Allan Simon’s letter in the Oct. 24 Indy suggested a grown-up idea regarding the village entrance (“The War Is (Could Be) Over”). His proposal to put the project on hold until after the November 2014 election assumed we are dealing with at least three grown-ups on the Council. This, I’m afraid, will never happen. Unfortunately we only have two grown-ups on the council (Mayor Boyd and Councilperson Iseman), who understand the sentiment for a public vote on this boondoggle.
The spending spree the Council is embarked on bloating the village entrance costs have already tapped out our city treasury with $7 million of questionable property purchases. Grown-ups who can do simple math might not do this to us.
And speaking of grown-ups, consider the relative sloppiness of the city manger providing the Council the written fodder to spend money like a jack rabbit running from a hunter. At a direct pay rate of $210,000 annually (over $480,000 with all benefits), our (yes, our!) contract with the city manger requires that “Pietig shall perform his duties to the best of his ability and in accordance with the highest professional and ethical standards of the profession.”
According to Tenet 4 of the International City Mangers Association ethics, a city manager should “Recognize that the chief function of local government at all times is to serve the best interests of all people.” So, is the expenditure of $7 million for a building that is not needed and an overpriced lot within this standard of care? Really?
Our city manger’s contract runs out on December 12, 2015. Can the city’s treasury survive that long with this seemingly reckless financial behavior? Where is Ken Frank when we need him to “just say no” to this nonsense? It’s time to let Laguna vote on this continuing bloated mess. Is there one more grown-up on the Council to join the mayor and Councilperson Iseman?
Victor Opincar, Laguna Beach