Opinion: Musings on the Coast


Why Won’t Village Laguna Debate?

It is a curious phenomenon when the political action committee called Village Laguna refuses to debate its main opponent, Laguna Forward. After all, Village Laguna controlled this town for almost 40 continuous years. This lasted until the 2018 City Council election when some of Village Laguna’s candidates lost to those of Laguna Forward.

Since then, Village Laguna has loudly protested almost all the City Council’s major decisions. Mostly the protesters are the same 10 or 12 people, but they are everywhere— and I mean all over—Next Door Neighborhood, letters to the editors and social media.

So why won’t you debate? Laguna Forward keeps asking you, and as one of the original Founders, let me ask you now: We will debate you any time. You pick it; we will show up. Pick whatever moderators you want, we will show up. Pick whatever forum you want, we will show up. Pick any format you want, we will show up. Anytime, anywhere,.

So why don’t you?
Personally, I think you are chicken because the public will find out who you really are.

1. Why do you state you favor the Promenade when you do not?

2. Why do you state you favor outdoor dining when you do not?

3. Why do you state you wish to reopen Hotel Laguna when you oppose even the current planned partial reopening?

4. Why do you practice such consistent character assassination against your opponents? Is it because you think you otherwise cannot win?

5. Why do your candidates lie? In the last election, your candidate George Weiss claimed that our candidate wanted to eliminate Laguna’s current height limitation and turn Laguna Beach into a Huntington Beach parody of giant ugly buildings. You know he, and we, support the existing height limitations, so why do you make up stories?

6. Why do you oppose fire mitigation measures in Laguna? After all, the city is a firetrap with such abundant foliage that, just like in 1993, a few sparks will turn into a conflagration. Why do you oppose those measures? What is in it for you?

7. Why do you oppose planning for the deluge of tourists (now an annual 6.5 million and rising), which will only get worse? Why do you pretend if we do nothing, they will go away?

8. And why are you suing Laguna Beach? You do it with various “independent fronts,” but come on, we all know it is you. You are suing over almost every City approval for remodeling or building new homes. Why? And why are you suing the City over its overhaul of the historic buildings designations?

Village Laguna is dealing in dirty politics, pretending its “independent fronts” are someone else, and using every under-handed tactic in the playbook.

All the while, it is hiding in the closet like a guilty teenager caught smoking.

So come on guys; get out of that closet. Come out into the open. The debate can be on local TV or radio. Any time, any place, any format, any moderator—all your choice.

Prove me wrong. Debate us.

Michael is a Laguna Beach resident and principal officer of Laguna Forward PAC.

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  1. I am opposed to the compete BS of the fire mitigation, you and Whalen keep talking and talking about something that happened 28 yrs ago, you people keep putting impossible rules on residents in this city, now let’s take down all the trees, bushes and anything else that we moved here to enjoy, rules and regulations over and over, declared high fire risk because Whalen said so and made sure that was done, now 3-4X’s the yearly fire insurance bill. Now we must cut down everything at huge expense and change the beauty of this town. I thought you all were about less regulation but we keep getting more and more rules! No I am not a Member of Village Laguna nor LL, it’s like comparing Democrats to Republicans, no one is in the middle and whatever LL wants, you got it, cause you have the 3 members of council that will go your way non representative of the people in this city..Sad stuff going on here, really sad. Certainly not a win for all the residents in the middle of all this BS.


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