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Mailbag: Those who want open spaces can pay for it

May 05, 2011

In short, if you want additional "open spaces," pay for it yourselves and stop trying to loot it from others in the form of a vote in which you hide behind ("Group seeks open spaces," April 22).

Regarding the use of a poll to support this drive, I, as a Laguna Beach property owner, was not asked for my opinion. Furthermore, how many were polled and replied in favor who are not property owners and will not be forced to pay this egregious additional annual tax for 20 years if it were to pass? Like politicians, non-owners voting for this tax will be long gone while owners will still be stuck paying the extortion.

Furthermore, not only would I be forced to pay for these "open space parcels" but also to maintain and protect them from fire. In addition, my additional tax monies would be used to pay Laguna elected officials to put the initiative on a ballot and administer it if should pass. "City Atty. Philip Kohn has two weeks to prepare a ballot title and a 500-word summary," Barbara Diamond wrote in April 22's Coastline Pilot. "Authority for making acquisitions would rest with elected officials, who are also required to appoint a watch-dog committee that would issue an annual report on the use of tax funds," according to the Laguna Independent of April 19.

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Laguna parcel owners, businesses and retailers are all dealing with tough economic times which I believe will worsen. Buying "open space" is not a necessity like fire and police protection but a luxury. Luxuries should be bought with discretionary income. If you have it, then you pay for it.

So to all of you who donated to the "poll fund" via multiple associations and foundations and to those wanting additional "open space" such as Paul Freeman, Ron Chilcote, Elisabeth Brown, Ann Christoph, Derek Ostensen, Norm Grossman and others, I say, use your own money. You do not need my vote because it isn't any of my business what you choose to buy as long as you use your own hard-earned money and not mine.

And finally, if you want more "open space" may I suggest moving to Montana, Wyoming or Mojave where you will have all the "space" you could ever want.

Craig Coffin

Laguna Beach

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