Opinion: Musings on the Coast


Why Won’t Village Laguna Debate?

To all you nice, sweet ladies and men of Village Laguna (VL), so smart, dedicated and so sure that what VL advocate is what Laguna Beach should want. Why won’t even one you publicly debate with the other side?

Just one of you.

A debate has been offered for years now—yes, years—and for years, steadily ignored. Why? Are you not people of good will? Are you not open and honest?

My answer to this question is simple: if you will not debate, it means you are afraid. Further, I think it means you are “hiding” your true agenda.

There are other words for “hiding,” such as veil, bury, cover, screen, shroud, put out of sight, go underground, suppress, obscure, fail to disclose, keep secret, not tell, and not last nor least, keep mum.

I am dead positive you hide because they know the VL name is good—better than that, it is great—and 40 years ago you accomplished some good things for the City. But you held power too long, imposed ever-more-draconian measures most citizens do not like, and you should have quit while you were ahead.

Instead, you doubled down and went the other way, clinging to power as your most important goal.

And in order to cling to power, you hide your true positions.


For example, Village Laguna opposes the Promenade at Forest Avenue, outdoor dining, and a vertical parking garage at The Village Entrance—even though all three are quite popular.

What do you at VL have to say about these, in public? Will you finally come out of the closet?

Will you agree on your spokesperson, a reasonable place, and a reasonable time?

Personally, I suggest the local radio station. I also suggest my side be represented by Sally Anne Sheridan, former Mayor of Irvine (her energy is responsible for the creation of The Irvine Barclay Theater); she certainly knows firsthand how government works at a local level.

Or I propose anyone else she suggests

Village Laguna, who do propose? He or she could be one of your councilmembers, Toni Iseman and George Weiss. Both are paragons of Village Laguna virtue.

Or how about one of your current or past chairs? Come on, please. Please.

Sigh. I know you are afraid to reveal your real beliefs. And I know you are afraid to engage in open and honest debate. Prove me wrong.

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

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