Letter: Councilman Peter Blake Calls Gene Felder A Liar Again


It is understandable that members of the City Council Sue Kempf, Peter Blake, and Bob Whalen, and City officials Phil Kohn, Shohreh Dupuis, and Marc Wiener would be defensive about violating the Brown Act questions.

See the video of the April 26, 2022, city council meeting at where Councilman Blake calls me and others liars at 2:45:06, that I “lie continuously unabated”.

What did I say that was objectionable? I asked questions including “Do you agree that it was a violation of the Brown Act for the City Council to discuss concurring with lifting Hotel Laguna permits during the closed session agenda item noticed as ‘Anticipated Litigation’?”

I read from letters, Sept. 21, 2021, Steven Schriver of the Orange County District Attorney Special Prosecutions Unit wrote “In response to complaints concerning possible violations of the Ralph M. Brown Act by the Laguna Beach City Council, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (“OCDA”) conducted a review of the City Council’s June 29, 2021, closed session regarding Hotel Laguna. Based on this review, there is substantial evidence that the City Council Members violated the Brown Act with respect to the public notice of the closed session and/or the scope of the matters considered during the meeting.”

“Any violation of the Brown Act is extremely concerning, as it undermines not only transparency in government, but faith in the legislative process. Recognizing the importance of public access to government proceedings, the Brown Act allows closed sessions only in specific limited circumstances and requires particularized advance notice.”

“For its part, the City Council waived confidentiality with respect to the June 29. 2021, closed session and openly discussed the proceedings during its August 24, 2021, meeting.”

In his Oct. 14, 2021 letter Steven Schriver wrote “Of paramount importance to our democratic system of government is the public’s right to advance notice of proposed government action as well as the opportunity to observe and participate in legislative proceedings.”

How can I be called a liar asking questions and otherwise accurately quoting from the District Attorney’s office letters? It is unbecoming for a councilman to call a resident a liar. It certainly is in violation of the City’s rules of decorum and civility. The City Council should enforce the City’s rules of decorum and civility. City Council members, particularly those running for reelection, and the hired staff should certainly answer reasonable questions from residents on important issues.

Gene Felder, Laguna Beach

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  1. “The people of this State do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.” The Brown Act (1953)

  2. This is comical. Peter should have called you much worse that a liar. Get a hobby that doesn’t involve you embarrassing yourself down at the City.


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