Michael Ray’s Feb. 19, 2021 column talks about Village Laguna as having had power and according to Mr. Ray is now losing it. Village Laguna is an organization made up of Laguna Beach residents and it’s the residents that have the power not the organization, but Mr. Ray is wrong and Village Laguna is not going anywhere.
If anyone needs to worry about demise, it’s the political action committee Liberate Laguna. In 2018, they spent over $150,000 from about 14 contributors of mostly developers many of which were from out of town and we have them to thank for Peter Blake. During the 2020 election, they spent a little less than $100,000. According to Liberate Laguna’s final disclosure statement Michael Ray contributed $57,000, Sam Goldstein $28,000 and Cindy Shopoff $18,500. If you do the math, that totals $93,500. It’s basically a three person PAC.
I found Michael Ray’s recent column full of what I call Ray facts. Village Laguna never opposed the Promenade and has not taken a position on the Theater although I’m sure most of us want to see the best historic remodel possible. Village Laguna has taken a strong position on the historic preservation ordinance and we’re hoping to see it revised, not gutted. There’s a reason many of us moved to Laguna Beach and why we get over six million visitors a year. Our historic homes are an important part of the ambiance that makes Laguna special and they are worth preserving.
It’s obvious that Mr. Ray and his cronies don’t know the meaning of village character or why it’s important to maintain, but most Lagunans do and feel that it is being threatened. That is why membership in Village Laguna has been increasing.
Johanna Felder, Laguna Beach
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