Incumbents Not Attuned to Residents Concerns

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Do you want a City Council person who is more responsive to Laguna residents or to visitors? If you answer residents, your choice for City Council should be Verna Rollinger. Council members Steve Dicterow and Bob Whalen persisted in supporting the building of a visitor-serving parking garage at the village entrance at a cost of $65 million despite public opposition. It took establishing a public movement, the Let Laguna Vote campaign, to cause Dicterow and Whalen to finally scrap the plan to build the garage. Verna Rollinger was a part of the opposition from the beginning and a leader in Let Laguna Vote.

Another example of insensitivity to residents’ concerns is when Whalen and Dicterow went against city staff and Planning Commission’s proposed ordinance to prohibit short- term lodging in residential neighborhoods. The community expected the council to adopt the ordinance as recommended but Whalen and Dicterow formed a sub-committee to find a way to allow some short-term lodging in our neighborhoods. Another grass-roots campaign was required before Dicterow and Whalen relented and adopted the Planning Commission ordinance.

If the incumbents had a better ear for resident concerns, the community wouldn’t need to expend such efforts to campaign against their unpopular ideas.

For these reasons and more, I urge you to vote for Verna.


Darrylin Girvin, Laguna Beach


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  1. I’m surprised the author here didn’t also endorse Judie Mancuso. Laguna Beach voters will have the opportunity to vote for two city council members this year. Four people are running: Mancuso, Rollinger, Whalen, and Dicterow. If, as the author states, the incumbents (Dicterow and Whalen) must go, then Ms. Mancuso also deserves a vote.

  2. I agree with Darrilyn’s facts about both Steve Dicterow and Bib Whalen and their about face on the STL issue. Thank you for pointing this out. It was not only the pressure of mass opposition but both knew this would be a deal breaker come election time. I wanted to add that 21 year resident and city council candidate Judie Mancuso has been the most outspoken when it comes to both incumbents lack of putting residents first and overall lack of city ltransparency. Under the watch of these two. She has also pointed out that although Steve Dicterow says he’s for residents, about 44% of his camapign supporters are developers. It’s obvious his priorities and efforts have been on anything but Laguna residents. And the frivolous spending of taxpayer dollars on consultants with plans and studies that get shelved is insulting to every resident of this city. It is time for a change. Start by voting for Judie Mancuso.


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