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No way did Baglin commit crime...

No way did Baglin commit crime

Throughout its history Laguna has rightfully tolerated its

colorful vocal minorities, those who have used their excess free time

to make frivolous carping into a form of local folk art.

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On the one hand, they add to the city’s rich vibrant texture while

on the other a few of the fringe element occasionally slink cross the

line of propriety. This shadowy group who are currently assailing our

mayor, Wayne Baglin, with suggestions that he has acted improperly in

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a real estate deal with the city have gone too far.

Rather than engaging in a reasonable debate of the legal issues

with all the facts in place, they have gone to old fashion muckraking

and innuendo to further their agenda. They have made it personal.

They have used the media as a platform and the much-respected Common

Cause as a shield to call Baglin’s ethics into question and impugn

his character. This makes me indignant.

For more than 30 years, I have known Baglin, both as a friend and

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businessman. There is no doubt in my mind that he is a man of solid

integrity.

Like other City Council members, he wears two hats, one as a

public servant and one, necessarily so, as an income provider. In

Baglin’s case, he is a real estate broker, something that Lagunans

knew well when they elected him. We do not expect our politicians to

quit their day jobs and be supported by the city. Unless we change

the process and elect professional politicians, we have to accept

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this fragile arrangement between the public and private sectors.

One standing rule to maintain the correct ethical balance asks a

council member to recuse him or herself at those times when there is

a conflict of interest. Hardly a council meeting goes by when he (and

others) does not recuse himself from voting on some agenda item.

Anybody who has watched Baglin’s leadership during his long

noteworthy career in various areas of public service knows that his

opinions have been carefully shaped by ethical considerations ...

almost to a fault. He is obsessive about doing it right, even if you

do not agree with him. It is in his genetic makeup.

The political ninjas who want to destroy his career and weaken the

City Council need to get productive lives and we, the responsible

citizenry, need to avoid being distracted by their fruitless antics.

It’s not worth it!

Wayne Baglin is not a felon!

GENE COOPER

Laguna Beach

Professor of art history,

Cal State Long Beach

Mayor’s actions were wrong

State Government Code 1090 prohibits exactly the actions of Wayne

Baglin in brokering the land sale. His recusing himself is

irrelevant. Baglin knew what he was doing and could have shown good

moral judgment, civic responsibility and integrity by simply refusing

to accept the commission.

If, by chance, he wasn’t aware of the code, he could have simply

returned the commission immediately upon being informed. Instead, he

arrogantly professed that this is only character assassination and

“If some people are out there suggesting I don’t have a right to make

a living and represent clients on the sale of property and not

entitled to a commission, what sort of logic is that?” And he’s

supposedly our mayor running things for us.

I think it’s wrong. We’ll never know if we could have purchased

the land at a cheaper price and lower commission, thereby saving tax

dollars. Also, it sets a bad precedent for a council that has already

embarrassed us in their handling of Treasure Island.

So, what’s to debate? If he broke the code, he should pay for it.

If not, it wasn’t a waste of time, as we should always scrutinize the

actions of elected and appointed city officials.

JOHN SELECKY

Laguna Beach

Campaign was worth it despite loss

Mike and I have always known Laguna Beach to be a very special

community. But on this day after the election, I’ve gained a

heightened perspective of how truly exceptional our citizens are.

The people we met and the organizations we discovered during the

campaign process are truly inspiring. Whether it was going to a

concert, a fund-raiser, or walking neighborhoods, we found a vitality

in this community that we had not known before.

The support I received as a relative newcomer to politics in

Laguna Beach was very appreciated. Thanks for putting your trust in

me and, although I was not successful in this Council race, my

passion for serving our community has been redoubled as a result of

the campaign.

Congratulations to Toni Iseman, Elizabeth Pearson and Steve

Dicterow, the winners of the City Council contest. Congratulations to

Bob Whalen, K Turner and Betsy Jenkins in their successful bid for

School District Board of Trustees.

The real winners are our citizens. Each of these leaders is

uniquely dedicated to our Laguna and will serve with dedication and

commitment to better our community. I encourage you to support our

elected officials by participating in our local governance. By

participating in the democratic process each of us can really make a

difference.

MELISSA O’NEAL

Laguna Beach

Thanks for the parks recognition

What a nice article by Mary A. Castillo about our Laguna major and

mini parks, including the two nice color photos in Nov. 1 edition.

Our C of C Beautification Council are the “watch dogs” of the

beauty and cleanliness of Laguna and have worked more than 50 years

to upgrade and create our park system. We are also primarily

responsible for the final success of the creation of the Main Beach

Park.

Your article and color plates will certainly bring attention to

all Lagunans, with its ongoing challenge of maintenance of 18 parks

with a limited crew.

At our annual beautification awards breakfast we have given a

certification of appreciation to the park supervisors and also to

some of the gardeners. In Laguna we have everything in art, culture,

weather, the hills and ocean which is further enhanced by our

beautiful parks and play areas.

From our committee we say, “Thank You.”

HARRY J. LAWRENCE

Beautification Council founder

Everyone loses on tree issue

All in all, I have to conclude that, by the city taking the safe

course in making sure that developer Claudia Hardy of the Victory

Walk property scrupulously comply with the Design Review directives,

there are no winners.

However, after the meeting, I was assured by Hardy that there

would be new and beautiful landscaping. I have my doubts, if their

mean-spirited removal of a cluster of pride of Madera on the property

line is any indication.

For years, the adjoining neighbor had lovingly cared for and

watered these shrubs, and all enjoyed their flowering beauty.

The bets are in that they won’t comply and will end up selling the

property.

ANDY WING

Laguna Beach

* The Coastline Pilot is eager to run your letters. If your

letter does not appear it may be due to space restrictions and will

likely appear next week. If you would like to submit a letter, write

to us at P.O. Box 248 Laguna Beach CA 92652, fax us at 494-8979 or

send e-mail to coastlinepilot@latimes.com. Please give your name and

include your hometown and phone number.


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