Like most other Laguna residents, I have recently found my mailbox stuffed with attack pieces from a PAC called “Liberate Laguna.” They attack Council Member Toni Iseman with inuendo and arguments so divorced from truth as to be laughable were their intent not so sinister.
I have known Toni for years and I tell you she is a diligent, intelligent, and insightful advocate for our town. One attack piece from Liberate Laguna insinuates that during her tenure, taxes and wasteful spending have increased. Another piece criticizes her support of the current Village Entrance plan by citing construction costs of “$11.1 million.”
What LL fails to note is that time and again Toni Iseman’s was the lone voice on the Council speaking against the mammoth version of the Village Entrance that would have cost over $60 million including the interest on its proposed associated bond. She protested this waste, voting against it time and again until her struggle rallied Laguna residents to join her and put a stop to it. This is just one example, but with this victory alone, Toni Iseman proved herself a relentless and effective foe of wasteful spending.
So, if Liberate Laguna opposes wasteful spending, why does it oppose Toni Iseman? This PAC is funded by a few big developers. One of them wants to construct apartment buildings all along Laguna Canyon Road. Another wants to construct hotel projects too large for our zoning regulations. They all want to change our building codes so they can increase the height, scale, and density of commercial properties they own or contemplate buying. Understand, Liberate Laguna’s preferred building rules would endanger the very nature of Laguna that most of us cherish. Liberate Laguna’s financial backers know Toni Iseman is an effective defender of our zoning and other regulations so vital in maintaining Laguna’s unique character and charm. She has proven in past skirmishes to have the vision to recognize such threats, the wisdom to deal with them appropriately, and the tenacity to fight them when necessary.
Please join me in voting to reelect this exemplary public servant, Toni Iseman, to the Laguna City Council.
Tom Halliday, Laguna Beach