Message to City of Laguna Beach VOTERS:

YOU hold the power to having the community and quality of life you want. Voting for representatives that align with your vision and values is critical. So is holding officials accountable for the issues and priorities considered important to you and your family.

Too often residents are finding that candidates say what Voters want to hear when vying for an elected position. And organized candidate panel discussions are often politically biased and don’t begin to help voters uncover a candidates depth of knowledge, professionalism or actual qualifications necessary to lead a city effectively and in the public’s best interest. It’s up to you to carefully vett those asking for your vote.

Don’t fall into the automatic incumbent voting trap!  It’s no secret that LB stakeholders concerns about officials financial decision-making and special-interest bias and favoritism has grown over the last decade. The community division, discourse and mistrust between city officials and the public is at an all-time high. We simply must ask ourselves WHY.

LBCHAT traced the public division and mistrust back to the 2018 City Council Election. In 2018, the town of Laguna Beach became a political battleground between a new developer/investor Political Action Committee (PAC) called Liberate Laguna and Village Laguna and resident-centric PAC that had existed since the 1970’s.  The Liberate Laguna PAC was open about their intent to challenge VL’s existence and focus on installing candidates sympathetic to their development intentions. They were successful in getting two pro-development Council members elected.  Council Member Sue Kempf served in 2018 and was re-elected to serve in 2022. Council Member Peter Blake served one term and was overwhelmingly rejected by voters in 2022. Two new Council Members, Mark Orgill and Alex Rounaghi were elected.  Five-Term Council Member Toni Iseman did not run.

Over the last several years our small coastal city has been inundated with over a dozen special-interest Political Action Committees (PAC’s). The 2022 campaign funding for candidates and a ballot measure was in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Much of the campaign funding came from out-of-towner’s. This is an impactful change on our city leadership and government environment.  It’s extremely important to do your due-diligence by following the money to see who is behind political candidates and who may expect a payback by those they help get elected.

In 2024, voters will elect two Council representatives. We currently have no confirmation as to whether Three-Term Council Member Bob Whalen (2012-2024) and One-Term Council Member George Weiss (2018-2024) are running for re-election.  As Council Candidates are confirmed, they will be featured under Meet The Candidates,” which will include mandatory candidate disclosure information and other professional and personal public information to assist voters in assessing their character, qualifications, expertise, accomplishments and public service track records.

Exercise your right to vote!  “Never Doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”  Margaret Mead

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