Geezer Laguna



I can’t help but notice that the initiatives that come out of City Hall and certain political groups in Laguna Beach are either cosmetic or are focused on old issues that are never solved.

The city had to be forced to invest in basic health and safety infrastructure, such as the repair of sanitary sewers. The city has been paralyzed for years about parking. Most of the city still has no storm sewers. The under-grounding of utilities in the canyon will look nicer, but was there a real safety issue, which was how it was sold? The city denies that we live on unstable slopes that have real risk, yet new home owner’s policies are high-premium, high-risk. The city’s Graphical Information System has very little data in it, presumably based on the assumption that no data equals no risk or liability. Council did not anticipate the latest 3-D satellite imaging algorithms, which the insurance companies have. The city can no longer conceal risks to avoid mitigating them, without creating huge liability, or exaggerate other risks for cosmetic purposes. The facts are available to anyone with a smart phone.

Cumulatively, our Council members have served for 54 years. Do any of them know what gigabit data transfer or blockchains are or why they are important to the future? Council is now focused on a $15 million swimming pool for Lang Park. For whom?

Are they aware that sea level rise is most likely to occur in jumps, rather than slow millimeter increases. The next generation may think that Ocean Avenue got its name from being under the ocean, yet council focuses on design review of our roofing shingles, or whether the kids can skateboard, or adults can buy marijuana, or whether (God help us!) someone smokes a cigarette outdoors, while cars on Coast Highway put out tons of toxic emissions and carbon dioxide. City Hall resembles a Hollywood back lot with little behind the facade.

If the kids are to inherit a city that is not paralyzed and dysfunctional, living in science denial, then it’s time to get some young, open, energetic people on City Council, and elect them by district with term limits, so that everyone has a say in the future and not just the same old groups of geezers.

David Pahnos, Laguna Beach


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  1. David,
    Thanks for your well spoken commentary. You are correct that the majority of the people making key decisions for the future of our community will be 10 feet under by the time any of their ill fated decisions become reality. I suppose these same people strive to leave a legacy behind or to have a memorial plaque, with their name, left on some parking garage in town?

    You are correct “Term Limits are the Long Term solution”

    The City Council and committees seldom allow fresh faces or new ideas and the people are taking notice of the cronyism.. Our City Council routinely will rubber stamp the incumbent when they vote for committee members regardless of the talent pool of applicants. Many of their “favorites” serve on more than one committee and spend the first of their 3 minutes during public comment flattering the council members with compliments about how great they are and how hard they work. A few well known residents of our community run around with brown sticky residue on their noses like sewer rats!

    City government is the age old tail that wags the dog by doing things ass backwards: spinning their wheels and wasting our resources for capital improvement projects like the fated SkatePark or Community Garden that will serve a small minority while ignoring the majority of pertinent taxpayers!

    Next waste: a Community Pool because a few of our City Council members are close to the water polo player families to bring Laguna Beach fame by a few Olympic medals. They will spend tens of thousand or hundred of thousands on consultants, engineers, surveys, Environmental Impact Reports and studies, studies, studies before trying to pull the trigger and getting the push back from the community.

  2. David, Les and Lolena,

    Well said. The city council and city management needs to go. The erosion of property rights is obscene, happening right before residents’ eyes, from well over 50% of the housing stock being deemed “historical”, to DRB lording over any improvement or replacement to our homes, to the elimination of parking on streets in the alleged name of fire truck maneuverability after decades of minimal problems, to the elimination of substantially all vacation rentals, this city is sucking the life’s blood and rights out of its residents. We are being monitored with cameras all over town, allegedly in the name of safety but more likely in the name of revenue generating tickets for expired registrations. The city council wants to build a new pool that nobody wants and was not even mentioned on the $100,000 community survey responses. The size of city government and pensions continues to grow and we get less service, and don’t forget the every other “Fridays’s Off” for our government employees, and automatic pay raises, and bought houses for undefined “essential” employees. The cronyism and arse kissing government loyalists are
    almost a joke, but sadly it’s not. The city regularly violates the due process rights of its citizens and works to support itself, not for you or me. Time to wake up people, and Take Laguna Back.


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