Letter: Please Stop Whining about Village Laguna

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The attacks on Village Laguna, which strike me as very mean-spirited, have become downright silly. This grassroots organization puts on an annual home tour to draw attention to Laguna’s history and remarkable architecture and to fundraise. I went a couple of years ago; it was great to learn more about Laguna and to see inside some of its loveliest homes.

But apparently nothing Village Laguna does is too mundane for its critics and their obsession with the local deep state. Two letters in the Independentlast week pitched a fit because its home tour advertising nowhere mentions that this organization also weighs in on issues affecting the community and contributes to candidates who support its goals. Why is this information, which is “right on their website” as one of the letters noted, perceived as scandalous?

Also, right there on the website are the names of its Board of Directors. I would take the letter writers’ concern with transparency more seriously if they had something to say about the deep-pocketed developers who hid behind the name “Liberate Laguna,” a PAC formed with the purpose of putting development-friendly candidates into office last year. Liberate Laguna invested some $200,000 in an onslaught of advertising, much of it hateful, some of it demonstrably false, to enrich the developer-donors whose names were nowhere to be found in their ads and endless mailers, and which are absent from its webpage. Where is the outrage over their lack of transparency and anti-democratic influence?

Catherine Jurca, Laguna Beach

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  1. Why is it “Scandalous”?

    Because the donations to charity are very small compared to political donations? Other groups like LB Garden Club give no money to political causes. People are tricked in to monetarily supporting causes and candidates that don’t represent them. The VL push for a historic register and rules has been the most devisive issue in town for a long time, they have not united the community just further divided us lately!

    PS Stop stating facts and $ figures about Liberate Laguna and start sharing your donations!

  2. You are so spot on, Catherine! The comparisons of money spent by the Liberate Laguna PAC of only developers is no comparison to what Village Laguna supporters invested in the last election.
    The main difference, which you mention, is the nature of those contributions. Instead of wads of money in the tens of thousands from individual developers, like the Shopoffs, Michael Ray, Sam Goldstein, Mo Honarkar, and Chris Dornin, almost all the numerous donations to Village Laguna were more about $100 per person.
    That is true grass-roots support and community representation.
    The other striking difference is their end goal. Village Laguna strives to maintain our small-town vibe and unique character of our homes and community. Period. No one is out to profit from this.
    Whereas Liberate Laguna is all about dismantling regulations that protect against overdevelopment so they can make money on building projects.
    And they claim to be “Liberating Laguna.” That’s outrageous to me.

  3. Just a thought. It seems to be that VL is usurping what should be a long time fundraiser for the Historical Society. Shouldnt the charm tour, mostly featuing older homes, be a fundraiser for that truly non-political organization rather than VL? I understand some VL members serve on that board – perhaps that is a conflct of interest. I’d rather see my money go to a true non-profit organization than a political organization whose politics I often disagree with.

  4. Sorry, but I think it’s only fair that when folks are buying a ticket to the Charm House Tour they should know that their monies are used to fund City Council candidates. Those City Councilpersons when elected then go on to appoint residents onto the Design Review Board, Planning Commission, Heritage and yield tremendous influence over City Hall. Residents who’ve had negative experiences in our community as a result of these elected officials and their appointees might not want to donate knowing that it affects them negatively. Village Laguna has the right to have a Charm House Tour and the participants have the right to know where their funds are going. As far as Liberate Laguna is concerned, they are totally transparent otherwise you wouldn’t have the facts and figures that you have. BTW, you’re wrong about how much they spent advertising. You should get your facts straight before posting.

    Peter Blake

  5. “The attacks on Village Laguna, which strike me as very mean-spirited, have become downright silly.” Really?

    Is it mean-spirited and downright silly to expect VL not to be deceptive, but rather to be honest – to let ticket buyers know that their ticket price goes to fund a PAC – a political action committee formed to fund the special interests of an elite few?

    Is it silly and mean-spirited of us to oppose this kind of deception?


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