Laguna, like a fine motor car, is running rich lately: congested, sluggish, the speed-O is optimistic but maybe there’s a blockage. An election is looming where both present and former incumbents promise a tune-up, I’m thinking more like an oil-change at Sears. We had a roadmap once called the Vision 2030 Strategic Plan, published in 2001 it was organized to give residents a front row seat to a strategic planning process for Laguna Beach. A thousand people participated, experts were called, consultants were paid. We got seven Strategic Planning Sections in a fold-out glossy with 34 goals and 52 actions. The Tourist Trolleys are a credit to that strategic vision, so are the empty blue and white Muni buses.
We’re still waiting for the pedestrian (car-free) downtown, mixed use zoning, affordable housing, artist live-work, attractive transit, state-of-the-art waste-water system, commercial parking, traffic analysis, bicycle plan, and Ocean Laguna to protect our ocean and beaches. But where are the artists, designers, architects, engineers, and constructors to build our strategic vision? Not on the council dais. Instead we have a retired educator, a professional politician, lawyers, more lawyers, an administrator and one LB homie. You know what lawyers do all day? They argue among each other until somebody’s client “settles,” then you get the bill. Laguna needs another dais, artists, designers, engineers and contractors execute actions, they solve problems, they build stuff.
We will pay $12 Million for Village Entrance asphalt but it’s missing a public restroom and 120 parking spaces, we will pay $1 Million for a sewer digester facade, yet South Laguna still waits for another out-house. Have you ever swam beyond the South Laguna breakwater and watched a turd float by? I have! Aliso Beach has a two-holer, so where else can 6.3 million visitors go?
This election the city incumbents are lined up generations-deep for another run on the city hall hamster-wheel. The line-up includes Iseman, Whalen, Christoph, Kinsman, Kempf, and Zur Schmiede. The underdog candidates are smart, have fresh ideas energy and determination, help them execute Laguna’s strategic vision! In this election Laguna has an opportunity to move beyond the “we can’t” incumbents. Laguna Beach, this is your opportunity.
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