Letter: Outcome of the Library Issue


As many of you know, at Tuesday night’s city council meeting an important item was discussed that impacted the fate of the Laguna Beach Library. The agenda item called for buying the land that the library sits on, then leasing it back to the County on a three-year lease.  The City’s proposed agreement also included a controversial provision that informed the County that the City is looking for another site to relocate the library. There were many residents concerned about how this all was going to impact the library.

At the city council meeting, there was an outpouring of support from people of all ages for the Public Library, for the services that it provides, for the people who provide those services, and for its location at the heart of our town. It was a long-overdue “thanks” to the library for what it has done for several generations of residents here.

After 35 public comments in support of the library and a discussion among the city council members, a motion was made by Councilperson George Weiss, for the City to provide the Orange County Public Libraries system with a 25-year lease on the property (rather than the three-year lease that was originally proposed. It will also remove any language about finding another place to move the library. It also included a provision to work with the County on improvements to the building. That is all good news. There was also talk of working with the County, or even the City, to augment the breadth of programs that our library offers.

This is a thank-you from the informal group that united to support the library to all of those who spoke last night and those who wrote City Council. We also want to thank Mayor Sue Kempf and Councilmembers Toni Iseman, Bob Whalen, and Weiss for their complete, unreserved, support of the library.  Councilperson Peter Blake was the lone dissenting vote on this very positive step for Laguna Beach residents and the Laguna Beach Library. Thank you, Sue, Toni, Bob, and George for your support!

David Raber, Laguna Beach

Editor’s Note: David is principal officer of Laguna Residents First PAC.

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  1. That’s right Dave, I was the one Councilman that didn’t buckle to the farce that you, George Weiss and fellow Village Laguna activists spun. I was all for buying the property and signing a 3 year lease while we determined what to do with it. Now our community’s been sold down the river for 25 years allowing the County to control our library and pocket the profits. George even acknowledged the lost profit and justified it by saying that we should feel good helping other communities with our taxpayer dollars. That’s smart? Let the residents decide when they want to help other cities and how much we’re willing to give. I’ll keep the $1,500,00 a year for us. Yeah, I’m selfish that way!

    So what could three years have done for us? How about we could have looked into moving the library to a better location? What if a local’s only parking lot was built with the library at street level? What if the library was enlarged to incorporate a community center that showed local artists? What if we kicked out the transients and cleaned it up and brought it to this century? I guess we’ll never know since we now have ceded control to the County to appease some activists.

    At best this was a bad decision propelled by idiots like George Weiss snd Dave Raber and at least a politicized vote made during an election year. Either way, I’m sticking by my vote and will continue to fight to preserve our rights with our library and I’ll have the residents make the decision as to how we share our taxpayer dollars with other communities.

    I don’t make decisions in the fairy garden like some of my colleagues.

  2. Again Peter you weren’t listening to what residents wanted at the meeting and that’s what a councilmember is supposed to do and vote what residents want. Not what they alone think should be done. You have been a miserable failure at representing residents. Keep kidding yourself that you have a constituency. Maybe what, 5 followers? You have been out of step except totally in step with the developers who got you elected – the folks from Liberate Laguna Forward. It will be interesting to see how much money they donate to your campaign this time both in funds and in sleazy postcards trashing everyone else. But as they said in one of their postcards last election “Let’s face it, Peter Blake is cool”. I don’t think that slogan will work this time around. No one likes a bully.

  3. I listen to 23,000 residents. They’re the ones I’m responsible to. A bunch of noise from busy-body activists does not sway my votes. Keep counting my constituents and supporters and let’s see what the numbers look like on November 8th. I won the last election with the most votes because my message was clear and concise. Activists like you can continue to think you have the hearts and minds of the residents, but you don’t. They can see right through you and the rest of your fellow authoritarians. Oh, and I only bully political bullies like yourself!

  4. It seems impossible for Peter to ever respond without name calling,he’s called me something every time I have ever commented. If people will remember he proudly crowed before our last election that ‘ I’ve never voted in the election before,my first vote will be for myself ! He also stated that he’s friends told him he didn’t have the temperament for the job. His friends were right. This man doesn’t belong in politics anymore than a dog should be a bus driver.

  5. Jason Pannell. You’re not alone in your observations. Many locals agree that Peter Blake simply does not have the temperament to serve in public office. And there’s proof – almost four years of it as colleagues and constituents have witnessed first-hand his lack of interpersonal skills and self-control. Thus the need for name-calling.

    To your other point, it should have been a red flag warning to voters that he never cared enough about Laguna to vote in his 20+ year residency and seemed proud of it. IMO, what voters got in 2018 was scammed and a dose of self-serving motivation and narcissism like we have never seen before. Laguna voters “we won’t get fooled again.” #BLAKEOUT2022!


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