New City Council Is Installed and Mayoral Gavel Rotated
The two top vote-getters in the April 13 election, Laura Rosenthal and Lou La Monte, took their seats at the Malibu City Council dais Monday night, ushering in what was described as the beginning of a new era, as longtime Councilmembers Sharon Barovsky and Andy Stern vacated their seats.
Barovsky served 10 years on the council and Stern held on to his seat for eight years.
Subsequent to the oath of office given to the two newly elected council members, the eleventh city council confirmed Councilmember Jefferson Wagner as mayor, a largely ceremonial role in the City of Malibu. Councilmember John Sibert, next in rotation, was named mayor pro tem.
During her incoming remarks, Rosenthal said Malibu is a remarkable community of talented and skilled individuals she hopes to utilize as volunteers. “They will become the solution team and work on special projects. I will expect many volunteers. Many of you don’t know it [yet], but you will be volunteers,” the new council member said.
Rosenthal indicated that her time in office would be characterized by a list of traits. “Work hard, listen, compromise, collaborate, laugh, cajole and staying respectful,” she said.
Rosenthal said she is proud that she represents what she called “the family vote,” adding that [families] are a force. “We are to be counted. We will be respected,” she said, before noting that she will nevertheless represent everyone in Malibu.
During his comments, La Monte thanked his family and campaign workers, then praised Barovsky and Stern, who supported his candidacy as well as Rosenthal’s. “Sharon has been the heart and soul of Malibu,” he said.
La Monte promised to bring back the California Highway Patrol for traffic law enforcement on Pacific Coast Highway.
He also quipped that he would spend the next four years trying to eradicate what he had heard on the campaign trail in western Malibu,“Lou who?”
Earlier in the evening, the outgoing city council members talked about how they viewed their time on the council as they left office.
Stern asked the audience to imagine a time 20 years in the future, if he and the other council members had not taken the actions they did.
“There would be weeds in Bluffs Park. Bluffs Park is for the kids,” he said. The chili cook-off site would be in the throes of controversy with some big developer trying to construct a huge shopping mall, Stern added.
“There would be faint lights on the horizon,” he noted next, from an LNG port. Stern said “Malibu was the first government agency to stop” Cabrillo Port.
“The point is we made a difference. The truth is simple to say, we snapped our fingers and the staff makes it happen,” he said. He praised City Attorney Christi Hogin. “She was essential to our success. We could not have had this success without you,” he added.
Stern likened City Manager Jim Thorsen to a symphony conductor. “He makes it all work together. It is the best decision of my life hiring Jim Thorsen,” he said.
Stern concluded his remarks with, “Every year, every month, every week, every day, I tried my best for all of you.”
Barovsky referred to her late husband Harry, a former city council member, who passed away while in office. “My husband had made it clear, get elected and follow orders. There will be three of us leaving. Andy, me and Harry,” she said.
Barovsky said much of the credit of what has happened can be attributed to previous councils.
The outgoing council member had some advice for her colleagues. “My advice: keep a sense of humor. Grow a thick skin. Always, always vote your conscience,” she said.