Letter: Ray Compares Blake to Wrong President


In his recent column, Michael Ray compared former council member Peter Blake to a former US president. 

Who did he choose? At first blush, you’d think he’d choose the obvious: Donald Trump. Why? 

Because of when they were both in office, they used hate, swear words, name-calling, and yelling at citizens whose only desire was to be heard and contribute to important issues, and in so doing, both attacked democracy. Both were voted out of office by an electorate disgusted by their behavior. Columnist Billy Fried got it right.

So, Mr. Ray tried unsuccessfully to compare Mr. Blake to Teddy Roosevelt because both took on “entrenched interests.” What Mr. Ray tries to cover up is that, as a developer who wants to radically change the Laguna we love, he is the entrenched interest.

Who stands in the way of irresponsible developers from over-developing Laguna? Many community organizations provide a balanced perspective on development. For over fifty years, Village Laguna has encouraged responsible growth and community development (note that I am Village Laguna’s vice president). Hence, this is the organization that Mr. Ray attacks.

Over the years, Village Laguna has stood up for the city, held its elected officials and staff accountable for their actions, and increased property values. Laguna Beach is a special place. This message appears to be lost on Mr. Ray. Need proof? Go by his house on Hawthorne Street in North Laguna, and what will you see? 

An absolute eye-sore. A house in disrepair, knee-high weeds, a disgrace.

If Mr. Ray really cares about Laguna (and his North Laguna neighbors), he would apply his own developer skills to fix his own house.

And speaking of house-fixing, he should apologize for the slander against Village Laguna, recognize that his problems are of his own making and rejoin the Laguna community.

Merrill Anderson, North Laguna

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  1. Well stated and a clear-eyed assessment of Mr Ray, Mr Blake’s tenure and Village Laguna’s contributions to Laguna Beach. One point of clarification as to Mr Ray’s house(s). The eyesore on Hawthorne is NOT his primary residence. That duty is served by the significant structure just south of Divers Cove.


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