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Letters to the Editor

Concerned about behavior from those on the dais

I wanted to acknowledge Mayor Pro Tem Bob Whalen for telling Mr. Blake at the July 12, 2022 City Council meeting that his behavior does reflect on him and his colleagues. I thank you for finally speaking out about the horrible behavior that we’ve had to witness these last 3 1/2 years. 

If Bob Whalen continues to speak up at the council meetings and lets everyone know he will not put up with this kind of behavior, and if he calls for point of order when Mr. Blake interrupts the citizens, city staff and councilmembers, he’ll get my vote. 

As for Mayor Kempf’s remarks, after hearing Mayor Pro Tem Whalen’s comments about how Mr. Blake’s behavior reflects on them, she says nothing about Mr. Blake’s behaviors but tries to put the blame on Councilmember Weiss for Mr. Blake’s behavior. Councilmember Weiss has only been on the council for 1 1/2 years, how could she try to blame him? This only confirms she is okay with Mr. Blake belittling Laguna Beach residents and her colleagues. 

One council meeting, Councilmember Mr. Weiss, excited about the subject Mayor Kempf was sharing about, jumped in with his comments before the Mayor was finished; she was right to tell him to not interrupt her, but the next week there were several letters from citizens complaining about the mayor being interrupted by Councilmember Weiss. These concerned citizens have never commented on how Mr. Blake interrupts citizens, the staff and all the councilmembers; one must question this! 

I’ve heard Mayor Kempf interrupt Councilmember Iseman several times, why didn’t those concerned citizens write letters about that? I’ve also heard the City Manager, Shohreh Dupuis, interrupt Councilmember Iseman several times in one meeting, never letting Councilmember Iseman finish a comment. This behavior needs to stop.

I don’t understand it. They all, the mayor, mayor pro tem, the councilmembers and the city staff all work very hard, all have important jobs that we desperately need. All of them need to work together for the citizens and businesses and not try to make each other look bad by yelling at each other; no one needs to interrupt. Even when some of you have conflicts with a project being presented, or a citizen’s point of view is not yours, there is no reason for interrupting with rude comments. 

My suggestion is, get counseling, learn how to present your opinions with grace and by not belittling other colleagues or citizens. When you vote, we understand where you stand on certain items, so there is no need to force one’s opinion onto others. 

Mayor Pro Tem, again, thank you, if you continue trying to get civility in the council meetings, you’ll have my vote.

Liza Interlandi Stewart

Laguna Beach


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