Letter: Councilman Blake’s Total Lack of Self Awareness


At a recent city council meeting, Councilmember Blake’s response to residents who rightly berated him for his behavior toward Councilmember Iseman showed a complete lack of self awareness which, in my view, seemed delusional. After bullying Iseman for the past two years the latest atrocious incident went from bullying to what many people would call sadistic.

Apparently, it seems that Blake has been advised that Iseman, being a public figure, cannot sue Blake for his libelous words he used. So he has chosen to continue his disgusting behavior unchecked by the mayor, the city attorney or the city manager.  And his response to residents outraged by his behavior was to recite a poem by Charles Makay titled “You Have No Enemies You Say.” The poem describes a brave man as one who has made enemies and a coward as one who has no enemies.  Obviously, Blake is no fan of history. When the poem was written, around 1840, at that time and even today in some parts of this country Blake’s behavior would have been considered cowardly with dire consequences to the perpetrator. And I do mean dire, probably a duel in 1840, but certainly severe physical punishment.

Councilmember Blake does not seem to realize that one of the most cowardly things one can do is attack a fundamentally defenseless person. It is not brave by any rational standard. I ask all of his supporters especially Michael Ray is this your brave man and your (Ray’s) self-described mentor of your children?  Are you all going to look the other way? Please reflect what you would do if your wives or daughters would happen to be in a situation such as what Toni Iseman is now experiencing. 

Chris Catsimanes, Laguna Beach


  1. Fascinating that Village Laguna (which Chris Catsimanes is a part of) all showed up lock and step on speed dial to censure Peter Blake. It was a joke that it was all of you and some actual residents (who support Peter) on the Zoom call. You guys threw punches first when he ran, and played ugly. Parked signs on vans saying that Peter Blake is for high rises, that he took money from Liberate Laguna. All lies. He was not beholden to anyone! That was the problem for you from the beginning. He loves Laguna, and wants and has made it better. Well here we are a few years later, still fighting against the good of Laguna Beach after the good work he has done. You throw the first punch and wonder why you are punched back. You have treated him awfully. You dug deeper and twice played a voice call Tuesday night with Lorene (who lost a race for city council) regarding her lie that Peter sold Coke. And you expect him to sit there and take it. Village Laguna is the vile group here, they should be dismantled. Village Laguna was so entrenched in Laguna it even had its banner behind city council meetings until a few of us called that out. Village Laguna charm house tour with people paying for the tickets not knowing it was going into Toni Isemans fund for her seat for City Council. Talk about the swamp! Peter Blake is a respected Gallery owner, who is doing this out of the love of the town. This is not his livelihood unlike your George Weiss who got the seat, but is a loser in life. Yes, these are the people Village Laguna pick to lead our town with our tax dollars. Look at the damage your group has already caused. Impossible to do any projects in town. Put Mo Honakar, the guy who invested so dearly in this town for it to be beautiful and wonderful with Hotel Laguna, Clio Hotel and more, all you did is fight every thing Mo invested in. You guys live in homes that are inherited or very old that are not worth 3 million and pay 1500$ in taxes. Well let us see how long that will last. Perhaps the focus should be to have you pay your fair share and get you up to market value. Perhaps then the exodus of Village Laguna will happen then. Worth to vote for it just for that. Go through the list of speakers, and you will find Village Laguna. And I consider Michelle Monda part of that group with the Residence First rebrand, which George Weiss started and coincidentally is now the council member who started the censure. Hmm the webs we weave.

  2. HA! That letter should be titled “Councilman Blake’s Total Lack of Woke Awareness”.

    Hey Rube! It’s O.V.E.R.

    If you don’t like it cash out on the house daddy gave you and Move On Son. Move On, Get Out Of The Way, and let a man do . . . What you sissy’s have been ruining for decades.

  3. India Hynes, my family having suffered the German occupation and following a civil war came from Greece and landed at Ellis Island literally with 25 cents. So I don’t think you should paint everyone that is against megadevelopments as having inherited multimillion dollar homes and paying inordinately low taxes. Remember Jarvis and his group, one of whom is, I believe, used by Liberate Laguna for their propaganda war, were the ones who were successful in passing prop 13. So don’t blame the people who are only following the prop 13 mandate. Speaking of which since you mentioned Mo I am sure he used prop 13 to his advantage as he leased the Hotel Laguna for, I believe, 99 years so he of course did not have to pay the additional taxes that would have been due had he bought the property. Do you have a problem with that strategy? Mo’s current problems have nothing to do with the residents desire to have a project that does not cause an even worse traffic problem than what we now experience and have structures that are in consonance with the rest of the downtown structures. And by the way had Mo started the Museum Hotel construction the city could have ended up 200 to 300 yard long mud hole three stories deep tied up in a legal dispute for perhaps years. That could have been Mo’s “gift to the city” that he so grandly proclaimed in one of the council meetings. Which is why I favor a performance bond for major development projects both with respect to requirements as well as schedule. How long has the Hotel Laguna upgrading been underway and how much tax revenue has the city lost? For a developer with a track record the bond would probably be in the 1% to 2% range. For one who has no track record or has had problems the premium would of course be higher as it should be.

    I look at Laguna Beach as sort of an island. Our city is constrained by the Green Belt and the Blue Belt with precious little undeveloped land available. So any new major project would necessarily need to either modify or demolish existing structures. Either way that could have an impact on what most call the charm and character of Laguna Beach and our quality of life. Since residents pay the bulk of the revenue for the city budget shouldn’t we have a voice on these major projects that affect our quality of life? I don’t believe that most of the residents are willing to give carte blanc to the city council for decisions that can forever impact our quality of life and hence the need to have a direct voice in some cases. The would put Laguna residents first. What a novel idea!


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