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Calmer Tone Underscores Inaugural Ceremonies : Politics: Van Horn and Kramer are sworn in as mayor and mayor pro tem, respectively, in an event lacking last year's fireworks.


MALIBU — The Malibu City Council tried something new on Monday when it inaugurated a mayor and mayor pro tem: harmony.

Councilwoman Carolyn Van Horn, who was the top vote-getter in the city's April, 1992, election, took the mayor's oath and Jeff Kramer was sworn in as mayor pro tem. As in other cities such as Beverly Hills, the posts are rotated among council members.

The program, which included a lively cello-piano duet performed by two recent Pepperdine graduates and a fox trot performed by four dancers from the Malibu Civic Ballet, was in sharp contrast to last year's ceremony. On that occasion, outgoing Mayor Larry Wan abruptly resigned his council post in anger and incumbent Mike Caggiano, who had just lost his bid for reelection, blasted the election process that had swept a slow-growth majority into office.

Members of that movement now hold all five seats on the council, with the result that council meetings and city ceremonies for the past year have tended to be considerably less contentious than in the first two years of the young city's existence.

On Monday, outgoing Mayor Walt Keller tallied up the council's accomplishments during his mayoral term. He cited "a good sound budget" and a growing reserve, an expected settlement of the city's sewer dispute with Los Angeles County, and substantial progress by a citizens task force on the city's General Plan.

Keller added that now that the city has the nuts and bolts in place, it is time to work on amenities that make a place a city. Keller, who remains on the council, said he plans to work as an intermediary to bring Malibu's cultural and performing arts groups together so they can raise more money and find a performance venue.

Van Horn, in her first public remarks as mayor, said she sees her role as one of service and responsibility, not of authority over others. Van Horn said her goal as a leader is to encourage and empower others in the community to participate in local government.

Quoting from Ralph Waldo Emerson, Van Horn urged that success be measured not only in tangible results but also in terms of attitude and a life well-lived.

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