2017 LB Voter Survey Results

From this page you will be able to view the summary data for the non-demographic survey questions.

As at April 20, 2017

113 responses.  While 113 responses is too small a sample size to be considered significant the data indicate that:

  1. Of the 4 organizational governance choices, Term Limits is the clear leader with 52.56% of respondents indicating it as the #1 issue for improving LB governance. District/Ward elections was #2 with 25%. Click here for details.
  2. The LB “Employee Housing Assistance Program” was very unpopular with 71.56% of respondents failing to support the program whereby the city goes in 50/50 on the purchase of a home for “essential” city employees. Click here for details.
  3. Council Member responsiveness: This question was problematic in that it forced a yes/no/other vote on the respondent’s experience. Yes was 26.97%, No = 50.00 and Other = 23.21%. Some “Others” comments indicated that many respondents had only interacted with 1 or 2 council members, with good experiences and bad. Additional circumstances forced an “Other” response. Click here for details.
  4. City staff responsiveness: This question had similar issues to that of #3. However, it can be stated that the respondents felt that City staff were far more responsive to their concerns than the City council. Yes = 42.73%, No = 39.09% and Other = 18.18%. Click here for details.

To the extent that these results can be extrapolated to the voting residents of Laguna Beach, it seems clear that there is a feeling that Term Limits for our City Council members makes sense.  Given that the majority of our current City Council are on their 4th or more terms, this is not surprising.

Perhaps the most eye-opening result is the super majority of respondents who are against the “Employee Housing Assistance Program”.  The primary justification for this ‘ad hoc’ program provided by the council has been:

  • Certain key employees need to be present in the city at all times in case of an emergency

When one considers the total remuneration of the employees to whom this discretionary benefit has been given, both of these arguments fall flat.  The City Manager’s total package is fast approaching $350,000 annually. The Assistant City Manager/Director of Public Works, and the Fire Chief clock-in at a total package nearing $275,000 and $300,000 respectively. The respondents simply don’t believe that folks earning at these levels could not afford reside in Laguna Beach in some fashion, on their own.

Also, the fact that the program nor the guidelines for which employee roles qualify, has ever been formalized in a policy document leads Lagunans to worry that this is a perq that is ripe for misuse.