Does the Wet suit You

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Stand Up People

By JJ Gaspaarotti
By JJ Gaspaarotti

This past July 16, the filing window opened for candidates to submit papers to run for seats on the city council and the school board. So far nine people look like they’re going to run for council. But class is still out on candidates for the school board.

These local elected positions have a great impact on our daily lives. Laguna Beach is fortunate to have a good selection of local news outlets to help us with our picks. We should do so carefully and respectfully.

The candidates are our neighbors offering the dedication and work necessary to make our village function. Without their contributions we won’t have much of a town at all. There isn’t any real power, money or glory in these jobs. Only the opportunity to work long hours for low pay in service to your community.

There is a disturbing and growing trend to disrespect these folks and bully them in ways that don’t encourage participation in our democratic institutions. Before we open our mouths to vilify others we should reflect on the makeup of our own character.

Those of us that are unwilling to serve or participate in our community should be cautious in personal criticism of those who do. It’s a lot like the celibate opining on techniques for coitus. It’s best to have experience in what you’re talking about.

Just because we’re angry doesn’t mean we’re right. Taxation isn’t stealing.

We don’t get to pick which laws we’ll obey and which we won’t.

We don’t get to have the attitude of “rather than ask permission first, ask for forgiveness if we get caught.” They don’t teach that in scouts.

We don’t get to not vote and then demean the results from those who did.

The further we venture down this slippery slope the worse our society functions. Freedom comes with the obligation to behave in a responsible way.

This coming election has the potential to become a mean and ugly brawl. Just like the last one. It was sad to see candidates dirty laundry paraded down Laguna’s streets. If we keep that up, we’re going to end up with candidates nobody wants. We’ve got too many serious issues to solve for that to happen.

So let’s thank all our candidates for their efforts by voting for the ones we prefer. This is harder than it seems. The majority of us won’t bother to vote.

The easy way to always vote is to contact the Orange County Registrar of Voters and request permanent vote-by-mail status.


JJ Gasparotti moved to Laguna Beach with his family when he was 11. He has loved it ever since.


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  1. Great column! That REALLY needs to be said (and repeated.) It should have run on Page One in big type.


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