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Measure B is about quality of life

Valley Forum

By by Marilyn Goode

by Marilyn Goode 

 

Measure B is not bad for Sonoma; what is bad for Sonoma is the misleading and confusing propaganda about “costing tax payers and increasing traffic” seen on some brown “No on B” signs around town. What is bad for Sonoma is the pro-development stance of a powerful Chamber of Commerce, both in Sonoma and nationwide. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the single-biggest lobbying organization in Washington D.C., and perhaps in our own town of Sonoma as well.

We now have the president of the chamber, Mr. Cook, sitting on the City Council. I tend to find myself always taking the opposite position from the chamber. Over the years, the chamber supported the mega-expansion of the Sonoma Raceway that clogs the entrance to our Valley with traffic and noise on summer weekends.

The chamber sided with the Sonoma Valley Hospital board when they tried to discard our existing in-town hospital so they could build a brand new hospital out on prime agriculture land in our Urban Growth Boundary. The hospital would have been unsustainable had they succeeded because of the recession that started in 2008.

Now nationally, the chamber has spent millions to derail the Affordable Care Act, and here in Sonoma they are throwing their support to “No on Measure B.”

The chamber held a debate recently that was moderated by Dick Fogg, a former supporter of the building of SVH out in our green belts. Steve Page, who is president and general manager of the Sonoma Raceway, participated on the “no” on B panel so you can imagine that it was business as usual with our pro-growth local chamber.

It is no surprise that our local Chamber of Commerce is throwing its weight behind “No on Measure B,”  supporting more large luxury hotels in Sonoma.

The chamber does not seem to grasp the idea of a sense of place, or to care why some of us want a chance to not have Sonoma become Monterey or Solvang. I mention only two towns of the many in California that have been destroyed due to unchecked development.

Preserving Sonoma is a grassroots organization composed of citizens who care about how our town grows, while the chamber continually supports developers and unchecked growth.

Make no mistake, our “Yes on B” measure is a quality of life issue and is not motivated by the idea that all growth is good. In fact, as we face climate change and see how we have destroyed so much of our world, what better place to cry “enough” and start in our own home town? Gandhi said, “live simply so others can simply live.” Please vote “yes” on Measure B.

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Marilyn Goode is a Sonoma Valley resident and a member of the Preserving Sonoma Committee that sponsored Measure B.

 

  • Fred Allebach

    One thing Obama as much as says, “I won, deal with it”. “Elections have consequences”. That’s fair. David Cook won too. The city council seems to me pretty balanced, votes can go one way or another; it’s not predictably gridlocked like Washington. For example, Tom Rouse takes an environmentalist stance with dogs on Montini. Ken Brown is what, too liberal on leaf blowers, not liberal enough on Measure B? I think a lot of complex issues are being collapsed into one yes or no vote with B, and that muddies the water, makes it hard to see what is at stake.

  • Mike Stephens

    Humm.. Live simply. Sonoma and all the other wine country towns have passed this up. It is funny to me that when a quality project with great architectural design is presented everyone gets in an uproar. Have you driven around your town West and East and see the junk that has been built in the last 20 years. This proposed hotel is not junk. This should be a model for all future development in Sonoma to use the Spanish Architectural influence that we see throughout the town. This is not some low end motel or affordable housing project that will in the shadow of our Historic square. This is an opportunity for Sonoma to shine brighter and actually have something of architectural significance other than Ram’s Gate. I can’t think of any other project in this town in the last 20 years,that has taken the time to design something that will stand the test of time. I suggest the Yes on B camp, if you really care about Sonoma move on to other issues that will help Sonoma. Try volunteering or getting involved in the community. When I look at the long list of supporters of No on Measure B, I see a long list of generous people, not only financially, but with their time. A 59 room hotel will not destroy Sonoma. There are plenty of other projects that have been approved that certainly seem to devalue the quaint and historic nature of Sonoma. Get informed, ask questions and vote No on Measure B.

    • bob edwards

      “There are plenty of other projects that have been approved that certainly seem to devalue the quaint and historic nature of Sonoma.”

      Hmmm. If I understand this argument correctly, then those ‘other projects that certainly seem to devalue quaint and historic nature of Sonoma’ would have been approved using the very same “existing process” that those opposed to Measure B assure us we can trust to protect Sonoma from being overrun by big hotel development.

      When arguments against Measure B begin to fly in circles & up their own dark tunnels, they pass from the sublime to the ridiculous to completely out of sight.

  • Mike Stephens

    I think you are awfully mistake Mr. Edwards! 20 years ago there was a different council and planning commission and far less sophistication. It seems to me the yes on measure B camp are those that are less sophisticated and are the ones that didn’t object to the poor general planning that has allowed for the unfortunate architecture and businesses that do nothing to make Sonoma charming and small town. Why is this such a difficult concept for yes on B people to understand? No on Measure B protects Sonoma from turning into anywhere USA. VOTE NO ON MEASURE B!!