Letter: Juggling too many balls


I am astounded at the number of major infrastructure projects the City Council currently has under consideration. In my 30-plus years of living here, I cannot recall our council directing city staff (plus myriad external consultants) down so many different and large-scale exploratory trajectories.

Can they really believe that our small community can absorb the potential takeover of 6 plus miles of Coast Highway, plus ownership and revamping of 2.5 miles of SR 133; on top of building a new fire station, expanding the utilization of the recently purchased Community & Recreation Center, and assessing the feasibility of two low-income housing developments? The planning, financial burden, potential liability, and staffing requirements associated with these projects represent a hefty investment.

If after 3 plus years of studying designs for a little block-long Promenade we still have no resolution, one must wonder how much benefit will come from having so many significant projects on the table at any given time.

Marilyn Coll, Laguna Beach

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  1. Marilyn those are brilliant observations! In addition, does anyone think spending this kind of money with the economic environment we are in now is a good idea? Ask the first question – how are we going to pay for it? More bonds? Doesn’t that require a vote of the residents? Raise taxes? As others have said, HELL NO to new taxes. So how is this going to work? Hire more staff? More payroll, more pension obligations. We are a small community. Why is the City Council majority insisting on all these projects? How about fixing the sewer system first?

  2. Marilyn – Don’t forget the new Bob Whalen parking structure that the City will soon be springing on us and the proposed costs for undergrounding in the Canyon. (The City Council majority sure is keeping the public in the dark on that parking structure – so don’t be surprised if they approve of it as a fait accompli without much – if any – public discussion.
    And don’t forget – the plans alone for this structure are costing us $700,000.)

    You’re surprised by all the activity by the City Council majority? That’s what we get from a runaway rogue City government with no checks and balances. Zero representation for residents. Public servants – not.

    And of course they’re running roughshod as fast as they can with as many projects as possible precisely to overpower the public and push their pet projects through without opposition – whether or not those projects cost residents hundreds of millions of dollars or do anything to enhance the quality of life for residents.

    BTW – Could we get an update on fixing our City’s sewer system? And when is the City going to start repairing our roads? When’s the City’s building maintenance code going to be enacted? When is the City Council going to pick up discussions regarding term limits? Why is the public being denied to speak via Zoom at City Council meetings? There are dozens of public service issues that the City Council majority is totally ignoring in favor of their own boondoggles that the public neither wants nor wants to pay for. And given their lust for spending public money and repeated straight-arming of the public, I’d have to say they really don’t care.

    Elections are coming. Please be very careful who you vote for.

  3. Agree Marilyn. Thank you for speaking up. Sadly, this Council Majority’s self-interest agendas have pressured and overwhelmed City staff and residents to such a degree over the last decade that it feels like we are all playing a real life game of whack-a-mole. It’s exhausting.

    It’s clear that multi-term officials want our City to function this way. Do we? The fact that they blatantly keep rejecting public requests for Elected Term Limits shows how much power and influence means to them. And this power allows them to hand-pick and groom candidates aligned with them which only works against us. We are kept in the dark while they spend our money and manipulate our government system to meet their business/investor/development cohorts goals.

    Get Laguna Beach back on a balanced track by voting for professional, independent thinkers as city leaders who aren’t beholding to anyone and who will actually listen to residents and put our community and our precious and unique coastal environment and resources first. We deserve it.


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