Letter: When Things Ran Smooth in Laguna, People Were Nice To Each Other


Wow, I am forever fortunate and very, very grateful. Growing up in L.A. and meeting my partner, Al Roberts, on the main beach in Laguna in 1970; building a beautiful home together here in 1975; starting a business at twenty-seven which, although now sold, is still thriving; starting a non-profit foundation in the mid-80s to help people with HIV/AIDS; traveling the world, and managing to stay together for 50 years until he sadly left us last year. 

But it seems there’s one simple lesson that I now realize is the key to all of that success: be nice and treat everyone like gold.

Yes, we worked very hard and struggled at times. But we never used threatening or intimidating tactics based on our insecurities to force our employees to get their work done. Not our style.

This brings me to my main point. In fifty years, I’ve seen many city councils come and go. Fifty years is a long run. But as I reflect back, it’s obvious that when things were running smoothly here in our beloved Laguna, people were nice to each other and treated each other like gold. Sound familiar?

As a private pilot, if bad weather is spotted or noted ahead, the wise thing I must do is alter my flight plan to avoid storms and turbulence, which could be catastrophic.

Hopefully, all of us will vote very shortly and select city council members and management that reflect a clear vision for the future, steering clear of turbulence and making sure our city is flying along smoothly. It’s definitely possible!

Ken Jillson, Laguna Beach

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  1. Mr. Jillson; Your references to ‘being nice’ are empty because as the saying goes “Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely”. Currently, the stakes are higher in terms of home prices, e.g. 50 years ago a beachfront was 500k, now it’s 15 mil. The ‘nice people’ you remember got greedy and we have to stop them. So grow up Sir. The old Laguna way was nice but it got polluted ten years back, and we’re sick of their being nice and raising taxes and stopping Capitalism. We tried, but prefer growth and proper law abiding moral virture driven leaders.

  2. Due to the past not working, I have to comment that I see more educated people getting involved expressing their opinons, that some don’t like, because there’s more at stake in terms of vital needed economic growth. Preserving Laguna’s cordiality isn’t a pivotal issue except to Nice Ken Jillson. The landslide change is because lot of us were sick and tired of being taxed nice people to pass secret Democrat agendas. These nice leaders were, I have to say pathetically wimpy. I think y’all would be stunned to see the positive changes that could come from a better qualified business educated City Council.

  3. Mr. Jillson, while I do understand you are a respected man you have raised a lot of money and done a lot for the community. I would respectfully like to comment on your letter. I feel like as long as everyone complied with Village Laguna and didn’t put up any resistance, they would allow things to stay at status quo. But as soon as people want a little change that is when Village Laguna puts up a fight. I understand that for most people that are retired, its nice to take the status quo, but for us younger generations who want change, we are willing to fight for what we believe in. Was it civil this past weekend as protesters from Village Laguna disturbed traffic just shouted and displayed their signs calling council member Blake “unfit”. To stop something in motion it take an equal or greater force. This Village Laguna train has been in motion to long but its about to get hit with a force like they have never seen before.

    Being nice is not the same as acting kind. A nice person drives by you on the freeway when you have a flat tire and says, “omg, to I feel bad for what happened to that guy.” Where someone that is maybe not nice, but is kind will pullover and say, “you don’t change a tire like that dummy, let me help you do it the right way.” To me kind is actions or outcome is much more important than nice word. I’m not saying politeness should take a back seat I just wanted to highlight the difference

    As a pilot bad weather is not in your control. But how our city is run, we can and will make a change in that and I don’t think it’s healthy to just avoid problems just out of fear of conflict.


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