In a recent op-ed, a hedge-fund founder and securities trader complained that voting “yes” on Measure B to protect Sonoma from big hotels would be “robbing us.” Which “us” is he talking about? Seems to me that the “robbing” is usually in the other direction. In any case, I guess the 1 percent don’t think they a enough money. To them, Sonoma is just another undervalued piece of property to monetize. But it’s not about money.
In other towns and cities, people are standing up to projects that don’t serve the community. A similar Measure B is on the ballot in San Francisco, where residents are trying to stop a tower of luxury condominiums along the waterfront that will create a barrier as high as the old Embarcadero freeway. It’s not about the money.
I just watched the short film “Rebels With A Cause,” about the conservationists who protected Marin Headlands, Point Reyes, and vast agricultural lands from housing tracts, hotels and marinas. Very inspiring. We can and must stand up for the treasured places and spaces that are under threat from commercial exploitation. It’s not about the money.
The Sonoma folks who write editorials and news stories focused on dollars, dollars and more dollars completely miss the mark for most of us. “Yes” on Measure B to keep the town’s hotels small and the big hotels away is not about money at all. It is about preserving and protecting Sonoma’s small-town character for the long-term, which is priceless.