Toni Iseman’s interview (“Iseman Readies for a Final Mayoral Term,” Dec. 9 edition) was really nice with good intent, similar to how a grandmother would care for her grandkids. Sadly, running a city today does not require grandparents that put out fires as they arise, but leaders that are visionaries and decision makers, especially when time speeds up.
Why wouldn’t we make the people who live in this city first? At the same time we cannot forbid visitors to visit the ocean like mountain cities cannot hinder us from taking a trip there. Why avoid accepting the facts that there will be continuously more visitors to our beautiful local shores?
Brick and mortar are dead except grocery stores, restaurants, surf shops and some galleries. Would we want horse and buggy back? Stop with Laguna’s political vocabulary of public safety, supported housing and the village entrance. These are all distractions to not wanting to deal with the elephant in the room, progress.
Not changing is a noble idea, but preventing progress is insanity. The function of a leader is to see context, not just pesky problems and fixing those. This is the job of staff, police and fire.
We need leaders that are proactive preparing for the future and keeping campaign promises like Bob Whalen’s, to getting Laguna’s sidewalks fixed within the next four years. Of course, the city can patch the visitor phenomenon by hiring more personnel to handle the overflow. It will keep visitors and locals being aggravated about the traffic and parking, which makes them both unbearable and there is not even an alternative to walk or ride a bike.
Why not start implementing an infrastructure that can handle this increasing and unavoidable “tourism” and adapt a whole city infrastructure similar as the city did with Heisler and Montage and our neighbor cities Newport and Dana Point?
As it stands now, I can not imagine why someone would want to come down from Top of the World, find no parking, have a very limited selection of goods in dilapidated streets and stores that are overpriced and send those to my family in Ohio?
Michaell Magrutsche, Laguna Beach