Parking Garage Remains a Dividing Line



Voters who want to see how politics sometimes can bring out the worst in all of us will note with interest the recent pronouncements by Johanna Felder in her defense of City Council candidate Toni Iseman.

Instead of affirmative advocacy of Iseman, Feldman attacks outgoing Mayor Pearson, asserting that her decision to leave politics and pursue her professional career does not reflect dignity or class.

We saw good character qualities in Pearson’s timely no-drama announcement she would not run for re-election. Felder insists Pearson’s return to the private sector somehow is less admirable than Iseman’s decision to seek a fifth term.  So much for solidarity with women in the workplace who must juggle professional achievement with public service!

Felder actually praises Toni Iseman for not having a job, thus able to devote free time to pursue new ways local government can intervene in our lives.  Iseman reportedly is a retired public employee with a presumably well-earned pension from taxpayers, and she also receives income and benefits from serving on the City Council and other public bodies. Given Feldman’s assertions on her behalf, Iseman should disclose to voters all income she has received annually from all public agency and taxpayer funded sources connected in any way to her 16 years on the Council.

Felder also says Pearson had to retire because she could not defend her support of the village entrance parking garage that the public rejected. Yet, Iseman supported the same garage project, except Iseman wanted to take a mere five feet off the height, park 541 cars instead 614, at a cost of $29 million instead of $35 million. The size of the project’s footprint was the same under the Iseman and Pearson plans, and Iseman’s plan also did not contemplate a vote by the people.

Anyone who would not vote for Pearson because her village entrance plan was controversial also should not vote for Iseman, because her plan was just as controversial and thrown out with the Pearson plan.

Christopher Kling, Laguna Beach

The author is chairman of the LB GOP platform committee.

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