Polarizing Debate Poses a Threat

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I am the father of two boys, aged 9 and 13, neither of whom skateboard, and I am not a skateboarder myself, but a reasonably objective observer of the issue and its debate, as well as a long-time resident of Laguna Beach. That said, in support of my signature in support of the skateboarding community, I offered the following commentary.

I live in Laguna Beach, not in a community association. In choosing to live here, as opposed to a community association, my wife and I elected that our family would never be governed by any association or special interest group whose arbitrary preferences were neither shared by my family nor by the community at large. The tendency of this Council, as recently demonstrated over the course of the skateboarding debate, to cater to the unbending demands of a small, albeit vocal, collection of residents opposed to skateboarding altogether, is very unsettling.

Personally, I do not skateboard, and my children do not skateboard. Yet, I will gladly support those who do, as I know firsthand their love of this town, as well as their demonstrated sense of safety and respect for the rest of us. And, candidly, I will be damned to sit by and watch my elected officials cater to the outcry of any minority group who believes it has the right to dictate to the rest of us, without compromise, about what is or is not okay. That is not okay.

Obviously, the current debate has presented an important and polarizing issue as it relates to our community’s ongoing lifestyle, and it poses a very real threat to that lifestyle as presented to the City Council by a decided minority of our residents who, in this case, are ardent in their opposition to skateboarding in our hills.

I disagree with their position, and more particularly with what I perceive to be a steadfast resistance to any “middle ground” on the subject. And more than skateboarding, I am concerned that the City Council may give not just voice, but real power to a decided (albeit vocal) minority in our town, and all for reasons which I continue not to understand. In my view, whether you care about skateboarding or not, I think this issue deserves everyone’s attention.

Paul Kramer, Laguna Beach



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