I have been a Laguna Beach resident and a business owner for over 20 years. I have been involved in community and business affairs including the opening of Montage Resort & Spa and the Pottery Shack. My company promotes corporate tourism to Laguna and utilizes local residences, businesses, restaurants and artisans to share this experience.
Within the last five years, California tourism has been hit hard with a significant retroactive sales tax in corporate tourism food and beverage sales. The negative impact to Laguna, in particular, and tourism, in general, is well documented. My fellow industry members and I have been working diligently on Legislation AB1687, which would remove this additional taxation and bring corporate tourism back to our city and Southern California. I have dedicated an enormous amount of time presenting our case to state officials, both locally and in Sacramento.
I had high hopes when I discussed our legislation with Emanuel Patrascu (representing State Senator Tom Harmon at the opening of Big Fish restaurant last year). I sent Mr. Patrascu an e-mail the next day with our bill information and a request for help.
Unfortunately, he never replied to my written request of March 5 for a meeting with Senator Harmon or any members of his staff. No contact. Now I am the recipient of emails promoting his campaign for city council. How ironic.
Thankfully, we have three council candidates seeking reelection who have stepped up to help in timely, constructive ways. Elizabeth Pearson worked diligently to get Assemblywoman Diane Harkey to co-author our bill. Additionally, the Laguna Beach Conference and Visitor’s Bureau has lobbied on our behalf, and sent the appropriate letter of support to our Sacramento leadership.
As a business owner, I simply can’t afford Emanuel Patrascu’s brand of help or leadership. As a longtime resident of Laguna Beach, I urge my neighbors to vote for Elizabeth Pearson, Kelly Boyd and Toni Iseman and keep our city on track.
Angie Miller, Laguna Beach