Resident Peter Blake was elected to the LB City Council in the November 2018 election. He took office in January, 2019. Since that time, friction began to develop between Councilman Blake and LB constituents over his verbal outbursts including professional and personal insults and overall aggressive behavior towards residents when they spoke publicly during city council meetings. The city council, city manager and the city attorney began to receive numerous complaints from residents who expressed fear of being verbally attacked by Councilmember Blake during meetings and shared their feelings that our Council Chambers now felt like a hostile government environment. Some residents stated that they felt as though they were also being insulted and harassed by Councilman Blake in emails from their communications sent directly to other council members.
After months of public turmoil, in September 2019, it became necessary for the LB City Council to create and adopt the City Decorum & Civility Policy. Councilman Blake voted for the D&C Policy but since has refused to abide by it and any other governmental conduct order including Roberts Rules of Order relevant to public official conduct.
Blake has rejected all attempts to address the issue and offer city council members and residents relief from such unruly official behavior has prompted an official censure action based upon the guidelines of City Decorum Policy by newly elected City Councilmember George Weiss. This censure resolution will be heard on March 9, 2021.
Note: The March 9, 2021 agenda item, meeting video footage, all constituent written censure related communications and attachments and the final City Council votes and decision will be added to this site following the meeting.
View Censure item #18 video here.
Media coverage on call for Censure of CC Peter Blake
One example of the disrespect Peter Blake shows for Laguna’s elected officials and residents taken from one of the the above interviews states,
“I’m the only one in a spineless group of council people that stands up and fights back. And yes, I have fought back. And yes, I have at times been brash and I’m proud of it. I have no issues with it whatsoever,” Blake said. “The silent majority in this community, they support me.”
The public pushback about Peter Blake’s behavior has been ongoing for well over two years. Volumes of local public outcry at city council meetings, in local print media and social media platforms exists from various resources such as The Laguna Beach Indy, Stunews, LB/SL Nextdoor, YouTubea, FB and individual private accounts. Other sources will be added to this site as they become available.
LB resident Michael Morris is often a target of Councilman Peter Blake because of his high-level involvement in Laguna Beach civics and his outspoken position on Blake’s behavior. Mr. Morris regularly offers input to the city council on finance and other important issues and is well respected by the community. Mr. Morris is also a founder of Laguna Resident First (LRF), a political action committee formed to give residents a voice regarding major developments and other city impact issues. Video footage on multiple examples of Blake’s in sessions conduct to residents can be viewed here
View an open letter to City Council from Resident Lorene Laguna with video footage of Councilmember Peter Blake’s comments during a council session here
Peter Blake “Mr. Monster” city council vides footage can be viewed here
Here is just a sampling of CC Peter Blake public newspaper exchanges with constituents who have spoken out about his intimidating and behavior.
We are finding that what Laguna Beach constituents are going through with a public official who is a self-proclaimed bully may not be unique. But how it gets handled and resolved is.
What are your thoughts about elected’s behavior? Should they be allowed to degrade voters they have differences with in public and private? Please share your experiences with us.