Measure Q equals immeasurable harm

Sep 23, 2022

Do you want to see development come to a near halt in our village?

Do you want small shop owners who have a creative idea that will contribute to Laguna’s charm say, “I’m out – I don’t have the money or time to lobby for my project with a general election?”

Do you want to be going to vote on projects when you really don’t know much about them? Will you be equipped to cast the vote on someone’s future hopes?

This is the risk we take if we vote yes on Measure Q – a well-intentioned ballot initiative, but poorly written, complicated beyond any reasonable measure, and most importantly, will lead to more closed store fronts because people with good ideas will not take the risk or the time to face what measure Q requires – “a majority vote by the majority of our electorate.”

An impartial analysis of that requirement done by the city attorney of Laguna Beach says this does not mean a simple majority vote on election day – up or down. It means the majority of all registered voters in our community must say yes. Think about that – it means on any one project, at least 80 to 90 percent of “yes” voters on any project would be needed to reach the 51% required for ALL registered voters in our town.

The authors of the ballot initiative, Laguna Residents First, say the word electorate was really meant to be a simple majority vote. If that’s the case, why didn’t they say so. This to me only illustrates the poor wording and confusion of the ballot initiative in the first place.

Look – many of the people who think Measure Q is a good idea are friends of mine. I understand their worries about large scale development that might harm our town’s uniqueness along the coast of Orange County. I applaud them for wanting to do something. However, their first try at a ballot initiative like Measure Q is a disaster in the making.

Please, do yourself and our community a big favor and vote NO. If Residents First, who are advocating for Measure Q, want to try again with a better written ballot measure, more power to them. Measure Q, however, needs to go in the trash heap. If not, I’m afraid we will look up in three years and see more empty store fronts, no new creative projects that make our town a great place to live, and a town run by people who want to live in an idealized past, not investing in a future that can revive our charm and uniqueness as a community along the sea.

Douglas Wilson
Laguna Beach

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