By Gerrett Snedaker


Despite the positioning on both sides, Measure B is a referendum about the proposed 59-room Chateau Sonoma hotel on the old parking lot and manufacturing yard of The Sonoma Index-Tribune near the Plaza. I am in favor of this project, and will therefore vote “no” on Measure B.

I don’t consider it a “big hotel,” or a “small hotel.” It is a proposal that fits the zoning of the property and the General Plan for our city. It has been, and will continue to be, vetted in public hearings with extensive community involvement. When the minority didn’t get their way with the planning process, they reached out to the initiative process.

If the hotel is built with 59 rooms, and has 65 percent occupancy and two visitors per room, then there will be approximately 76 people staying in our town every night – spending their good “out of town” money with our local merchants, restaurants and service providers. This is fewer people than come on two tour buses from San Francisco. The good thing is that they will park their cars on the hotel site and walk around town leading to fewer cars trying to park around the Plaza.

But the reason I really like this project is that it will provide jobs for our kids and other folks who live in our community. There aren’t many good jobs for our young people, and this hotel will have a bunch.

My first job as a 16-year-old was in a hotel. In one summer, I went from dishwasher to bus boy to waiter to banquet staff. I learned the value of hard work and saved some money for college. I’d like to see this opportunity for our kids in Sonoma.

This is the right project in the right place at the right time. Let’s get behind it and get it going.

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  Gerrett Snedaker is a Sonoma resident and a past president of the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art.