The City Council of Lake Forest, again holding tight to the notion that its residents want change because three of them are newly elected, replaced a founding member of the Planning Commission in September with Jolene Fuentes, who admitted she has never even attended a city planning meeting, according to the Lake Forest Patch.
The key vote in favor of Fuentes was cast by Lake Forest Councilman Scott Voigts, a longtime player in the OC GOP who presumably voted for Fuentes because of his long relationship with her now deceased husband, Tom Fuentes, who ruled the OC GOP as its Chairman for many years.
Lake Forest Council Members Dwight Robinson and Adam Nick also voted to place Fuentes on the Planning Commission, instead of opting with any of the much stronger candidates who applied to replace Tim Hughes, who had been involved in city planning for two decades.
One of my readers tells me that the OC GOP party machine pressured these Council Members to choose Fuentes for the Planning Commission.
Tom Fuentes is dead now but he left behind a tainted legacy. As a former Director of Communications for the OC Catholic Diocese he helped protect pedophiles. He also was one of the driving forces behind the awful decision by the Curt Pringle Assembly campaign in 1988 to place uniformed security guards at polling places in Santa Ana, ostensibly to scare off Latino voters. The OC GOP later had to pay for Fuentes’ legal fees and got stuck with a $400K fine as well.
When Scott Baugh took over as OC GOP Chair he told me that Fuentes also was rumored to have had some dalliances of his own with young men who, according to Baugh, were now in counseling.
Fuentes had absolutely zero experience in any public office other than serving on her HO and PTA boards. There were 9 candidates for all the Planning Commission that were all more experienced and frankly better than her.
My source tells me that the three Lake Forest Council Members were told that it would be the end of their political careers if they overlooked Fuentes as they would never again be endorsed by their own political party and contributions to their campaign coffers would dry up as well.
Fuentes apparently said, at the last Lake Forest Planning Commission meeting that “her job wasn’t to decide on or do any planning – that her job was to do what the council wanted her to do.” Good grief!
The word is out now in Lake Forest that Fuentes is going to be running for the City Council when three of the Council Members term out.
Isn’t it time to bury Fuentes once and for all? The people of Lake Forest should reject his widow as a candidate and hold the Council Members who appointed her responsible for her failings as a member of the Planning Commission.