Letter: Reconsider Supporting Blake for Council

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I try to be a good citizen and stay informed of issues, so I am an informed voter. The overwhelming number of political ads and campaign posters don’t make it easier; they make it more difficult to understand the truth behind the issues and candidates. (Artistically designed, black and white campaign signs are very attractive.). While I had previously read and heard about the rudeness and lack of civility of City Council member Peter Blake before, including his censure, I was overwhelmed and moved by the information published last week in this paper and in the L.A. Times about Blake. I hope others who had considered voting for Blake will reconsider their support. 

Rewarding Blake with re-election would help to normalize his lack of civility and further erode the transparency of our City’s decision-making process.

Last week in the 10/21 edition of the Indy, there was an article by Billy Fried (occasional columnist, KXFM radio program host, and civically-minded business owner), and two 1/2 pages worth of advertisements urging Laguna residents not to vote for Blake, and citing examples of his uncivil behavior. One of the full-page ads was taken out by well-respected architect Morris Skanderian, who discussed how Blake’s incivility has discouraged public participation at Council meetings. On 10/23, the L.A. Times California section contained a 1/2 page article about the lack of civility at our city council meetings and Blake’s impact. On the other hand, there was a 1/4 page ad from a political party supporting Blake for his support of property owner rights and “transparency”, and Blake took out his own full-page ad. Transparency within our City Council does not increase with Blake’s bullying tactics and lack of civility, it decreases. If citizens are not treated with civility, they are discouraged from participating in Council meetings, and decision-making becomes less transparent. Yes, issues matter, including property rights, traffic and parking, clear development rules, open space, etc., but without civility and good deliberation, the best decisions will not be achieved by our City Council.

Laguna residents have historically been well-informed, thoughtful and compassionate, and in the past, our City has provided leadership on issues that matter. What message does it send to our children, the County and the Nation if we reward someone like Blake who uses bullying tactics and incivility? I urge Laguna residents to reject the politics of divisiveness and incivility and reject Peter Blake for City Council.  

Steve Cohn, Laguna Beach

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you and all voters who reject incumbent Peter Blake. He’s had four years to show us what he will do – destroy a beautiful community.

    Join respected locals. Vote for leadership change.

  2. The primary thing he did was make the Laguna Beach property owners & residents aware of Village Laguna’s domineering influence in city’s policies! Awareness is the 1st spent to change.
    I’m compelled to speak out on the “issue of property rights “ . Village Laguna is the process of suing the City of Laguna Beach & the Coastal Commission for the approval of the Historic Preservation Ordinance Update! They didn’t get their way so they filed a lawsuit!
    Village Laguna’s creation “Historic Coalition “ is also filed another appeal against the City of Laguna Beach for the approval of the Kirby’s 369 Hawthorne Road remodel. If the City loses either one of these lawsuits the City( us resident taxpayers) potential pay $100,000.00s their lawyers! CEQA LAWSUIT ABUSE! NIMBYISM at it’s best!
    As I stated before : Awareness is the 1st. step to change!

  3. The slate of city council candidates is excellent. Having attended several forums, they demonstrated their knowledge, vision, ability to form consensus, as well as their appreciation and love for the character of Laguna Beach. That is, except for Peter Blake. We do not need him and his disrespect and distain he has for others.

  4. If Peter Blake has conducted himself in an uncivil manner both inside City Hall and out, it’s to be expected given the extreme difficulties of building anything in Laguna.

    I have experienced three years of unbelievable delays in building a new home in Laguna, not to mention neighbors who are extremely unkind.

    In a town where one’s choice of windows for a construction project can become an object of derision (as in “they are proposing to use Milgard windows!”), the level of intolerance shown by some people in Laguna for their neighbors is only matched by Peter’s behavior on the dais. Further, some of the comments made by neighbors towards proposed construction projects heard at city hall have overtones of entitlement and, I have to say, bigotry.

    I look forward to returning to Laguna, where I grew up, and living in our new home…if it ever gets built, but when I say Laguna, I mean the beach, the hills, and the streets, not necessarily the people.

  5. Bryn, I hear your frustrations, and believe me it is shared by many. But there are varying degrees of incivility. When it reaches an extreme level of cruelty by degrading people (re: calling women “fat bitches”), I hope you would agree he does more damage than good in our community. Property rights are rapidly being reformed, and Council-member Whalen, plus candidates (incumbent) Kempf, Weil and Rounaghi are all on your side. Stay the course and the rewards for all your patience will be rewarded with the beach, the hills, the streets, and yes, some good people.

  6. Bryn, don’t fall for this woke hypocrite’s BS! Billy and his friends have been in town for a long time. They had plenty of time to reform property rights. They couldn’t! His candidates of choice could have never stood up to Village Laguna and gotten the job done. George Weiss, Toni Iseman, the Felders, and the rest of these authoritarians would chew them up and spit them out. It took someone as strong-willed as I am to get the job done. I simultaneously cleaned up the transient mess we had and worked to eliminate our onerous business restrictions. We’re now on our way to having a world-class dining and retail experience as a result of my efforts.

    Billy’s nothing more than a self-appointed king-maker and fancies himself a visionary. He’s neither! He’s a leftist ideologue who’s never amounted to anything other than a political pundit trying the affect the outcome of a local Council race. Others on this thread like MJ Abraham share the same lack of accomplishments and propensity for armchair governance.

    Bryn, if you think your neighbors are unkind, you have no idea what Laguna’s predatory political activists are like.

  7. Peter, for a guy who continually says nobody cares what I say, you sure expend a lot of energy caring!

    And please, Mr. Walking Cliche, if you want to engage in meaningful dialogue, make sure you have a dictionary nearby when you use the same, hackneyed “Woke, authoritarian, leftist, ideologue, predator, activist” babble. It’s boring, darling.

  8. Thank you Steve. Agree with your comment, “That is, except for Peter Blake. We do not need him and his disrespect and distain he has for others.”

    IMO – Blake tries to overpower people to make himself feel good. He works nonstop to prove to his political backers he has some value. He is your basic opportunist. Review his personal and professional background – he would never have qualified to be hired to work in or for a city government. He had zero professional qualifications or relevant experience to serve as a public official in our city or any other. And now he has sucked up and wasted our tax dollars to gain some civic experience to make himself legit. We’ve been had for sure and need to cut our losses. It’s truly embarrassing that Laguna voters did this in 2018 and it’s going take a very long time to recover from the community damage he has done and gain back our respected city reputation among other cities. Anyone but Blake in 2022!

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