Rosenthal Elected Mayor, La Monte Mayor Pro Tem

Laura Rosenthal

During Monday night’s meeting, former Mayor Pro Tem and longtime resident Laura Rosenthal was elected to head Malibu’s City Council as mayor for the second time, taking the reins from John Sibert, who will resume duties as a city council member. Council Member Lou La Monte was elected to serve as mayor pro tem.

Rosenthal’s statements began with a list of what she considered to be the best parts of living in Malibu, including the strong community and a shout out to AMPS, the group Rosenthal was instrumental in helping found that is pushing for an independent Malibu school district.

“I want us to be more,” Rosenthal added. “My goals during the next months are to become known as a little town that is visionary and pushing the boundaries on environmental stewardship and innovation.”

Rosenthal and La Monte also joked about their duties as mayor and mayor pro tem.

“I always refer to [the nine-and-a-half month term] as a pregnancy, because it’s about the same amount of time you get to be mayor, and then I’ll give birth to Lou,” Rosenthal said.

Later, La Monte had his own humor to add: “I plan to do the very best I can in the job that [former Malibu Mayor] Pamela Conley Ulich’s children used to call ‘Mayor Pretend.’”


Fireworks restrictions

move forward

Love them or hate them, fireworks displays seem to have become more common in barges off the Malibu coast in recent years, but those loud bursts of color will soon be visible for only a select handful of days per year. Council moved Monday to tighten the screws on restrictions put in place by a new city ordinance.

Ordinance No. 400 will restrict the days when professional fireworks displays from offshore barges can be permitted in Malibu to only July 1 – 6 and Dec. 31 – Jan. 1, “or other times as authorized by the City Council.”

“If the council would like to pass that ordinance tonight, I would make one recommendation for a change, which is to also restrict the hours of which it can be displayed,” City Manager Jim Thorsen suggested.

“In light of what Jim said, I think we can restrict them to end by 10 or 10:30 (p.m.),” Council Member Skylar Peak said.

“I think it’s important to note: it still leaves open the possibility for people to bring requests before council,” Rosenthal said.

Council voted 5-0 to approve the ordinance, restricting fireworks from sunset to 10 p.m. on approved days. The ordinance will be read into law during the Nov. 9 meeting.


Solar panel plan seeking bids

Council voted 5-0 to issue a request for proposals (RFP) to find a company that will design and install solar panels at City Hall, though council members made it clear the RFP is not necessarily a commitment to the plan.

The motion also appropriated $7,500 from the city’s general fund to hire a solar consultant to assist development of the RFP.

Craig George, Deputy Building Official under the city’s Environmental Sustainability Department, gave a presentation on solar panels at Monday’s meeting, pointing out that with a “net zero” system, the city could potentially earn back costs with energy savings in just a number of years.

“Obviously … electrical prices have been going up,” George said, referring to data presented in a slide show. He added that using solar energy would “fix electrical costs for the city” and “kind of flatline” the projected rising costs for energy.

Funding for the project, George said, could come from a number of sources, including tax exempt municipal bonds, tax exempt municipal leases and clean renewable energy bonds.

“Solar is a great investment for all cities,” information provided by the League of California Cities read. “Now is an opportune time to purchase a [solar] project.”

Council was enthusiastic over the prospect, praising George and his department for their work.

“As far as your design is concerned, as usual, it’s unusual,” La Monte said, “and it’s beautiful.”