Guest Letter from Resident Mike Morris

I’ve been attending City Council meetings regularly for several years. I like civic engagement and hope that my singular focus on spending-issues has made positive contributions to our collective wallet. In the past, no matter the issue, no matter how contentious, there was always a level of decorum and civility that was impressive. I had the sense that everyone would have their say without fear of derision, ridicule or bullying. All of that changed on December 4, 2018 with the swearing-in of Peter Blake.

Now, council meetings are raucous and uncivil. Speakers have to expect disrespect from the dais if they dare comment on one of Mr. Blake’s many hot-button issues. If you are a member of Village Laguna, you have come to expect bullying, and diminishment as a member of a non-representative, stuck-in-the-past, overly powerful & busybody organization that is holding Laguna Beach back. I honestly admire the many VL folks (typically mature people) who never-the-less are compelled to speak their truth to power in the face of such behavior.

For all of the potential positive contributions that Mr. Blake could offer the city, I feel he limits his effectiveness because of his disrespectful and bullying nature. Unfortunately, I think he sees this as part of his appeal…his “brand” if you will.

I’ll probably be on the receiving end of Mr. Blake’s wrath for posting this. I’ve been on the receiving-end before, so it won’t come as a surprise. {Update: 31Aug19 – wrath received! :)}

(For those who want to verify that I have not in any way manipulated the video, the 1st clip is taken from the City Council meeting on 9July2019. The comments occurred at around 4:37 (4hours and 37 minutes). Item 18 was added to the agenda by Mr. Blake, and dealt with the possible “abandonment” of the walkways in Temple Hills. According to my records, 31 people spoke on the issue. 14: pro-abandonment, 15: anti-abandonment and 1 inconclusive. If you have the patience to listen to the City presentation on the topic, and all 31 speakers, you’ll witness other disrespectful behavior from Mr. Blake. The second clip is from Council meeting on 6Aug19, concerning item #13, changes to the DRB process. The last clip shows Blake cheer leading for an exceptional “retention raise” for our 3-yr Assist City Mgr, of $25,000/yr. My estimates of her total remuneration with this increase is $330,000/yr).

9July19 Council meeting – Constituents are Liars – https://youtu.be/VMe3g0sn7jI
6Aug19 Council meeting – denigrating VL – https://youtu.be/17aa_E-PuA8
23July19 Council meeting – “agent of change” – https://youtu.be/qllgdrYMemc

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