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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Council Member Brings Up Investigation

• Peak Tells Colleagues Incident Was Not Medically Related

BY BILL KOENEKER

At Monday’s Malibu City Council meeting, Councilmember Skylar Peak said he wanted to address the incident at Point Dume Village that ostensibly lead to his blocked nomination for mayor pro tem.
As the top vote-getter in the April election, Peak was next in line for the ceremonial position of mayor pro tem. Instead, on a 3-2 vote, the council tapped Councilmember Joan House.
Some members cited the shopping center incident and subsequent sheriff’s department investigation for their refusal to support Peak for the number two post.
“I want to be truthful about the incident. I’m often in swimwear after my [exercise] workouts. I was in Speedos when the security [at the center] made a rush to judgment,” he said.
“At no point did I threaten anyone, nor would I ever,” the council member added.
Peak went on to say that the incident in no way was related to his medical condition.
He acknowledged he has been in treatment for a bipolar disorder and has been taking medications.
He thanked the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for taking him to the Del Amo hospital in Torrance for a four-day involuntary evaluation.
Peak did not indicate whether he has been apprised of the status of the LASD investigation process, which involved numerous interviews over a several month period.
Sporting a new mustache and colorful sunglasses that he wore through most of the meeting, Peak said he looks forward to serving the City of Malibu with “integrity and distinction.”
AGENDA ITEMS
With the Circle K alcohol permit appeal hearing taken off the calendar, the city council had a pared down itinerary for its meeting this week.
A Circle K opponent urged the council to grant no more continuances and make sure the hearing is heard on Oct. 22.
Councilmember John Sibert said, “I agree. I want to get this over with.”
The council also heard from the staff on an update on public easement encroachment removals along Busch Drive.
The council was told that over 80 percent of the homeowners had removed encroachments along Busch Drive. “There are 10 or 12 areas not cleared out” said Public Works Director Bob Brager, who said in the last couple of weeks in August residents made the most of clearing out the shoulders along the roadway.
The staff wanted to know how should the rest of the encroachments should be handled.
The council agreed to have the staff send out another notice with an Oct. 1 deadline. If the encroachment is not removed, the city will take care of it and bill the homeowners.
The council then got bogged down in a discussion about  parking along the roadway and what areas should be cleared out for a pathway.
The council ultimately decided to wait, have another workshop and talk the matter over with the homeowners.
Local school district advocate and board of education candidate Craig Foster told the council the preliminary results of the study to determine if the school district can split into Malibu and Santa Monica districts are back and an independent consultant has indicated both districts meet the nine-point criteria.
“We would be $4.6 million better off as a separate district. The full report is coming soon,” Foster said.
Foster noted the report is scheduled to be released at the Oct 4 school board meeting, which will be held in Malibu.
“It is a pleasing development and more investigation is to be done,” he added.
The council, without comment from its members or the public, approved several contracts for professional services.
One contract is to extend an agreement with Compliance Biology, Inc. to serve as the primary consultant for biological consulting services and approve another contract with Rincon Consultants, Inc. to serve as the secondary consultant for biological consulting services.
Compliance is City Biologist Dave Crawford’s company, which has been working with the municipality for the last 10 years.
The council also approved an amendment to the agreement with Willdan Engineering for engineering design services for the design of the Pacific Coast Highway Bike Route Improvements Project.
The bike lane has been extended. and it will cost more for the design. The amended amount is a little over $28,824 for a total contract cost of $126,674. Most of that funding is coming from grant money.
However, another contract that neither the council nor the public commented upon will cause the city council to have to dig into their undesignated reserve for $113,000 for the design of the Broad Beach Biofiltration Project with Geosyntec Consultants for engineering design.
Most of the funding for the project is coming from existing grants, but additional biofiltration drains, part of a settlement agreement of a lawsuit, is coming from the city’s pockets unless subsequent grant money can be obtained.

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