Musings on the Coast

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The Cry Bullies of Laguna Beach

By Michael Ray

Village Laguna is a group of mostly liberal and well-intentioned people advocating what they think is right for Laguna. And for more than 30 years, they’ve pushed their own candidates for City Council, and by and large, those candidates have won. In office, they then have enacted most of the policies Village Laguna espouses. It would be correct to call Village Laguna a political party, and that one political party has largely governed Laguna Beach for decades.

We already know what happens when only one party runs any government long enough. They often go overboard and become abusive. There are many examples of this. In all of them, the one party eventually and systematically has abused its citizens, or worse, ripped them off.

I am hardly accusing Village Laguna of ripping off Laguna Beach, but the members of my organization, Liberate Laguna, disagree with its policies. We believe they are abusive.

Urban Dictionary’s definition of a “cry bully” is: “Someone who uses the perceived righteousness of a social justice cause as a pretext to abuse others, and then plays the victim when confronted with that abuse.” Another definition: “Someone who is both a bully and when called on it, cries and/or bullies even harder.”

In my opinion, Village Laguna supporters fit one or both definitions.

But that is not the underlying, real issue. The real issue is this: What is wrong with a two-party system in Laguna Beach? Why not have legitimate dialogue about our values and how this city is run?

What is wrong with that?

As Mayor Bob Whalen calls for, let’s act in a civilized manner. Let’s enter a civilized debate. We could debate such topics as voluntary historicity, the Design Review Board, the Downtown Specific plan, or the sclerotic bureaucratic rules city staff is forced to use.

For a start, let’s discuss the Design Review Board (DRB). Even the city’s own website states the DRB can be completely arbitrary. It can disapprove or change your proposed house remodel for any reason or no reason at all. It means there are no rules except what DRB members decide are the rules, on the spot, at that time.

This clearly is abusive. It also is a policy Village Laguna helped create and avidly supports. Let’s debate. Does Village Laguna believe the DRB should have absolute arbitrary power? We at Liberate Laguna think not.

Let’s look at another matter regarding DRB members. They are not required to have any architectural, design or construction experience of any kind. Liberate Laguna thinks this is so beyond inanity. Village Laguna, what is your position?

Answer with a letter to the editor, or write a guest column. Share with Laguna Beach your reasoning.

In the meantime, please act in a civilizedmanner, and for heaven’s sake, quit the cry bullying. You are better than that.

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  1. 07/06/2019

    Pretty sad that a bunch of folks want to control this town- very provincial; my answer is moving out of CA in 2020….government in L.B. is a joke.


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