Letter: Ray Sets New Low Point


Michael Ray’s latest “Guest Opinion” column, “The Goodbye Kiss” (Dec. 16) sets a new low point, even for him. He uses much of his space for an ugly attack on Toni Iseman, retiring from City Council after 24 exemplary years of service. Michael Ray is nowhere near Toni’s league, and he demonstrates this clearly in his recent diatribe. 

Ray addresses Iseman directly: “Your 24 years of service, Toni Iseman, almost all your actions were as though you did not exist. Your service was so much dust.”

One must wonder what sort of person would say such a thing. In addition to being a vile insult, the statement is just plain wrong. Toni Iseman was re-elected over the course of 24 years because she respected the community she served, she listened to people and tried to act in their interest. Ray’s favorite, Peter Blake, on the other hand, alienated the community and lasted one term, finishing near the bottom in votes.

Those of us who read the local paper regularly have been subjected to the constant lies, distortions, and attacks that Ray spews out almost weekly. But, last week’s “Opinion” showed the depths to which Ray can descend.

At the end of his hateful screed, Ray suggests that the basic function of Village Laguna has been to “give the finger” to the council and the community. Once again, a vile insult and a lie. Apparently, for Ray, appreciating your community and trying to protect its special character is equivalent to “giving the finger.”

Peter Blake brought ugliness and hate to the council chambers, and Michael Ray is now bringing ugliness and hate to our local newspaper. This is not what Laguna is about. Anyone, including the new city council, who might be inclined to support the aims of Liberate Laguna, needs to consider who they will be supporting. Are Blake and Ray the future of Laguna? Or, can we turn away from them and their like to preserve the special town that we have?

Roger Owens, Laguna Beach

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  1. Agree. Mr. Ray continues to promote the community discourse he started in 2018 when he formed Liberate Laguna PAC and got his buddy Peter Blake elected. That PAC led by investor/ developers Ray, Goldstein and Shopoff morphed into Laguna Forward and then Laguna 2022 trying to buy council seats and keep their funded elected Peter Blake in office. Thanks to smart LB voters, they wasted their money and failed miserably! LB voters have spoken – we won’t support self-interest RE investor/developers running our elected’s nor promoting division and citizen bullying in our town. Good riddance to Peter Blake and his anti-resident and bullying legacy.

    IMO – it’s also time to replace the like-minded campaign supporters Blake got installed on our DRB and Planning Commissions in 2018. The City Council should be appointing individuals with relevant qualifications and expertise to serve on these critical boards. No more campaign- driven payback B&C appointments in 2023! There’s just too much risk for property owners/ residents and our city legal exposure when individuals serving aren’t well-qualified in the areas they are representing and/or are politically motivated and biased. The CEQA interpretations appears to be our latest costly city hotbed. Laguna Beach is a city full of smart, successful residents, many highly-qualified to serve on these boards. I believe they will step up if this Council removes all political connections when considering who serves.

    Happy New Year Laguna and all the best to our new City Council. We are counting on you.

  2. Thank you for writing this, Mr. Ray’s articles have been filled with hate for a person who dedicated her life to Laguna. I usually don’t read his articles because they are usually filled with false information and so happy is called an opinion. Toni did so much for Laguna Beach, in my opinion Mr. Ray has just profited off of Laguna.


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