Is the village entrance really little more than landscaping screening an inadequate concrete garage the size of a football field? Or is it a feeble attempt to bypass Laguna’s voters by instructing the staff to proceed with the project? Perhaps it’s the most fiscally irresponsible project three of the council have joined together in an autocracy to satisfy the festivals and a few merchants? It could even be a fiscal disaster sucking the air out of city funds for 30 years with very, very costly revenue bonds.
In any case, the cute name is hardly a village entrance for those of us who drive down the utility pole burdened Laguna Canyon Road, which is, in fact, the village entrance. And what’s wrong with (at least) one of the three autocrats joining forces with Mayor Boyd and Council member Iseman to let 16,409 Laguna voters get involved in this horrifically costly project that underdelivers on parking spaces. You know, a net increase of 200 parking spaces and a few trees for (gulp) $65 million.
What happened to Councilman Dicterow’s pre-election statements about focusing on core issues of public safety, fiscal responsibility and infrastructure. “…and I want the long range vision to take care of these kind of problems…I will always fight for the resident and citizens of Laguna Beach.”
This project does nothing for public safety, is totally fiscally irresponsible, and provides very little infrastructure for $65 million. In fact, it will suck the city dry of funds to deal with all of these issues.
I challenge at least one of the three autocrats to, “man up” and let Laguna vote on this expenditure before digging a humongous hole in the city budget. If public safety, fiscal responsibility, and the representing the voters is really a core value, let’s do a $200 million bond issue and underground the canyon, build a parking structure at ACT V, create Coast Highway overpasses for pedestrians, and add parking on the north and south entrances to Laguna Beach. And let’s do it with general obligation bonds that are the absolute cheapest and most secure to fund infrastructure.
Not that’s long-range thinking that is fiscally responsible and contributes mightily to public safety. Think long range. Be fiscally responsible. Improve public safely. Let Laguna vote!
Victor Opincar, Laguna Beach