Volume 15, Issue 76  |  September 22, 2023SubscribeAdvertise

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Letters to the Editor

It’s time to move on and end the divisiveness

It’s time to end the divisiveness in Laguna.

We have a new City Council. A new City Attorney. And a new City Manager is coming.

There are fewer reasons for divisiveness in Laguna, yet we still have columns in the paper and letters to the editors by people trying to drive wedges in our community.

It’s time to start a new page.

One way the city government can help is to be truly open with the community. Whether it’s good news or bad news, we can handle it.

In the absence of facts, some people make up their own truths. It’s okay to have opinions, but it’s not okay to make up facts.

The recent retirement of the City Manager is a case in point. We really don’t know the whole story. We don’t actually have the facts. In fact, we have very few facts.

While the public release said, “Her decision comes as a result of a mutually agreed-upon separation agreement that was negotiated in response to a hostile workplace claim filed by (Shohreh) Dupuis following a period of conflict with a City Councilmember,” the actual Separation Agreement says, “…EMPLOYEE represents and warrants that she has not filed any complaints, charges, grievances or lawsuits against the CITY, its officers, employees, agents, affiliates, and attorneys with any governmental agency arising out of her employment with and separation from the CITY and that she will not do so at any time hereinafter….”

That sounds like there was no actual complaint filed.

The public release also makes vague reference to “legal and financial exposure to the City…” But from whom? Or what? A review of the last six months of Closed Sessions agendas alone includes 1) significant exposure of City to litigation by MOM investment group relating to May 2, 2023 incidents at Hotel Laguna and 14 West, 2) potential Brown Act violation issue claims made by Councilmember (George) Weiss, 3) litigation between the Laguna Beach Company and the city and 4) tort claims against the City from a citizen.

Could the reference to “exposure” be related to one of these issues? Without more information we just don’t know and people speculate which feeds the divisiveness.

Let’s get past the blame game and do what the Mayor suggested in the public release: “…move forward with finding a new City Manager and prioritizing the public’s business.”

We are all so fortunate to be able to live here, let’s move on. And let’s see that the city government provides the community in the future with the full transparency it should provide.

John Thomas

Laguna Beach


Shaena Stabler, President & CEO - Shaena@StuNewsLaguna.com

Lana Johnson, Editor - Lana@StuNewsLaguna.com

Tom Johnson, Publisher - Tom@StuNewsLaguna.com

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Dennis McTighe, Marrie Stone, Sara Hall, Suzie Harrison and Theresa Keegan are our writers and/or columnists.

In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

Email: Editor@StuNewsLaguna.com with news releases, letters, etc.


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