Letter: Support Public Officials Who Support Transparency

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I want to thank councilmembers Orgill, Rounaghi and Weiss for voting for transparency in city government and allowing residents to view the body cam footage for themselves of the city manager’s traffic stop. It took courage to buck the practice of the former council majority to hide everything from residents. It is a new day!

It’s disappointing that Mayor Whalen and Pro Tem Kempf didn’t seem to fully understand the significance of their positions on a public records request supporting transparency in our city government. Their denial of access to public information confirms they are officially anti-transparency public officials.  

This means we can’t rely on them to represent constituents without their personal opinions and bias overriding the laws to protect us. These two councilmembers exposed their favoritism of a city employee. Denying the public request suggests that those they select to serve don’t have to answer to anyone and are above the law. Looking back over their terms and alliances, Whalen and Kempf haven’t taken their obligation to share information with residents seriously. Is that so residents can’t make informed decisions and hold officials accountable while conducting our city business? Why are they working for the interests of staff and not residents? 

Their “no” vote to release the body cam footage undermines the purpose behind the California Public Rights Act – how residents hold public officials accountable and fight corruption. Without transparency and accountability by those governing us, a lack of trust evolves.  

We are seeing an Us vs. Them city environment unfolding today. We must reject this type of governing and any public official who doesn’t support full transparency and accountability. 

Michèle Monda, Laguna Beach

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9 COMMENTS

  1. It’s hillarious to read the opinion of a sixty-something arm-candy for an octagerian, knowing that there are way bigger ‘transparency issues’ going on, related to nepo-baby arts funding, property tax waivers for the preferred and pension slush funds for the retired. She’s worried about a traffic stop cam? Ya people gotta get real lives.

  2. Jennifer – is that you with yet again another alias?? Really? You need to change your wording so I can’t figure out it’s you slamming me yet again. Arm candy for an octogenarian? You think he’s that old eh? He’s laughing at you.

  3. Morrie, another alias, LOL, You don’t get it and instead choose to insult someone with principles, yeah, it’s ok to undermine the California public rights act, after all why should the people that pay the mega salaries in the hopes of being represented complain when they are asked to comply with the law, it’s so much easier to hire attorneys at tax payer expense. You certainly have had a completely mindless turn around. You have to do personal insults as you cannot come up with any argument and the name..LOL See you at the office!
    Thank you Michele for standing UP!

  4. It’s weird that the writer writes more about her being made a victim. Shaming? It’s a fact that her 80 something husband and her came to town and put money into art boards so she could help. Does that mean she’s an expert at public policy? The writer and her husband couldn’t manage their own public policy group within the GOP and another more energized group took the task on, independantly of them. Now she’s paranoid “Jennifer” is stalking her anonomously? Now she’s upset the CM is not transparent according to her standards. Does this petty sniping ever end? No wonder real educated people won’t step up for council management. They’d have to deal with time wasting abuse from citizens with just too much time on their hands.

  5. Let’s make the point here clear, that there are people getting killed crossing PCH. Now more than ever we need Police resources to save lives not monitor cell phone use. Why waste police and admin time on satifying one single woman’s outcry? Bring it up in the proper forum Ma’am.

  6. Good point about the tragic deaths of pedestrians crossing PCH by the alias “Mars” poster. Given that the recent data report on the CA increase in pedestrian fatalities has been tracked to distracted drivers’ use of their cell phones via texting or hand-held calls, Mars and others must be glad that our hard-working Laguna officers are stopping and ticketing for this offense. Prevention is worth a bit of ticketing, and hue and cry, if it saves lives and serious injuries, right?

  7. Jennifer/India you are just too much. Why don’t you take up your anger and frustration over Peter losing somewhere else? You should get your facts straight but your hatred of me gets you all tangled up. Stop hiding behind fake names, start making a difference with the corruption that is going on at City Hall. And for the record “Rainbeau” – the officer was monitoring crosswalk compliance when he caught the City Manager on her phone. Abuse of power to intimidate an officer out of getting a ticket is pretty serious especially if it’s a pattern. But maybe you don’t agree. Can’t wait for your next names!

  8. The snipes herein from the writer is so indicative of the closed minds that pollute our social conscience. She refuses to believe that mere mortal civilians can reply and disagree. Instead she’s paranoid about writers she cannot find in google? The Indy’s free content policy needs to be eliminated. It’s harboring some real nuts.

  9. The rebutal of releasing a traffic stop video is couched in a Conspiracy lacking Transparecy. Mrs. M, if you could please spend as much time on issues of more dire consequences for me: 1.) The city repainted parking lines narrower to earn more money from tickets when cars touched the painted line, 2.) Eliminate the fat payrolls and lifeguard pensions, as those boys are now categorized up there with first responders, 3.) Stop Pagaent from hiring shills like Priscilla Poseur Presley and use that money for children. Just sayin’.

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