Letter: Regarding Peter Blake

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At a recent City Council meeting I watched online, I witnessed an interesting and egregious statement made by councilmember Peter Blake. Anyone who pays attention to the City Council meeting knows that Mr. Blake can specialize in rude and aggressive behavior, towards other councilmembers and the public as well. By the way, I have had several online conversations with Mr. Blake and found him to be very interesting, albeit opinionated, community member.

At the council meeting, I’m referencing, the mayor had mentioned the recent workshop the Council had attended – a refresher on Robert’s Rules of Order, the standard guide for conducting meetings. Upon which reference, Mr. Blake blurted out in an aggressive tone that he had no intention of following the generally agreed-upon format for meetings. His words and attitude were akin to a child folding his arms across his chest and shouting, “No, I won’t, and you can’t make me!”

In fact, he’s right, because he knows that he can get away with this unprofessional attitude. There was no comment by other councilmembers after this verbal outbreak. This, along with dozens of Mr. Blake’s outbreaks, went unheeded, and therefore allowed.

At such times, Mr. Blake, an erudite and intelligent man, not only appears to be an immature bully, but also the Council appears much weakened by not forcefully addressing the forceful elephant in the room. Mild admonitions have had no effect. 

Since when is it OK for one councilmember to be the renegade, rife with nasty insults and refusals to cooperate with the modus operandi, while the rest of the Council remains silent? To not challenge him amounts to letting him have his childish way. Rules for 4, none for 1?

I have been attending City Council meetings for decades. Councilmembers have generally maintained the decorum necessary to allow a sometimes very heated discussion among the group. That’s how it should be. But for one member to shout out refusals to cooperate, and to insult others, is totally detrimental to the ability of all to express themselves—and come to productive resolutions of conflict.

To me, the sad thing is that if Mr. Blake were to temper his approach and attitude, others might be more inclined to consider his ideas. He just might be more successful in forwarding his agenda. He could better forward his agenda by rational argument rather than insult and denigration.

Anita Dobbs, Laguna Beach

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you Ms. Dobbs. Your description of Councilman Peter Blake appearing to be an immature bully is spot on. And this statement “At the council meeting, I’m referencing, the mayor had mentioned the recent workshop the Council had attended – a refresher on Robert’s Rules of Order, the standard guide for conducting meetings. Upon which reference, Mr. Blake blurted out in an aggressive tone that he had no intention of following the generally agreed-upon format for meetings. His words and attitude were akin to a child folding his arms across his chest and shouting, “No, I won’t, and you can’t make me!” will live on in the world of “public official embarrassments” for years to come in our city and beyond.

    Not sure whether Laguna residents should laugh or cry after witnessing such an aggressive and unprofessional display during our city council meeting. And IMO, the public and especially parents in LB should cringe that one of our city leaders so often sounds like an out of control child. I hope that if they voted for CC Blake, that they remember this and think twice before ever voting for him to represent us and our city again.

  2. Welcome to this week’s Political Theater starring the pathetic Anita Dobbs and co-starring political predator, MJ Abraham. The “Robert Rules” charade they reference was met with ambivalence despite a mind-numbing, monotone performance by Johanna Felder. It followed last year’s comedic “Code of Conduct” which also failed to garner support even though Village Laguna’s mouthpiece and sycophantic slag, Toni Iseman, could have won an Oscar for her choreographed attacks on my First Amendment rights.

    Nice try Village Laguna! No one’s falling for your self-righteous BS. The residents know you’re a ruthless Political Action Committee and political bullying is just a part of your “ends justify the means” strategy. The days of you running roughshod over our community are over!

    I’ll meet you at the ballot box anytime you’re ready!

  3. Anita Dobbs was a favorite English teacher at LBHS for decades. I remember her taking a special interest in our individual unformed minds by suggesting books that provoked us and took us beyond our sunny spot in paradise. Her classroom was one of civil discussion where opposing viewpoints were listened to with respect. Mr Blake perhaps instead of being so defensive you too could learn something from Ms. Dobbs just as we students did at LBHS? Your aggressive attitude does not serve the city or your blood pressure.

