sent involuntarily to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation after a run-in with security guards at a Point Dume shopping center. The guards alleged that Peak menaced them with a sharp object, a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman said at the time.
Peak denied the allegations and said that guards chased and pushed him after he tripped on a chair. He acknowledged, however, that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was taking medication.
In Malibu, the position of mayor is rotated among all council members. Traditionally, the order of the rotation of mayor is determined by who received the most votes.
Although the mayor holds no more power than any other member of the council, the mayor runs the council meetings.
In a letter to the Malibu Patch, former Councilwoman Pamela Conley Ulich said those voting against the tradition "may be held accountable at the polls in April 2014."
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-- Martha Groves
Photo: Malibu Councilman Skylar Peak Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times