The June 11 Council meeting had all the appearance of an honest public forum, but as the meeting progressed it took the shape of a backroom deal that was already made. Kind of like playing poker when the hand that’s dealt is fixed. And as you may know about poker hands, three of a kind beats one pair.
In our case, the hand held by the three beat a pair of aces. One ace, Mayor Kelly Boyd, stuck by his guns that the proposed $75 million commitment by the threesome, adding 200 spaces (and a park for the homeless), should go to a vote of the people. The other ace, Toni Iseman, gave one of her best speeches ever pointing out all the ways the $12 million cash hoard that will be blown on this project could be used adding more parking and improving public safety.
But alas, the hand was rigged and the three would have none of that. No siree! Let’s just blow off all the voters input, current parking studies, and all future projects for the city to glorify the Big Three who enjoy making bad decisions in a delusion of power.
I understand that there are proponents for the project, mostly those who will benefit in the immediate garage area. But I have yet to talk to any north, south, or midtown Laguna resident who isn’t outraged over this slap in the face. But I truly believe their time will come when we can move this from the threesome to a public vote, one way of the other. Recall? Referendum on the vote? Don’t know, but I am in for whatever it takes to give the voters a shot at voting up or down on this wasteful and incredibly stupid project as envisioned now. It is obvious to me that our backdoor council dealers are afraid of a vote by Laguna’s voters since it stands a high likelihood being struck down. After all, voters are pretty smart when it comes to $75 Million smackeroos poured into a rat hole.
Are improvements needed for the Forest/Broadway parking lot? Of course. But shouldn’t any improvement be tied to the new parking management plan, the upcoming transit plan, and the proposed urban planning to pull everything together. Wouldn’t some landscaping and a second deck achieve the same goals without building a mausoleum on basically quicksand?
The battle lines are drawn, and I hope the voters prevail in this little city against some bad decision makers sitting on the council purporting to represent the entire city.
Victor Opincar, Laguna Beach