Measure C: the war of words
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Bill Hocker | Mar 17, 2018

NVR 2/28/18: Napa County supervisors place oak woodland initiative on June ballot

Measure C, the watershed conservation initiative headed for the June 5th ballot, was officially born Feb 27th, with the supervisors as seemingly reluctant midwives. The process was an odd one: The supes first had to "receive" a "9111" report outlining the potential legal pitfalls in the text (a supposedly unbiased report done by the same law firm hired by the county to squash the 2016 version of the initiative on a technicality). That information seemed quite useless regarding the decision the Supes were allowed to make: either adopt the initiative as law or else place it on the June ballot in each case as is. It was an expensive "I told you so" document for future litigation - which undoubtedly there will be.

This promises to be a very well debated initiative. Public comments at the hearing were evenly split between pro and con and there was more than a little hyperbole: "beginning of the end of agriculture", "sincere ignorance" of proponents, a "weasel wording" 9111 document, a "voraciously aggressive" supervisor.

There will be a lot of letters-to-the-editor. The Register provides a short list of previous LTE's with each new one printed, but the lack of authors, and not date sequenced makes it difficult to decide which one to re-read. So, in my obsessive fashion, they will be cataloged below with "pro" and "con" annotated.

So far the pros heavily outweighs the cons - but this is to be expected. The very well financed campaign against Measure C will more professionally roll out their effort through ads, social media posts, direct mailings and LTE's to a crescendo just before the election, and the best-free-speech-that-money-can-buy megaphone will probably drown out the more limited finances of the grass roots campaign. Will development money again win the day as it did with Napa Pipe, the "Costco-of-our-own" campaign and the 2016 election of Supervisors? Stay tuned.

Richard Cannon 3/17/18: What is the answer? pro
Bill Hocker 3/16/18: Property rights. Again pro
Elaine de Man 3/13/15: Help save our oak woodlands pro
Ester Akersloot 3/13/18: Let's be stewards of the land pro
Warren Winiarski et al. 3/13/18: Grower/Vintner Support for Measure C pro
Steve Kuhler 3/12/18: Wine or water: voters will choose pro
Stuart Smith 3/10/18: Sticking it to landowners isn't the answer con
League of Women Voters 3/8/18: Napa League responds to letter about watershed initiative pro
Julie Ann Kodmur 3/7/18: Forum on watershed initiative was biased con
Mel Bolbosa 3/6/18: If we destroy watersheds, we lose our water pro
Frank Hawkins 3/6/18: Threatening our water security should be illegal pro
Linda Brown 3/5/18: A solution to a complex problem pro
Stuart Smith 3/3/18: Initiative will unfairly take property rights con
Yeoryios Apallas et al. 2/10/18: Oak woodland protection ballot measure is good for our community pro

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