Meet City Council Candidate Jerome Pudwill


35-year resident endorsed by Village Laguna, LB Police Employees’ Association

Photo courtesy of Jerome Pudwill

Jerome Pudwill declared his intention to run for one of three open Laguna Beach City Council seats in November just five weeks ago, relatively late to throw his hat into the ring. Still, the 35-year resident said he felt it essential to step up and represent the Laguna Beach locals. 


“I had been waiting and thinking that somebody else would run,” Pudwill said. “When I didn’t see that happening. I just knew somebody had to take that responsibility.”


Since then, Pudwill has hit the ground running, attending multiple canadiate panels and gaining endorsements from Village Laguna and the Laguna Beach Police Employees’ Association. 


Pudwill said he’s running for Laguna Beach City Council to give residents a voice in City government and to work to preserve Laguna’s quality of life.


“I’m not against development. I’m for responsible, compatible development that retains the charm and beauty of Laguna,” Pudwill said. “I’m not a developer, a realtor, a business owner, or a developer-backed politician. I have nothing personal to gain by running for office, just the satisfaction of helping save Laguna from overdevelopment. We need to put an end to the autocracy at City Hall.”


“For the past several years, the City has been ignoring residents – discouraging their input and democratic engagement. We are witnessing how developer money is compromising Laguna’s government by financially backing officials and making changes that permanently threaten Laguna’s village lifestyle with over-tourism and overdevelopment.” 


Pudwill is running on a platform based around Laguna Beach residents. He hopes to address quality of life concerns, which include parking, traffic, public safety, the effects of tourism and the environment.


“I believe this election will be the most important in Laguna’s history,” he said. “It will determine whether we preserve and protect our charm and beauty or charge ahead – only focusing on overdevelopment and increased tourism.”


His platform includes improving City accountability and transparency by requiring decorum and civility, fiscal responsibility, better staff management, long term planning and development, while creating and implementing a long-range vision plan that prioritizes compatible growth, affordable housing, undergrounding, safety and wildfire protection.  


Pudwill also supports Measure Q, which would require a public vote on certain large-scale developments. 


“It will also determine whether Laguna’s city government returns to honest transparency and representing its residents, not just those who stand to profit.”


Pudwill is retired from a career in advertising and marketing, real estate, and land development. He was also an educator at Chapman University. His political involvement includes helping to run the successful candidacy of current Councilmember George Weiss and backing Laguna Residents First. Pudwill and his wife Loretta are 36-year residents. Together, they enjoy the arts, classic films, traveling, and being a part of the Laguna Beach community. 


Pudwill said Laguna’s reception to the campaign has been positive. 


“The people I’ve met have been enthusiastic,” Pudwill said. “I’ve been humbled by the gratitude that I’ve received for running. A lot of people just said, ‘we really needed somebody else out there and we weren’t seeing it, and we were so glad that you gave us this option.'”


For more about Jerome Pudwill, visit or contact MJ Abraham at (949) 499-4425 or [email protected]

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  1. Jerome will stand up for residents, restore civility and stop the giveaways at city hall. He supporters taxpayers, Measure Q and has always advocated for transparency in our local government. The decisions over the last 4 years–particularly with respect to downtown–have not benefited residents. It’s time to change course. Jerome has my vote.

  2. The way Jerome Pudwill describes himself he sounds like a how do you day…internet tough guy, antagonist, pot stirrer, pest, menace, agitator, troublemaker and/or rascal. Everything I see from him is these long-winded pontifications and how he thinks he speaks for residents. He does this by claiming he is going to pursue things in a way that is unenforceable, along with throwing people under the bus.

    He says he helped George Weiss win; George Weiss ran on “bridging the gap, and reaching across the isle” How is that going? Lol…nothing like he campaigned on is what is taking place now. What is interesting is during one of the debates Jerome Pudwill said that his appreciation for the arts has been fostered through his extensive world travels…..yet he is against tourism. What if Rome, Italy said, “Sorry Jerome, we don’t want you coming here seeing our beautiful city and art…go home.” So he likes to travel but doesn’t want anyone else to travel in the same spirit? Is this the grumpy old man in a worn down house that won’t give you back your ball that wants to be on city council?

