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Who Put That Idiot on The Board?

By J.J. Gasparotti

The staff at Wet Suit World Wide Headquarters wishes to extend apologies for any past remarks that may have caused upset and for any future remarks that may do so as well. Please try remember that the poor slob who is posted as the author of this column is not actually responsible for the content.

His brain is infested with an overpopulation of rebellious gray cells. Often times, we don’t know who is at the keyboard, even though there is live-in supervision tasked with monitoring these things.

Some of you may have recently gotten the idea that we like design review. No not at all, but it is still better than not having design review. Why, even Lake Elsinore has design review.

It is clear that idiots, ignoramuses, insane people, and people who let a little bit of power go to their heads can get appointed to the design review board, the planning commission and all of the other appointed positions of governance in Laguna Beach. That’s bound to happen. People don’t get vetted nearly as well for an appointed position as they would running for an elected position.

The problem rests in how we appoint these people in the first place. Everybody in an appointed position in Laguna Beach is there as the result of a majority consensus of the council voting to put them there.

The consequence is that when some appointed official becomes an idiot, ignoramus, insane, or lets a little bit of power go to their head, there is no clear answer to the question, “Who put that idiot on the board?”

Well, the council appointed that idiot, and the only way to remove them from a fixed term of office is for cause. And just because they’re an idiot, ignoramus, insane or letting a little bit of power go to their heads, just isn’t cause enough. It sure should be.

In the interest of transparency, each council member should appoint their representative member to boards or commissions. That appointee would be their responsibility. If that appointee runs off the rails, you’d know exactly who to go to.

“That ignoramus is the appointee of council member so and so. They have an unseemly predilection for railing design detail. Somebody needs to tell the council member that it needs to stop.”

Many folks have alleged these appointed positions are the fruits of political patronage. Of course they are. What we don’t have is a way to clearly assign responsibility for that patronage. Appointed minions would place responsibility where it’s deserved, but it’s probably against some law and too late for this year’s appointments.

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

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