From directing commercials to his tireless community activism, Lou La Monte has made a lasting impression as Mayor of Malibu. La Monte shared with us his proudest achievements as mayor as well as his ongoing fight over what he says is an over-concentration of rehab facilities in the community.
How long have you been in Malibu?
I’ve lived in Malibu for 27 years.
What made you want to get into public service?
I got very involved in my neighborhood when I saw things that needed attention. As President of the Big Rock Mesas Property Owners Association for 8 years, I got more and more involved in community affairs. From there, it was a natural progression to the City Council.
What issues are closest to your heart?
Ball fields for our kids, our own school district, and controlling the overconcentration of Drug and Alcohol Rehab facilities in our neighborhoods.
You are very involved in the drug and alcohol rehab. Why is this issue so important to you?
I am concerned about overconcentration. I think a single 6 bed residential facility, if it’s well run, is good for the neighborhood, good for the community, and good for the patients trying to recover. Unfortunately, these places make so much money that they decide to buy the house next door and the one next door to that. Eventually they turn a neighborhood into a hospital zone that the infrastructure of a residential community can’t support or sustain.
Out of all your achievements as mayor, what are you most proud of?
I’m proud of many things we have accomplished. I’m proud of being elected President of the California Contract Cities Association, and bringing Malibu’s voice to the State Legislature in Sacramento. I’m proud that my involvement in the National League of Cities is making Malibu heard in Washington D.C. But, the thing I’m most proud of is the swap for Bluffs Park; this beautiful place is a part of Malibu, and belongs in our city.
How do you balance your role as director/producer with your role as council member?
Being a director/producer, strangely enough, is very similar to being in local government. The goal of both jobs is to create a consensus among the stakeholders to achieve a vision. So, it’s easy to balance these two aspects of my life.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Passionate, persistent and patient.
What do you do in your free time?
I haven’t had much free time lately, but when I do, I enjoy reading, watching movies and time with my amazing family.
What are your plans after your term as council member endsnext year?
I’m not sure; my plan right now is to accomplish the things I set out to do when I got elected.
Do you ever see yourself returning to the East Coast?
What does Malibu mean to you?
Malibu is a unique and beautiful place with great people. When I look out at the ocean in the morning it’s like seeing a different painting every day and that always inspires me.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Happy New Year!