  4. If Blake runs in 2022, likely without Liberate Laguna support as the PAC seems now to see him as a liability, and the voters of Laguna re-elect him then we will get what we deserve. Also with a mayor, a mayor pro tem and a city manager without the fortitude to apply the municipal code and the tepid code of conduct that was so ballyhooed by Mayor Whalen this bullying will continue to be an embarrassment for Laguna Beach. I am no psychologist but it seems to me that Blake’s truculent deportment might be payback for the bullying he may have suffered when growing up. The term growing up is meant only to imply physical maturing.

  5. Anita Dobbs was a fantastic teacher who taught respect, and above all respect for our government and to voice opinions with respect. Any Council Member who attacks our beloved local teachers should be reminded he should treat everyone with respect and be corrected by the Mayor, or he too is disrespecting our local teachers. One who holds a government office, elected or not, should teach by example. Does the Council condone this behavior because they allow it over and over, showing that they don’t care what others learn from this behavior of doing nothing but smile while on the screens? Let’s remember this disrespect for Local Teachers in our community is not healthy and we look to our leaders to show us the way!!

  6. Mr. Catsimanes, honestly it doesn’t take a psychologist for LB residents to see through Councilman Blake’s behavior. IMO, the defiant announcements at CC meetings, press and social media attacks on constituents who disagree with him as well as resorting to name-calling are just childish attempts to strike back. This is what bullies do when they feel powerless. Bullying behavior is always concerning but when a public official proclaims to be a bully and constantly behaves in such a destructive manner as we are witnessing now. Locals – especially those who voted for him and the LL PAC group whose money secured him a CC seat really need to take a big step back and examine just what type of individual they have supported. I can’t believe respectable LB residents would settle for being associated with this type of person. And the serious name-calling posted by Blake is getting worse as we see here with the calling of our City Council member Toni Iseman a “sycophantic slag.” It’s absolutely shocking and unacceptable. Look it up folks. This is thug-like gutter talk as far as I am concerned. Ladies and gentlemen of Laguna Beach…I ask you, would you accept your mother, daughter, granddaughter, sister, aunt or niece being publicly called a name like this? I sure hope not.

    My suggestion for any Peter Blake supporters left (I’ve been told by folks who voted for him in 2018 that he’s a one-term CC member) is DISTANCE yourselves. If you continue to support him, you are saying you condone crass and unprofessional city leadership. This is not what LB should be known for. We need city officials who show respect to others by acting in a civil manner at all times and do not use their elected position to fulfill their own personal interests nor as a release for insecurities. I have faith that LB voters will correct this situation in 2022. Thank you.

  7. MJ, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that you’re nothing more than a professional complainer who has accomplished nothing in your life and spends your days attacking those who are working for the betterment of our community. You float from Nextdoor, Stu News, Facebook and this publication spinning your false narratives while disparaging anyone who doesn’t buy into your personal politicized agenda. If you’re so convinced that my supporters have dwindled then why don’t you initiate a recall? Surely you can do it. Cant you? Maybe you know I have too much support from the residents of our community after years of being pushed around by political predators like you and Village Laguna? Maybe I’m the voice of the residents who’ve moved here in the last couple of decades and want representation? After all, they play the bulk of the property tax that fuels our 100 million dollar budget. You and the rest of you Luddites pay next to nothing and want total control. Maybe property rights, Law and Order and a better dining and retail experience are important to them? Maybe they dont want a polyester Betty like yourself dictating their future? Maybe they can read your LTE’s and see who the true bully is? Sorry, but I’m not putting up with any of your BS and I will get 100 times worse than ever over the next half of my term. Better start collecting those signatures or just keep wasting your time engaging in psycho-babble while playing armchair City Manager. BTW, have you ever run a city? Are you qualified to opine on running a City of 23,000 and 6 million visitors?

    Are those Crickets I’m hearing?

  8. Well Laguna Beach, I guess we have been put on notice by Peter Blake that his attacks and vitriol are going to continue and get worse (100 times worse at that!) if we disagree with him on his public behavior as our city representative. What I would suggest to Mr. Blake is that he look into anger-management support through the city. I believe he may receive such benefits paid for by the public. This may help him understand what appears to be a need to fight, degrade others and puff his chest out all the time. As far as crickets…I don’t hear all of those mass supporters he boasts about publicly defending his behavior. He seems to be the lone voice. I trust LB voters have wisened up and in the next election will move towards electing respectful, healthy-minded and balanced individuals to represent and lead our city. I’m looking forward to positive leadership changes in 2022.

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