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Councilwoman would like to clarify points Art...

January 14, 2005

Councilwoman would like to clarify points

Art Casebeer's letter reported that I've said I would "take off my

gloves." ("Despite Iseman, the people have spoken," Coastline Pilot,

Jan. 7) That I said.

The glove comment was made in reaction to the ugly City Council

campaign. If we don't change the nature of politics it will damage

our town. Talented residents observing this slander might rightly

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conclude that it's not worth it to run for office with this trend.

Elections should be determined by candidates' records, words, values

and vision.

The Los Angeles Times has been looking into the development plans

of the Montage for their newly acquired property, Aliso Creek Inn and

the surrounding land. The Laguna Beach City Council has yet to be

included in any meetings; instead, negotiations have been with the

county of Orange.

Laguna had its first peek at plans for a golf course and other

development through the reporting of Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter,

Christine Hanley. Thanks to the Times we have a clue of what is going

on.

I have been accused of causing the paper to investigate this

issue. While this is a false accusation, I appreciate a journalist's

responsibility to expose the truth. My involvement with the article

was a quote in response to questions concerning Laguna's future. My

comments reflected my fear that we may lose the essence be concerned

of our town because of economic pressures.

My relationship with Mayor Elizabeth Pearson is one of mutual

respect. We don't always vote the same, but I believe we both agree

that we each work hard to make the city strong. As mayor, Pearson

runs a good meeting, and as a colleague tries to find creative

solutions. She recognizes that good political solutions involve

compromise.

The press is pursuing a potential conflict with the Montage. This

investigation was triggered by Pearson's appearance before the

Beverly Hills City Council on behalf of the Montage, not anything I

said to the press.

Letters to the editor have complained about my lack of support for

the Montage. I wasn't a rubber stamp. Thoughtful votes were made,

some in support of the hotel. But it was clear to me that at times

the council forgot that we work for Laguna, not the hotel.

The Montage Resort is a valued addition to our community. I have

always supported a hotel project at Treasure Island. My votes against

the project were frequently based on city negotiations.

Did you know ...

* We waived all permit fees for the construction of the hotel, a

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