Does the Wet Suit You

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The Dunk Tank

By J.J. Gasparotti

This column was an early forum to point out that a certain council member should shift from the confrontational campaigning conduct of a candidate to the collegial governing conduct of an elected public official.

So far, they have declined that gratuitous advice and continue to exercise their First Amendment rights, by representing their constituents in whatever manner they see fit. Adversaries focusing on personalities, rather than the facts, are working to make personal conduct the issue.

In the spirit of a hammer never seeing any solution that doesn’t involve a nail, Mayor Bob, a practicing attorney, is proposing new rules of conduct for the council. Has he been drinking the Kool-Aid with the school board? What’s next, a kangaroo court with isolation in a soundproof booth, the ultimate punishment?

It wouldn’t be a big shock to discover that the Laguna Beach City Council approved some such rules at meeting early in the last century. Perhaps they were even Robert’s Rules of Order. Complaints about a lack of civility aren’t a new phenomenon. Our politics have always been heated.

Mayor Bob can’t really believe some homecooked rules of conduct will succeed in suppressing a certain council member’s constitutional rights to express themselves, at a meeting they were elected to attend.

California is a place choked with twice as many rules and regulations as any other state in the nation. Laguna is no exception. We’ve even got rules on how big your beach umbrella can be or how deep a hole you can dig in the sand. Nobody ever obeys the rules that they disagree with, nor is there any enforcement.

That’s why we’re all so angry with each other. Everybody is breaking some rule that somebody else thinks is important and keeps getting away with it. There’s also the issue of, every time we turn around, some new rule impedes our progress. And the solution to all this is supposed to rest in more rules?

Residents should go to more events like Taste of Laguna. It fosters our sense of community, seeing each other as human beings in a relaxed social setting, for a good cause. Back when we had October Fest, it featured a fundraising event that was nonpareil.

Imagine city council members, appointed city board members, or community activists perched on a spring-loaded seat high above a tank full of cold water. For fifty bucks a toss, you get the chance to dunk them in the tank. Worth every penny!

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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