Letter: Vote for a Leadership Change


Election day is almost here. I am confident that before voting, Laguna Beach residents will do their due diligence by carefully examining our two incumbent’s overall representation, conduct and voting records and will vet the professional experience and personal qualities of five new candidates as well as take the time to understand the facts on three ballot measures presented to us. All very important choices to make for Laguna’s future and destiny. With three council seats open this year, it brings us the once-in-four-year opportunity to replace and rebalance our city council. While residents, businesses and real estate investors may have differing visions, I believe with the right leadership, we can effectively work together to improve Laguna Beach and restore the unique and more peaceful seaside village we had prior to 2018. We have been divided for too long. We need each other and new city leaders to refocus our efforts on taking care of our town first and in an inclusive manner starting with being more resident and economic development sensitive. No one has to lose at the expense of the other. This is a myth perpetuated by self-interests in their attempt to divide and conquer our community. Say No to them and yes to working together. I ask you to join me in voting for new candidates that align with your vision and values. My #1 pick is candidate Jerome Pudwill. There are many reasons why. He is smart and witty. Integrity and values aren’t just words to him – he lives by them. He is a 36-year resident and property owner with a diverse professional background that includes marketing and advertising, land development and teaching. He is a good listener. He is firm in his beliefs and respectful and tempered when sharing them. He will work well with all constituents and city leaders to find real solutions. He can’t be bought and won’t shy away from tough issues. He is socially acute and fiscally conservative – he actually calls himself “tight-fisted” when it comes to money. I know he will act responsibly with ours. Whomever you decide to throw your support behind, please make sure they share your family values and respect the community you love. We can restore, rebalance and reenergize our City. We can do this together if we vote for a leadership change.

MJ Abraham, Laguna Beach

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  1. Thank you for your “pitch” for one of Village Laguna’s endorsed candidates. On the issue of property owners rights do you know where he stands? Does he agree with Village Laguna’s lawsuits against the City of Laguna Beach for the approval of the Historic Preservation Ordinance Update and the Kirby’s Hawthorne Road approved remodel?
    You can go to LagunaNeighbors.org to get the history of the Kirby’s project.

  2. Thank Pat. I can’t speak for Jerome but you may contact his directly as stated in the article.

    I know you are passionate about this family and honor that. If you want my opinion – this homeowner situation should never have gotten this far. I think staff, boards and commission and council members should have done a much better job. If they had it might not be up to the courts.

    FYI- for those that aren’t aware, our legal costs are growing. We’ve had several legal cases that go on and on like this in our city. One tree case lasted 8+ years in the courts costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars and still not entirely settled. IMO- we need new legal counsel. Thanks.

  3. Jerome Pudwill was a huge bully on NextDoor, before he decided to run for office and deleted his posts. He blatantly and offensively verbally attacked anyone who did not share his extreme liberal views. A wolf in sheep’s clothing. MJ Abrahams is his campaign manager, not an indpendent resident simply giving her unbiased opinion. That alone should give you pause for thought as she does not disclose this information in her LTE. This is what you will get with Jerome Pudwill, smoke and mirrors. He supports Measure Q, which is a bad initiative, bad for Laguna, and poorly drafted.

    Jerome is NOT a fiscal conservative. Not once that I recall has he voiced any opinions or objections at city hall chambers in opposition to city spending. Please don’t be fooled. He is supported by Village Laguna.

    For the answer to your question regarding the Kirbys and the horrible strife and financial stress they put that poor family through, Village Laguna was behind those lawsuits. So if VL supports Jerome Pudwill, I think you have the answer to your question Pat+Gillis.

  4. MJ Abraham,

    The Orange County Superior Court Judge ruled in favor for the City of Laguna Beach for the approval of the Kirby’s remodel. So the city did their job! One of the major reasons why projects take so long is that the City staff must be very accurate & precise in the wording of everything in the record because of potential lawsuits! In my opinion Village Laguna’s creation “ Historic Coalition “ push this into the courts! This is a perfect example of NIMBYISM & the abuse of CEQA!

  5. Pat, If each of our city authorities did their job with no reason to question them why worry about it? As i mentioned, we have had numerous cases that went on longer and just as costly to taxpayers for decades. Nothing said about this issue before this case. Help me understand why you and others are only concerned now? Thanks.

  6. Yet more skewed information about Jerome Pudwill and I being spread by far-right activist Zeiter as she goes on what I call her typical character attacks. And as usual, not one fact or proof of her accusations offered – all just her opinion. This alone should give folks pause for thought.

    FACT: I am no one’s campaign manager and would never agree to be one. I’m honored by the title but fact is it’s hard work and I know my limits! I do however volunteer to support others on various causes I believe in, including political candidate and ballot measure efforts. I can assure voters, Jerome Pudwill is quite capable of running his own brilliant campaign (love his sincere ad campaign messages he created!) and reaching out to those he feels can provide him with solid factual information as he commits to serving our city in a very serious capacity. Wish more candidates did this instead of sitting back making false claims and/or accepting investor/developer money and becoming their future puppets. Yes, I am proud to be one of several residents helping Jerome – he’s a one-of-a kind resident that stepped up to be “our voice” and say NO to the takeover of our town by greedy profiteers. Vote for Jerome. We did! Thank you.

    As for Nextdoor….it’s a community communication platform that can’t be controlled by some extreme local’s wanting to control narratives. Many folks complaining about it all the time are those who have been kicked off temporarily or permanently because they continually violated the respectful engagement guidelines. Peter Blake is one. Maybe folks can guess who others might be?

  7. I think you are complexly missing all the points being made, MJ. This unnecessary litigation costs the city money and, therefore, the taxpayers. It’s also a good idea not to take credit for Jerome’s campaign as it was a garbage fire-style disaster.

  8. Thanks you Megan. I think i understand the points being made reasonably well. I worked in city government and know that sometimes things are handled incorrectly by various decision makers along the way and they end up costing everyone involved in time and money. This situation the Kirby’s experienced is unfortunate and I hope it is resolved soon. Again, for those concerned about absorbing legal costs should do some research as this sent the only costly or property rights city case one awry.

    As for Jerome, yes he jumped in and hit the ground running. But that’s what people do when they see a problem. And the overwhelming donations and voter commitment support he has garnered speaks for itself and he is honored. If elected, Residents won’t have to worry about his strings being pulled by developers or him screaming and calling them names. Now that’s worth getting fired-up about! Thanks.


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