  3. Aaliyah Jackson mentions visiting Rome, so must be aware that Rome, like many other cities in Italy, France, Spain, and Sweden charge a visitor a daily tax for any non-local resident car that enters the City. The “old world” is wise and careful with their rich arts, music, architecture, and (in some cases) beaches and started charging visitors since they were being over-run with visitors/tourists. It was a way to regulate traffic and visitor impacts for the locals that live there. Is Jackson suggesting that Laguna do the same? It’s not a bad idea if the State and Coastal Commission would allow it.

  4. Ms. Laughton or Mrs. Weiss. I am very happy to read your response, thank you. So according to your statement, if the cities get the tax revenue from the tourism it is a good thing. I AGREE!! So happy to hear that a Village Laguna member finally sees the light, or did you just walk into that one…haha! See these cities promote tourism and have learned to monetize it and they build more infrastructure to support it. No body think tourist, or anyone should use city service without contributing. Wouldn’t it be great if the revenue/tax from tourist paid for under grounding the power line (less fires), more police and helped keep every resident safer? Now the type of tourist you get (spends money) depends on the type/quality of business you attract. If you don’t want the day tripper, then promote an environment that has less barriers to entry so nice restaurant, shops, and hotels come to this city. SO, LEAD, FOLLOW, OR GET OUT OF THE WAY!

    I am glad you couldn’t deny the fact your husband, George Weiss HAS NOT brought back civility or “reached across the aisle” and almost all his campaign promises have NOT come true. He is way too busy meeting with known agitators and stirring up problems as have all Village Laguna endorsed candidates. BE CAUTIOUS ON ANYONE THAT CAMPAGINS ON “CIVILITY”. Recent history has shown us that those individuals have been the least likely to unify and have caused even more polarization.

  5. PLEASE NOTE: Getting endorse by the Police Employees’ Association does NOT MEAN the Laguna Beach Police Department endorse Jerome Pudwill. This is a Union that reps 72 different police department, and Unions have a great reputation when it comes to elections (said nobody ever). I challenge anyone to go to any high ranking police official (not head of and ask if they are going to vote for Pudwill or any of the Village Laguna endorsed candidates. More tax revenue helps hire police, lifeguard and firefighters. So wouldn’t a vote for Jerome Pudwill, Ruben Flores or Mark Orgill (aka Village Laguna) be a vote against public safety?

  6. Aaliyah Jackson – I’m curious. How come a google search, Linked in search and people search come up with nothing on you? I’ve never heard you comment either here at this site or on Nextdoor? I question whether you are a real person but instead an alias for someone with an ax to grind with Jerome. Jerome has been defending Laguna in every venue and media he can and yet you attack him with vicious words and characterizations. He was a staunch supporter of keeping the library where it is, and exposer of the city’s lack of transparency on it. He has been doing this on every issue when the city has ignored residents. So yes, he very much does speak for residents.

  7. Michele Monda – Rest assure I am me and I do exist. For me social media is not the best use of my time. I am a younger minority and newer to the community. However, I do very much care for Laguna Beach, and I want the best for town which is why I am inserting the facts along with a few of my opinions. I did a google search on you in the same spirit you googled me, what I found was quite telling. Google said, you live in a very large mansion behind an even larger gate. You are so far away from downtown Laguna and probably don’t see people like us much, clearly you are out of touch with the public. When I was driving today, I happened to be in your neighborhood on my way to visit a friend. I was stunned by what I saw. In front of your somewhat newer mansion, in front of your giant gate, you had a sign that said “Save Laguna from Overdevelopment” or something like that. OMG…hahaha, you developed a giant mansion and now you have literally closed the gate behind yourself and don’t want anyone else to come in. Who can afford a home like that?! Or do you want nothing to be built so your home value stays artificially high. We don’t ask for $20- or $10 million-dollar mansion, we just want a place to live and work in town.

  8. A friend who had already met Candidate Jerome Pudwill told me he found him “affable”. I did not exactly know what that meant so I looked it up:

    Affable – adjective
    >Easy and pleasant to speak to; approachable.
    >Gentle and gracious.
    >Easy to be spoken to or addressed; receiving others kindly and conversing with them in a free and friendly manner;
    > courteous; sociable.

