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Impending economic doom and other scare tactics

By Will Shonbrun

It seems that those in the “No on Measure B” camp have primarily one argument, which is: If Measure B passes there will be an economic and financial crisis in the city. Has anyone noticed that such predictions of economic doom were precisely what were claimed if the Rosewood hillside hotel/resort wasn’t built, and similar fiscal scare-mongering tactics were used to oppose Sonoma adopting an urban growth boundary?

It was also the same cast of characters making these same dire predictions: some members on the City Council, city staff, the Chamber of Commerce and the wine industry. Yes, some of the names and faces have changed, but the song of fiscal doom is the same old tune.

And you know what happened when the hotel was voted down and the UGB was passed? Nothing. Nothing happened. The city didn’t go bankrupt, the services it performs continued as always, and all the hyperbolic fuming and warning amounted to nothing, zero, nada.

Why do think that was? How could council members, city managers and leaders in the business community have been so completely wrong? And remember, what they said then is exactly what’s being said now. The answer is easy: Sonoma is a tourist destination. It has been so for many decades and it will continue that way for many more.


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