Last week in City Council chambers, I promised to report on Councilmember Verna Rollinger and her merry band of Village Laguna vigilantes any time they try to manipulate our political process. Here's Report No. 1 about 154 Pearl St. — site of the oldest cottage in Laguna.
For two years, the property owner diligently worked with the city on a plan to preserve the cottage. After that plan was unanimously approved by the Heritage Committee and by a 4 to 1 vote of the Design Review Board, that should have been the end of it. But Village Laguna appealed, and at the Dec. 7 City Council meeting when the appeal was heard, we all bore witness to a textbook lesson in Village Laguna's bullying tactics.
Tactic 1: Pack the chamber to create the illusion of broad community support.
Tactic 2: Stretch the public hearing out for more than an hour to create the illusion of a strong case by having Village Laguna members make the same weak arguments ad nauseum.