    I had not met him when I learned this description a few weeks ago but had the opportunity to meet Jerome for the first time at a local meet and greet in Woods Cove. What a great word to describe this uniquely qualified candidate.

    Imagine, after what we have suffered these last 4 years due to one city councilperson’s rude and aggressive behavior to finally have someone who is Approachable, Gracious and Courteous. Mr. Pudwill will make interacting with city government on public issues so much easier for many of us.

    I have decided to support Mr. Pudwill as my first vote for Council. Please consider him as one of your votes as well.

  9. Mr. Hoffman–If you’re an advocate of public safety why wouldn’t our community want to know who the Laguna Beach Police Dept/ Employees Association endorses? Aren’t they the ones who keep our City safe? I think our police personnel deserve an apology from you for suggesting that their opinion and endorsement doesn’t have any value unless its an endorsement from their top management. Serfdom went out with the medieval period. Individuals and employees have the right to speak for themselves in our great Nation, and this group supported Jerome Pudwill and two other candidates. As for fiscal support of our wonderful police and other safety staff, over 65% is funded by residents’ tax payments, and that sir, is what funds the majority of things in our beautiful city.

  10. Hahaha. I was the one who called Mr Pudwill “affable” and drove Mr Baez to the dictionary. He was cordial at the LBAA candidates forum a few weeks ago, which I appreciated since Mr Pudwill and have been arguing about Measure Q on Nextdoor for over a year, although it feels much longer. We now have a wager: If Measure Q loses, as I think it will, he buys me a drink. If it passes, as he thinks it will, the drink’s on me. Mr Baez later joined the bet, so my liver will be getting a workout.

    The important thing to know about Mr Pudwill’s qualifications to serve on the City Council, aside from being affable, is that he has none. No record of public service, no participation in civic affairs, and, judging by his performance at the candidate forums, no understanding of how to run a city. As the proxy candidate for his campaign manager MJ Abraham, she has done all she can to make him sound as angry as she is. It’s a poor fit.

    Mr Pudwill has been endorsed by Village Laguna. But they’ve also endorsed developer Mark Orgill, who opposes Measure Q. Go figure.

  11. Like many people who have served on City Council over the decades, many haven’t served on any city committees. Pudwill has character as well as work and education experience to contribute to our community and City Council. As recently as 2018 our residents voted for a City Council (CC) member who claimed to have never voted in an election until he ran–Peter Blake–nor had he been on any city committees. It doesn’t appear Committee work is a prerequisite for serving on City Council. Shouldn’t we assume that CC prerequisites should consist of steady work experience; the ability to investigate and critically read fairly opaque City contracts and ordinances (versus just the City’s recap of them, which can leave out clauses as happened in the recent Library case); responsiveness to residents’ requests and inquiries (as well as business ones); ability to listen keenly and ask questions in a collaborative manner; and, a commitment to serve ALL of our community? City Council members are the caretakers of our community.

  12. Ms. Laughton- I just want people to know the difference between the Union and the actual Laguna Beach Police Department. The PD Employees Union doesn’t keep our city safe. The men and women that proudly serve on The Laguna Beach Police Department keep this city safe. The LBPD cannot endorse any candidates, promising the Union you will be favorable in upcoming negotiations is just a backdoor way of making it look like the police endorse you. I just want to make sure our innocent residents don’t get fooled. No apology needed; I understand people make mistakes. What is strange is that they didn’t endorse Sue or Peter, which have does more for this town as far as law and order in the past term than anyone else ever has. When I go to the website’s of the union endorsed candidates of Jerome, Alex and Mark I don’t see anything about law and order….it’s not one of their main talking point (although they might change it after this :). It seems like the union is trying to push the narrative of staff having low morale, as a bargaining chip in negotiations.

    Correct me if I am wrong but weren’t you part of the group that made a DIY survey that claimed city employees had low morale? Then a professional 3rd party neutral company came a did a comprehensive survey that totally contradicted yours? I wish I could find it comical, but I don’t. This playing the victim mentality must end. Your survey is about as valuable as me conducting my own appraisal on my home….it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on.

