Letter to the Editor: Measure Q: a battle of money versus people.


The song says, “… battle lines being drawn, Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong.”
Measure Q is shaping up to be a battle of money versus people.
On the one side: 3 PACs, five companies, the campaign committee of a City Councilmember, and 33 real estate developers, investors, business interests, and generally related others are throwing boatloads of cash at the No on Q PAC. It’s coming in in chunks of $10,000, $5,000, $2,000, and a handful of dribbles of under $1,000. And the latest is a whopping $26,789 from the National Association of Realtors PAC! Wow!
According to the City Clerk’s website for Fair Political Practices Reporting data, as of 9/17, the total is an amazing $126,139.
And that is only the contributions reported on the FPPC Form 497 Contribution Report. This new PAC, which succeeds its predecessor Preserve Laguna Now PAC, hasn’t even filed its first more common Form 460.
On the other side are many Laguna residents who either support Measure Q or are being confused by all the noise from the money side.
What’s going on here? This may set records in terms of money spent to influence a Laguna Beach election.
The contributors are largely developers, and I can’t think of a developer who wants more regulation. Few developers welcome anything that limits their ability to intensify the use of land – to stuff more stuff onto a piece of land.
And few elected politicians and bureaucrats want less power.
Measure Q focuses on projects that do not adequately address their impact on our community and on changes that replace lower impact uses with higher intensity uses, resulting in higher negative impacts on the community.
While intensifying use may make more profits for the developer, too often the result is an increase in traffic caused by the project and inadequate parking being provided by the developer. So, while the developer gets more profits, the community suffers the costs, consequences, and inconvenience from the project.
Another song goes, “She got the goldmine, I got the shaft.”
Measure Q transfers power back to the voters on those few projects that push the limits beyond what is reasonable for the community and it sets guardrails to discourage overdevelopment.
So, Measure Q represents regulation for the developers and loss of power for bureaucrats and politicians.
No wonder the developers and some politicians are so opposed to Measure Q. I support Measure Q because I believe it will enhance the quality of life for a large majority of “the people” who live in Laguna.

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  1. Laguna’s tranquil, small town charm isn’t accidental; it’s because residents cared enough to save it, piece by piece. Greenbelt, Bluebelt, Canyon. Yet in just 4 years, more has been undone than in the last 50. The town hangs in the balance. We’ve seen proposals with zero parking, projects that shifts traffic burdens onto surrounding neighborhoods as well as an oversized Canyon development that never should have been approved going up right now. It’s time to hold developers accountable with guidelines that can’t be bypassed by 3 council votes. It’s time for Measure Q.

  2. Money talks & monkey business walks, due to the slow walking preservationists that had nothing to preserve. Our serious money has to be spent to win. Every other person in Laguna is a realtor so what do you expect? We’re supposed to roll over because a bunch of tree hugging liberals are scared we might build something? Get over it Ms. Sweeny and tell your friends a change is gonna come. If you don’t like it y’all can leave now. We’re playing for keeps this time to defend the City Charter and The rights we award our elected Council and we will spend. The question is can your kind raise the money to compete? You’d better start now.

  3. The ethical code of “money makes right” hearkens back to the medieval code of “might makes right”. Luckily for all of us, our great Nation was founded by enlightenment values rather than medieval values, such as “serious money” should have the final say on what happens to our beautiful town. Laguna residents have always been big-hearted, smart and savvy enough to see through those that think our community is for sale. It’s not. Vote yes on Measure Q.

  4. Laughton, F.Y.I. money does make right because you have to be smarter to make money. In your delusional world of tax the rich and ;et government distribute to the sheeple, Laguna has become a shameless pandering pool of lost souls who virtue signal their holier than thou love to the team of local libs who don’t have the education to make anything productive. Right? You can see big heartedness didn’t work. History is: Capitalisim made civilization. Your thinking that some trivial quotation will only fill your hour at Starbucks with your lilly white friends where you write these useless lectures.

  5. Laguna Beach per cap has one of the highest income levels in the world. Why won’t the people against Q put up their money? Because they’re only home equity rich and really don’t have cash flow. That’s why they rely on constant social media to bully their associates and the Council. If they did have the money they might make it useful but they don’t. The scam is the paltry membership fee they pay to Non Profit Village Laguna who in turn illegally contributes to PACS and elections.

  6. I Googled ‘C Deborah Laughton” and found out she has a Masters Degree and works for a Psycho-babble publisher based in New York. Therefore, I see the correlation between her entitledment and the point of view she articulates based on the new age literature she feeds from. So concerned about local business? Why doesn’t she work in Laguna Beach and then in turn contribute to the local economy?

  7. If you googled “C. Deborah Laughton”, Mr. Gast, you’ll find that I’ve been a statistics and research methods publisher of graduate level texts and monographs for decades. Those books have trained those who create studies in medicine, public health, human development, public policy, etc., which help people’s lives. If you, sir, would like to have an unresearched, untested medical treatment, be my guest, and don’t look for anyone who has used tested, studied and analyzed research results to ever treat you. As a great social quantitative researcher said, “An experimenting society is a democratic society.” In other words, a true democracy uses research to constantly study and improve. I have worked in academic publishing for over three decades, and our corporate headquarters are in New York. I have an office in Laguna Beach, and have a corporate career as do many other Laguna residents. Are you suggesting that only people who own a business in Laguna should be allowed to live here?

  8. Typical Laguna Patricia Sweeney. Living at Top of The World in a house you paid $400,000 for in 2002 to your hubby’s bro who got it in foreclosure a couple years before. Now, you don’t want development? You wouldn’t have such a sweet deal up there if it wasn’t for developers and lawyers like your bro-in-law. And you pay property taxes that are 20% of what your rich neighbors pay on their $2 Mil purchases. What galls me is you telling us what we need. Like that last post said, equity rich. Put your money where your mouth is. You only have one vote Sister.

  9. Mrs. Laughton, your work has trained public health, human development, public policy pros? Then point out which of these admins has gotten better? For as far as I can tell all of these areas are nothing but big invasive goverment. So let’s put political people like you in their place, or run for office and bear the task your education prepared you for as a Sarong Party Girl.

  10. John Thomas, who is on the advisory board of Laguna Residents First, employs the same tired “them v us” rhetoric that labels opponents of Measure Q as less-than-local moneygrubbers. This prevents any rational discussion of Measure Q and suggests LRF leaders are being out-argued by the NO on Q crowd. At a time when our community faces real problems that will require us to find more common ground, Measure Q drives a wedge between people who already distrust one another. That will be its legacy.


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