I have never developed commercial property in California. Nor, probably, shall I ever. So, please don’t assume that I’m motivated by some commercial self-interest. I am against Ballot Initiative Q because it’s bad for Laguna Beach.
As I’ve said in an earlier letter to the editor of the Indy, I believe that the folks who favor the initiative are well-intentioned. But, this is not the right approach. Once an initiative is passed, it can only be fixed by another initiative.
Populist initiatives can sound convincing. “Leave it to the People.” But, there is a good reason that we are a “democratic republic.” We are supposed to elect people who reflect our collective will. The laws they pass have consequences. If they pass bad laws, you replace them (the laws and the representatives). This distrust of the system is very destructive to our social fabric.
What shall we vote on next? Whether or not a bank can open on Ocean Avenue? Where we buy our fire trucks? It is a slippery slope.
And, it is a very expensive undertaking. The City (we citizens) will incur the added burden of conducting these votes. It will add significant expense to any project that is subject to it. So, when you wonder why rents are so high; and why your kids can’t afford to shop and live here, this will be a shining example.
One example of a bad requirement in this proposed law is the one requiring a traffic study. I was told that this will cost a minimum of $50,000. That’s just added to the costs of a project. And, it triggers the voting requirement at 200 cars a day. That might sound like a lot of cars to some folks, but it’s not. It’s under 10 an hour.
And, when we realize what a bad idea it was, we can’t just fix it. We need to have a whole new referendum.
So, Laguna, please just say “No to Q.”
Tom Papa, Laguna BeachView Our User Comment Policy