City Narrows Down List for 2014 Malibu Speaker Series

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Councilwoman Laura Rosenthal and Mayor Joan House discuss the possible lineup for the 2014 Malibu Library Speaker Series.

Next year’s Malibu Library Speaker Series is beginning to take shape, and a number of renowned authors, activists and entertainers could be visiting town, including actor Cheech Marin and NBA star Chris Paul.

At a subcommittee meeting on Wednesday, Mayor Joan House and Councilwoman Laura Rosenthal narrowed down their preferences for the 2014 speaker series, set to take place every month next year except August and December.

House and Rosenthal want the city to pursue booking local filmmaker Tom Shadyac, food writer Amelia Saltsman and motivational speaker Jessie Billauer. For a full list of candidates, see the end of this story.

House and Rosenthal capped the speaker series budget at $100,000 (an average of $10,000 per speaker) and ridiculed the possibility of spending that amount alone on one speaker. According to city staff research, musician Kenny G could command up to $100,000 for an appearance, while Martin Sheen could garner $75,000 for an appearance.

“We don’t want to spend $100,000 on anybody,” Rosenthal said after resident Cynthia Randall brought up the Kenny G estimate.

While the list of candidates is not finalized, the City Council at its Nov. 25 meeting will have to approve the funding.

House was also firm in eliminating Sierra Club Chair Carole Mintzer from the running.

“Sierra Club has never been a friend of Malibu,” House said, alluding to past legal and environmental scuffles involving the city and Sierra Club.

Categories and potential speakers:

Arts: Cheech Marin ($20,000 estimate, though city will make a lower offer)

Entertainment Industry: Tom Shadyac (No cost)

Education: Rafe Esquith ($10,000)

Food: Amelia Saltsman (Waiting for cost)

Literature: Carol Muske-Dukes ($2,000) or Malcolm Gladwell (Waiting for cost)

Motivation: Jessie Billauer ($10,000 estimate, though city could make a lower offer)

Science: Michael Shermer ($7,500) 

Sports: Chris Paul (Waiting for cost), Reggie Miller (Waiting for cost) or Greg Louganis (Waiting for cost)

Travel: Anne Harnagel or Jon Krakeur (Waiting for cost)