Having watched Toni Iseman’s 24-year-long career as a member of the City Council – the thing that stands out the most to me was when she had approved plans to renovate the primary parking lot across from the Laguna Theater and Festival of Arts in front of her. She then proceeded to draw curves and eliminate parking spots, and then to top that, she narrowed the spaces between parked cars, saying, “people are buying smaller cars now anyway.” Never was a more untrue statement made – big is better when it comes to cars today. The curb around the perimeter is blacked by the tires that have rubbed the curb navigating the curves- sometimes people hold their breath as they try to get past the first leg of cars and move on past the walkway to city staff parking and, on Saturdays, the Farmers Market. I have seen people squeeze into spots, or if they have guests in their cars, they disembark first so as to be able to exit their cars. What a mess. I think that should be her legacy. After all this is not a career job.
I have other memories of the rhetoric when view preservation was on the agenda for years. Of course, she being a Village Laguna devotee she voted for any and all project spearheaded by them.
I for one hope that someday, the citizens of this town and members of City Hall push for limited term policy for City Council members and that we do not elect the City Clerk – only two cities in Orange County and Los Angeles vote for their clerks. Some even suggest that the City Treasurer also become a position for people with experience and education to conduct such work as required by virtue of this key position. At least there would be a chain of command and certainly, be subject to evaluation and pay/benefits.
Ganka Brown, Laguna Beach