It’s time to end the divisiveness in Laguna.
We have a new city council, a new city attorney and a new city manager coming. There are fewer reasons for divisiveness in Laguna, yet we still have columns in the paper and letters to the editors by people trying to drive wedges in our community. It’s time to start a new page.
One way the city government can help is to be truly open with the community, whether it’s good news or bad news. We can handle it.
In the absence of facts, some people make up their own truths.
It’s okay to have opinions, but it’s not okay to make up facts.
The recent retirement of the city manager is a case in point. We don’t know the whole story. We don’t have the facts. We have very few facts.
The release said, “Her decision comes as a result of a mutually agreed-upon separation agreement that was negotiated in response to a hostile workplace claim filed by Dupuis following a period of conflict with a city councilmember.” The actual separation agreement says, “… Employee represents and warrants that she has not filed any complaints, charges, grievances or lawsuits against the city, its officers, employees, agents, affiliates and attorneys with any governmental agency arising out of her employment with and separation from the city and that she will not do so at any time hereinafter…” That sounds like there was no actual complaint filed.
The public release also briefly references “legal and financial exposure to the city.” But from whom? Or what? A review of the last six months of closed sessions agendas includes: 1. Significant exposure of city to litigation by MOM investment group relating to May 2, 2023 incidents at Hotel Laguna and 14 West. 2. Potential Brown Act violation issue claims made by councilmember Weiss. 3. Litigation between the Laguna Beach Company and the city. 4) Tort claims against the city from a citizen. Could the reference to “exposure” be related to one of these issues? Without more information, we just don’t know, and people speculate, which feeds the divisiveness.
Let’s get past the blame game and do what the mayor suggested in the release, “…move forward with finding a new city manager and prioritizing the public’s business.”
We are all so fortunate to be able to live here. Let’s move on. And let’s see that the city government provides the community in the future with the full transparency it should provide.
John Thomas, Laguna Beach