Democracy is More Than a View

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Billy Fried asks, “What is it about roof decks that has our town spun out?”

Interestingly, I don’t think our town is “spun out” at all. Just because our views don’t align with yours, an ad hominem attack? Really, Billy?

You suggest that all who disagree with another roof top restaurant are irrational and out of touch with reality i.e. “spun out.” Perhaps some didn’t vote for your beloved (“smiling and relaxed, fit and lean in a crisp white shirt, with the 1,000-watt smile”) but they are not “spun out.”

I am opposed to any and all future commercial rooftop decks but I am certainly not spun out as you suggest. I’m a hard working, family and community oriented person. I am capable of rational thinking and excellent decision-making.

I have watched Laguna erode into a faceless money-making tourist destination whose added income benefits a few business owners and the city’s tax coffers while conferring no benefit to the residents who wade through traffic, noise, trash, and drunkenness.

You opine, “Now people of all stripes could enjoy the views enjoyed by our mostly rich, retired homeowners. For the cost of a beer. Democracy at its finest”. That is not democracy, by the way. Nor is it your Utopia. The investor’s motives have only to do with making money and many are rich and retired, by the way. Real estate developers they are, like our president.

Democracy is about people with a non-financial stake in the process of legislation being allowed to see their desires and decisions carried out without fear of labeling and harassment. Design review rarely, if ever, allows people to put rooftop decks on their homes. Why should businesses be granted an exception just because it lines legislators’ pockets?


Michael Rybah, Laguna Beach



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  1. “… an ad hominem attack? Really, Billy?” said Michael Rybah, who then proceeds to launch his own ad hominem attacks against “developers, rich and retired” as well as “real estate developers”. My what a disgraceful way to earn money, developing real estate, for the use and enjoyment of everybody. Let’s simply stop developing and building real estate projects, shall we Michael Rybah? We’ll simply live, work, and shop in tents. That’ll be so nice. And… let’s all be poor, because the “rich” are simply eeeeevil. (How much is your home worth, Michael Rybah? I’m sure you’re “rich” by most standards.)

    That loud NIMBYs screech and stamp their feet when they have NO MONEY at stake is rich when one considers property rights as paramount. And the “fear of labeling and harassment” is something you must always be protected from, isn’t it, snowflake. Your remarks are precious should be protected from criticism. Those “rich and retired developers,” not so much, huh.


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