Skylar Peak began his new role as the Malibu City Council mayor March 24 to serve his 10-month term. Peak, Pepperdine alumnus (‘06) and third-generation Malibu resident, was the Mayor Pro-Tem before his time as mayor, according to Malibu City Clerk Lisa Pope.
“It’s been a pleasure to work for the city and for our community and we are among a very unique number of cities in our country that has a youthful person, relatively speaking, on their council and as mayor,” Peak said. “I take this job very seriously and I really invite all of our residents and citizens to participate in the process.”
Peak, who was sworn in by his mother had a large crowd of family members in attendance who he thanked at the meeting.
Mayor Joan House had a few departing words as she returns to her role as a council member.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve this city as mayor,” House said. “I have served as mayor on three prior councils and each council brought new skills to the table, but it is this council I would like to thank for showing each other respect, congeniality and a commitment to Malibu’s future.”
Peak received unanimous support from the council with a vote of 5-0 to elect him as the new mayor.
The public also supported this decision to have Peak as the new mayor.
At the start of his public comment, Malibu community member Steve Uring said, “Skylar — long-overdue and well-deserved.”
In addition, senior Laura Hamilton expressed her excitement about Peaks new role as mayor. “Skylar Peak brings a young and vibrant perspective to the Malibu city government, but his lack of experience outside of local politics might pose a problem as his political career develops,” she said.
Sophomore Channing Nichols continued this sentiment, also echoing the benefit of having a young leader in the community.
“I think its great to have such a young voice leading the community. He seems very eager to take on the role of mayor, and I think that we need someone with that passion and excitement,” she said.
According to the Malibu Times, Peak was charged with battery, vandalism and erratic behavior in July of 2012.
Despite this, Peak was first elected to the council in April of 2012 and seems to have risen above these tough times as he is now the newly chosen mayor, a position that is rotated between the council members.
President Andrew K. Benton offered support to Peak in the new role. “I am very proud of Skylar,” he said. “He is young, energetic, and he is talented. When experience catches up with those three attributes, he is going to be dynamite. I have been his friend for many years and I admire what he hopes to do with his life.”
As a 29-year-old mayor, Peak asserted that his young age will be advantageous to his success as a leader in the community. In addition, his knowledge of technology and ways to reach out to the community will be helpful in his role as mayor.
“I can relate to the younger adults in our community,” he said. “And I also have the advantage of growing up in Malibu and going to school there. I know the lay of the land very well so that separates me.”
In addition to understanding technology and being more in-tune with young members of the community, Peak attested to the benefit of the education he received at Pepperdine.
“It really helped me be a critical thinker and expanding my horizons here,” he said. “As far as politically, I took my first political science class at Pepperdine. It taught me a lot of skills, especially critical thinking.”
As he now serves a prominent role in the community, Peak offered some advice for students still enrolled at Pepperdine.
“Travel abroad,” he said. “I did not with the university, but I travelled internationally for surfing. Take advantage of that opportunity to travel. Don’t hold back. There are so many options. Pursue your dreams.”
Follow Rachel Littauer on Twitter: @rachelitt23