Ballot statements for City Council candidates

The following are personal statements from each of the City Council candidates. They are shown in order of ballot position:


Robert Whalen

Occupation: municipal finance attorney

My primary focus as a council member will be to ensure the financial health of Laguna Beach during a time when California cities are experiencing unprecedented financial turmoil. I am recognized statewide as a legal expert on municipal finance. I believe my 30 years of professional experience will benefit our city.

I have a proven track record on fiscal responsibility. During my 10 years on the Laguna Beach school board we replenished depleted reserves, achieved competitive teacher salaries and modernized all schools while staying within budget.

A sound financial foundation is critical to moving forward with important city projects, including: devoting resources to public safety and disaster preparedness; improving parking, circulation and pedestrian access; adding open space; beautifying our village entrance; and promoting local businesses.

As a 28-year resident, active community volunteer and current planning commissioner, I have worked hard to make Laguna Beach a better place to live, work and raise families. While respecting our history and community character, I commit to moving our city forward. I will listen to all viewpoints, work diligently, think independently and make the hard decisions when needed.

I ask for your vote.

For more on my background, please visit


Steve Dicterow

Occupation: small-business owner

I am running for City Council to preserve the unique nature of Laguna by maximizing local control and community input.

As your councilman, I'll restore fiscal discipline so that we can prioritize public safety, invest in community infrastructure and support local jobs.

Businessman & Community Leader: I've been deeply involved in Laguna Beach civics and arts including the Festival of Arts, North Laguna Community Assn., Laguna Beach Neighborhood Watch, Laguna Beach Taxpayers' Assn., and the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce.

Proven Track Record of Getting Results: My 12 years of success on the City Council (1994-2006) and business experience in financial management, strategic planning and operations make me an effective public servant. During my previous time in office, I was instrumental in adding five new police officers, which reduced crime by 50%. My opposition to the county takeover of the Fire Department ensured that we have our own reliable first responders. I also settled a judgment against the city down to zero, saving taxpayers $20 million. I'll use this experience to ensure that city government efficiently delivers core city services and improves the quality of life for all Laguna Beach residents.

Please contact me directly any time at (949) 500-1132 or


Verna Rollinger

Occupation: Mayor Pro Tem of Laguna Beach City Council

As your representative on the City Council, I know that we share a strong sense of community, a respect for our history, and a willingness to participate in thoughtful planning for our future. Over the past four years, our shared values have been a source of strength in creating constructive solutions to our community's problems.

With your support, I've opposed homes incompatible with their neighborhoods and encouraged increased open-space acquisitions. I've worked to improve our ocean water quality and make most of Laguna's coastline a marine reserve, assist our businesses, reduce the damage from flooding in the downtown, preserve our historic buildings, support our artists, and make our city more livable and sustainable. What makes Laguna a special place is the way we take care of each other, act as responsible stewards of the beautiful environment we share, solve problems by working together, and respect the diverse expressions and aspirations of every member of our community.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to work to keep Laguna the special place that it is. Now more than ever, our city needs responsible, informed leadership that listens to residents. With your help, I will do my best to continue to provide it.


Robert Ross

Occupation: Retired film editor

Now comes former "weekender," now candidate, Robert Ross. A semi-retired motion picture and television film editor with 30-plus years' experience between Warner Bros. and MCA/Universal who proposes the following:

Excavate an equestrian trail. Start 5 a.m. at a summit-du-monde corral, to Aliso Creek bed, to the beach — strand sunrise gallops, out by 9 a.m.

No bikes.

Business rentals in equity reduced 25%, obliging heritage owners. The banks will have to take the one-time hit accordingly. The banks also must understand the city will not tolerate spiteful evictions or foreclosures, as long as the new-rate rents are paid.

Bogus lawsuits and assessments: A look at city involvement in Laguna Terrace Trailer Park, Reassessment District No. 12-1, et.seq.

A geologic study and restoration of the Temple Hills waterfall, produced by medium/heavy rainfall. This should also ease sewer pressure from Top of the World by diverting that water down Bluebird Canyon.

Motion picture and television production here should be pursued. Light permit fees, city property used for temporary equipment parking/location headquarters.

Metrolink. More crews from Orange County. Above-the-line here. Laguna is now considered a distant (overnight) location. Should be local.


Jane Egly

Occupation: Retired law professor

Hello, I am Jane Egly, mayor of Laguna Beach, and I ask for your vote. Since I have been on our council, we have brought a first-class hospital to Laguna Beach, added to our open space, attended to aging infrastructure (note the new sewer lift station at Main Beach) and will start construction on a new lifeguard headquarters this fall. This is a small picture of what we have accomplished.

And we move forward with a balanced budget.

Over the next four years we will face some old challenges, such as parking and traffic, and new ones, but if we work together we can make the changes that add to our beautiful city as we preserve what we love about Laguna Beach.

I ask for your vote.

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