By Joe Aaron
What started out as opposition to Darius Anderson’s proposal for a high-end hotel near the Plaza has turned into a local civil war. The two biggest issues appear to be commercial growth and the transit occupancy tax (TOT), a debate that’s caused our otherwise sophisticated and civilized residents to now be at each other’s throats. Everyone has a deeply held and intransigent position about both this hotel and Measure B.
Larry Barnett is the sponsor of the Measure B, and while no one thinks it was ever his intention, the law of unintended consequences has raised its ugly head. This has deeply divided the people throughout Sonoma Valley, extending far beyond city limits.
I attended a semi-formal debate on this initiative recently. A lot of those in attendance live outside the city limits and therefore can’t vote, even though many of them serve on our nonprofit boards and donate both time and money generously.