    As far as you comment on fiscal support…just read other comments above. You are against tourism in a town that is based off tourism. If you grow the pie that allocation would shift and put a lot less pressure on our residents. So, you can argue about slices or just grow the pie.

  13. RINOS Who Love Unions? This is the same playbook story over and over. We tried that and now it’s clear Laguna never made progress until the Council’s leadership understood growth. What now does a 35 year resident know more of to make our economy vibrant? RINOS by any other name are wrong for our future. And we don’t need unions anymore.

  14. Wonders never cease! I am now refuted by a “Brian Hoffman” to be writing survey instruments for city employees. I’m not fool enough to write a flawed survey instrument when I have had the privilege of working with some of the top survey researchers on their graduate books on survey analysis, survey design, etc. as their publisher. I am a publisher, not a survey researcher. As part of my citizen duty, I did provide feedback to the City staff about the large flaws in the surveys of the city’s residents and businesses (after checking with the researchers with whom I work to make certain I was accurate). For the record, none of them thought the “professional” survey group wrote what looked like a professional survey instrument, but as more of a marketing polling tool. The feedback was ignored as I imagine all other resident feedback was. I do review survey instruments just like I review research reports and analyses of studies. I do not write surveys nor leap tall buildings with a single bound.

  15. Thank you Aaliyah for pointing out the ridiculous trend to be loved here in Laguna even if you live in a gated ten million dollar mansion, and have nothing to do except feel important belonging to the phony social circle that will turn on in a second you if you say anything they don’t believe. Now it’s our turn to tell them what we want and they can’t stand it. But the ship has sailed, the horse is out of the barn, and all the teeth knashing and pearl clutching won’t turn us against our leaders. Monda and her millions! Googled. Bottom line we won’t shut up or back down again.

  16. This is surely a 1st for Laguna where the candidate lost before the election. I feel for the guy being totally embarassed, with a total loss.

  17. I’m missing a confirmation on his “Chapman University (second rate) Marketing and Educator?” Does this mean he taught marketing? What does this at all have to do with running the City? Academics are notorious box checkers with no imagination or leadership skills. Those who can’t Do – Teach. Seems like a Village Laguna Puppet with too much time on his hands and a trust fund! We need actual local business men who understand sign the front of their checks, not the back

  18. I read these comments and wanted to add that due to the incompetency of past admins, it’s coming a surprise to the old guard that those of us who have to earn a living to live in Laguna WOULD RATHER HAVE tourism and development interests to have a voice that positively impacts our economy. The example of past foolishness is how the council under Village Laguna ran Bob Hurley out of town by having to approve everything he sold in his surf store. Only the biggest surf brand in the world! He left. Like dozens of others. This is what you old timers are fighting to hang on to?

  19. The Hurley store was opposed by many of the local surf oriented stores in town. It would not have been a good fit for our downtown as it would have cannibalized the smaller stores. Didn’t Hurley have a store in CdMar? I thought there was one there…but do I see ten Hurley stores in So Cal? They should try Dana Point. They do have lots of open retail spaces in the block long apartment buildings in the lantern district although there are already surf shops galore in Dana Point.

  20. If memory serves, Jack’s Surfboard also sought an outlet?
    And maybe Hobie’s did some back room lobbying to attenuate downtown competition?
    The one that irked me was the proposed/vetted Trader Joe’s, I think either where Accords was or the old Sprouse-Ritz?
    Perfect fit, we wouldn’t have been forced as we do now, drive halfway to Corona Del Mar or Ocean Ranch.
    Gelsen’s in So Lag is usually a ghost town because it’s way more expensive than former Alpha Beta or Albertson’s.
    Instead we got a “Whole Wallet,” aka Whole Foods franchise downtown.

  21. al baez, it’s nobody’s business what businesses should be anywhere. Only in your weird world is there logic to dictate what and who can do whatever. Get over it.

