Peak denied Mayor Pro Tem position in dramatic reorganization meeting


Councilwoman Joan House was unexpectedly appointed Malibu’s Mayor Pro Tem in a 3-2 vote over Councilman Skylar Peak at Monday night’s City Council meeting. House was nominated for Mayor Pro Tem after Councilwoman Laura Rosenthal and Mayor Lou La Monte expressed concerns over Peak’s ability to serve. Rosenthal and La Monte argued Peak needed more time to learn about serving on the City Council and also to deal with personal matters.

Peak is the subject of an open police investigation after a reported altercation with a security guard in July. Peak has also been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Traditionally, the council member who receives the most votes in the City Council race is next in line to serve as Mayor Pro Tem. Peak received more than 1,400 votes in April, well ahead of the second-place finisher, Councilman John Sibert. Peak and Sibert voted against Rosenthal and La Monte’s measure, which passed 3-2 when Councilwoman House voted for it.

After the vote, supporters of Peak, including former City Council candidates Hamish Patterson and Andy Lyon, loudly expressed their disapproval and accused Rosenthal, La Monte and House of usurping the will of the voters. Peak left the council chambers while La Monte was sworn in as mayor and did not return until roughly 30 minutes later.

Former City Councilman Ken Kearsley, who had spoken before the vote and warned Peak he should voluntarily delay assuming the traditional role as mayor pro tem out of “respect for the city,” swore House in.