I am dismayed that the main issue in the “yes” on Measure B campaign seems to be based on a distrust of our local officials, including the city council and those who volunteer their time to serve on local boards and commissions.
In the 25 years I’ve lived here, I’ve had the privilege to serve on a number of these bodies, including the Environmental Advisory Commission, Sonoma Valley Citizens Advisory Commission and the Sonoma County Parks Commission. In every instance I found my fellow commissioners – all volunteers – to have the best interests of Sonoma in mind. Many offered experience and expertise that paid staff did not have. They made well-reasoned, thoughtful recommendations and decisions that protected our historical integrity, sense of place and quality of life.
Additionally, I’ve appeared before the City Council and other commissions on issues that were of interest to me. I appreciated the courtesy by which I – and others – were treated, and found the quality of preparation and questioning to be excellent.
We are well-served by processes in place that require deliberation of issues on a case-by-case basis and allow for citizen input. We don’t need the cost of an additional bureaucracy to administer arbitrary rules and regulations derived without the benefit of any relevant economic data. Why change something that works?