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