Whom Do They Represent?



As reported in your newspaper, the Laguna Beach City Council recently voted for a new “Village Entrance” plan that will add a park and 200 parking places at a cost of $30-50 million (probably closer to the latter).  Déjà vu.  Didn’t we form a committee to create a plan (not adopted) 18 years ago?

Now a different, business-oriented group is promoting a new and vastly more expensive plan and the Council has agreed to implement it. To their credit, they held an open meeting at which residents were able to present their views.

It was amazing. Speaker after speaker voiced serious concerns about the plan and asked the council to allow Laguna residents to vote on it. A reasonable request, it would seem, and the right thing to do. In the past we have sometimes chosen to tax ourselves in support of worthy causes. An opportunity to vote on the current proposal would give everyone a voice and resolve the controversy that surrounds it.

Regrettably, the council voted not to allow the residents to vote. Strange.  If not us, whom do they represent?


Bette Anderson, Laguna Beach

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  1. They were elected to do what they think best for our city. The fact that “speaker after speak voiced” means nothing. Those of us who voted in these council members in, and choose to let them do the job they were elected to do, stayed home that night.

  2. The fundamental problem is the council did not vote the best interests of the community, they voted the best interests of the a small group of business owners, with whom several representitives had close prior relationships. There is a vast difference between running operations of the City and commiting the residents of Laguna Beach financially to a project costing 10s of millions of our hard-earned tax dollars, yielding dubious benefits to the community. As bad as that is, there were lower cost alternatives proposed by Councilwoman Iseman and Councilman Boyd. The voters deserve a direct say in a commitment of this magnititude and lasting more than a generation.

    • Of course, yours is opinion, as is mine. Your opinion is that the council did not vote in the best interest of the community. Mine is that they did. As far as the public voting, the only thing the public has the right to vote on is who they want to elect. After that its up to the elected officials to make the decisions. The problem with public vote is twofold, first, almost no one in the “public” wants to send the time it takes to be truely educated on these questions. Secondly, almost all of the “public” is motivated primarily by lowering their taxes. Look are our silly proposition system, its been a fiasco going all the way back to Howard Jarvis and Prob 13. Its SIMPLE to sway the public and work up public sentiment for support on any whacky question that comes up. I won’t even go into the millions that are wasted on advertising, PR and other BS that goes along with this broken system. Its quite simple: we elect public officials. Pubic officials make decisions. If the “pubic” does not like the decisions, we elect new public officials. I will add that many of our council members have long, long records of public office in Laguna having been elected many times. This says a lot about public support of many members of this council. As I have said many times on these forums, there are many “locals” who want Laguna to remain as it was in 1967. I am one local who does not. Kudos to the council for their courage to move forward with what they think is right. In the end, if your accusations are PROVEN, I will cast the one vote that I have a “right” to and vote for someone else. Until that time, I hope they move forward quickly.


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