7 vying for 3 Laguna Beach City Council seats – Orange County Register

After today’s election, there will be at least one new face on the Laguna Beach City Council podium when the winners are sworn in on Dec. 13.

If incumbents Sue Kempf and Peter Blake win, both will begin their second terms. But four others are challenging them for the three ballot seats.

Challengers include Ruben Flores, a landscape architect who also ran in 2020; Mark Orgill, Developer; Jerome Pudwill, marketing manager; Alex Rounaghi; a public policy advisor; and Louis Weil, realtor and member of the city’s Design Review Board.

Whoever takes the stage in December will address some of the most debated issues this election season, including water conservation and recycling, pedestrian mobility and possible ownership of the coastal road and Laguna Canyon Road by the city, fire safety, keeping visitor impacts out of the city’s neighborhoods, and how to meet the state’s affordable housing mandate.

Voters are also weighing in on three ballot initiatives.

Measure Q, sponsored by Village Laguna, focuses on monitoring larger-scale developments. If passed, this measure will apply to developments along the Coast Highway and Laguna Canyon Road, triggering a public vote when certain size, parking and traffic thresholds are reached.

Two other measures, S and R, are also on the ballot. Both are sponsored by a Los Angeles hospitality union, Unite Here Local 11.

For Measure S, Laguna Beach voters decide whether the city should have a law requiring hotel owners and operators to pay employees a minimum wage of $18 an hour, put limits on load work and to require panic buttons to be available. If passed, it also ensures that workers’ wages increase by $1 every year after 2026 – and allows the city council to demand even higher wages.

Measure R, similar to Measure Q but only focused on hotels, would impose restrictions on density, parking and open space for new hotel developments and larger renovations, and any non-compliance would require a vote of the public before you can build. It would only apply within 1,000 feet along the Coast Highway and Laguna Canyon Highway.

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