  22. Pudwll has been long known as a NextDoor bully, mean and antagonistic, calling neighbors who don’t agree with his extremist liberal views as all idiots, extremists, racists, etc. He and his “manager”, MJ Abrahams (Monda is her bestie), are two of the most vicious people in this town, constantly attacking people on NextDoor and just simply not nice people, certainly not civil. Pudwill tried to delete his old ND posts before he ran for city council (showing him to be anything but civil), but many in town took screen shots so the evidence is there. He has little to no experience and would be bad for Laguna. Just like George Weiss, he will tell you one thing to get elected then do exactly the opposite. A wolf in sheep’s clothing is still a wolf. His attempted mister nice guy personna in this city council race is a farce. Do not be fooled. He claims to be a fiscal conservative (because he thinks that will get him votes), but he is certainly not. Never recall seeing him at city council meetings over the last decade speaking up or fighting against excessive city spending. A Village Laguna puppet, hasn’t Laguna had enough of that group??

  23. Jennifer Zieter, such opinion and accusations coming from one of the most high-profile far-right activists in Laguna and a longtime controversial regular on LB Nextdoor and in LB local media (although you do live PT and practice law in NO. Cal.) isn’t surprising. I believe you are also known for threatening residents with lawsuits for slander, etc. IMO , your comments here wreak of slanderous remarks and intense anger. I know from personal experience working with you on LB city issues that you are ruthless, just like your candidate Peter Blake and the far-right radical group GLBGOP you created and represent. You have attacked me personally before over politics so it’s nothing new – just showed how wicked you are. And your personal attacks on Michele Monda is because she parted party ways with you after you infiltrated the local long-standing and respected GOP (just like you did to the LB Taxpayers Association which folded after you got involved) and she chose to stay with the LB GOP rejecting you and your radical spin-off. I applaud her for that and I know many sound honorable local republicans who do as well.

    Back to your comments on Candidate Jerome Pudwill. What people like you and your far-right GLBGOP’s didn’t like was that you couldn’t bait, control nor intimidate this long-time resident on the community communication ND platform. Nope – he was way too smart and didn’t back down to your ND group pressure – even when you all continuously tried to get him removed. But guess who got removed? FACT: GLBGOP’s candidate Peter Blake because he was verbally abusive, bullying people and violated ND guidelines. Your “screen shot evidence” means nothing except to you and your group trying to spin your narratives. We need more strong residents just like Jerome! Informed resident voters see through your political comments as they clearly show you will say and do anything to boost your endorsed candidate Peter Blake. Good luck.

    Fact is, candidate Jerome Pudwill is a very capable businessman whose diverse career includes marketing and advertising which provides him with all the expertise he needs to run his own campaign. And he does. You are wrong – I am not his campaign manager. I do proudly work alongside a handful of locals helping him with whatever support he needs in the areas of experience we can offer him. His positions are his own and he cannot be brought. And he has shared them with the public and city council members for years when he has felt it necessary. Finally, the non-partisan helpers he has enlisted to help on his campaign are sound residents focused on our city issues and certainly doesn’t include a group of people who don’t live here supporting a candidate they don’t know and/or can’t vote for.

    I along with other vocal locals, including the candidates you will all try to take down, have our Armor On and prepared for the next Peter Blake public rants and the organized personal bashing from your group and Blake’s political posse. Fire away and keep looking like the destructive gang you all are.

    This November I will proudly vote for Jerome Pudwill! I will vote for other candidates not supported by PAC developers or far-right groups like the GLBGOP and I will definitely REJECT troubled Peter Blake. And I will vote YES on Measure Q. And I encourage Laguna Beach Voters to not be fooled to do the same.

  24. It’s a funny thing. I have found that when someone accuses you of something, it is precisely what they are guilty of. Take a look in the mirror Jennifer. My conservative values of small government, fiscal responsibility, transparency in government and resident centric actions are intact and evident. In a town like Laguna, it matters not what political party someone belongs to but what they intend to do for their town. Those conservative values are alive and well in Jerome Pudwill who has no reason to run other than to care for our town. Peter Blake, the Greater Laguna Beach GOP candidate that Ms. Zeiter runs, displays none of those Republican values. He consistently votes for every pay raise, every new staff request, every project, fine if there is no appraisal – buy the property, was part of a Brown Act violation to protect developer Mo Hanaker behind the public’s back, and does nothing but bully and scream at residents who have different views from his. He has endorsed a Democrat for County Supervisor NOT the Republican candidate. So look in the mirror and tell me which candidate has the true Republican values.


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