Voter Questions Dicterow’s Recusal

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I am a long-term resident of Laguna Beach, who is concerned that Mayor Dicterow is out of touch with the best interests of all residents.


On March 24, the Registrar of Voters notified the city that Measure KK had qualified to be on the ballot for November election.

Since March 24, our police chief and several council members have expressed their opposition to Measure KK. This measure would give the bill’s sponsors the unregulated ability to open two medical marijuana dispensaries in our town. Our city would have no power to regulate these dispensaries, i.e., the location of them.

At a special City Council meeting, held on Aug. 8, Mr. Dicterow recused himself from voting on the city-drafted competing ballot measurement, which would have given our city the ability to regulate the marijuana dispensaries in our town.

Mr. Dicterow gave us three reasons for his recusal: He stated that he worked for Dana Rohrabacher, one of the most outspoken government officials on the issue of support for medical marijuana dispensaries. I heard Mr. Dicterow state that, “When you work for someone for a long time, there might be an inherent basis where I might not be able to approach the subject matter in an unbiased objective viewpoint, and that during my employment by Dana Rohrabacher, we had regularly met with a number of pro-medical-marijuana consultants.” He revealed during this council meeting that he personally was approached, through Dana Rohrabacher, by a consultant who solicited his support on a “pro-voter-initiative campaign” Measure KK, but he rejected this offer.

Please read Mr. Dicterow’s statements under “meeting agendas” Aug. 8, “recap.”

I am very concerned that these decisions made by Mr. Dicterow clearly place his own financial issues above the welfare of the majority of Laguna Beach residents.

Mr. Dicterow, if you are a staff member of Councilman Rohrabacher, you most certainly have a conflict of interest regarding this ballot measure. You profess transparency, but after the fact. We need transparency before the fact. This is a serious violation to those of us who voted for you in the last election. Please do the right thing and resign. Please also refund the monies, which were collected by you for our current election campaign.

I appreciate and value all of those councilpersons who acted responsibly, without regard for their personal interests, including our Police Chief Farinella. I am hopeful that whomever we elect to City Council will be a leader we can trust.

Jahn M. Levitt, Laguna Beach

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