This was a measure that probably got the most raw emotion
going this time around. Land use, what else would do that? Proponents tend to
blame the massive TV advertising budget of PUC, but it seems like it is hard to
stop a project when there is no specific project there being proposed. Voters
can't wrap their minds around a general plan designation. PUC continues to be
very evasive about their plans so when they have some, which they obviously do,
it may be a different story. In the meantime it is a setback for Save Rural
Californians pass a tax, what do you know? I voted for this
with the feeling that I was bailing out a goof off relative one more time. State
workers (in general, not all) still have too much in pension, in health
benefits and are often overpaid. The prison guard pay is obscene. But yet...it
was for our schools which are in deep trouble. We are robbing our future with
young people and it is stupid to let them suffer any more. Did you know that
Napa Valley College has 16,000 students? That is a number that is almost 10% of
the county population. A lot. And if we don't educate them we will pay for
their welfare and prison later on.
Van Gorder vs Luce
This was a race that gave us what campaigns are supposed to
do, a way for the public to evaluate the candidates. It broke new ground in
being partisan and I have to say although the Republicans are famous for being
partisan, it was the Democrats in this case.
The partisanship might not have hurt Van Gorder too much,
but it was a few key errors in the last three weeks that really did hurt him.
Appearing to waffle on Napa Pipe, out of the blue bringing up expanding the WDO
(winery definition ordinance) along with an ugly picture of Luce on a flyer
that ended up on the front page of the Register were the deciding factors in
this very close race, I believe.
Luce also came on as more solid and stronger as the campaign
progressed. He appeared more firmly committed to a point of view that at one
time he appeared to be waffling on. I predict as the votes are counted from
those who voted the latest Luce will gain on Van Gorder.
Tea Party Conservatives
One comment on the Obama vs Romney race. The Tea Party is
hurting themselves with their extremism and more and more people are starting
to tune them out. They are in such a self enclosed bubble that a lot of them
don't even appear to recognize it. It is not that there is anything wrong with
their policies, it is that they seem more concerned with the size of Michelle
Obama's behind than they do coming up with a believable plan to fix the
deficit. We have to work together, and if one side is perpetually at war with
the other then our national crisis is only going to get worse. It will get
worse until it turns into a colossal tragedy, which then probably will bring us
together. Why wait for that?
I am happy that this passed and I am happy that Napa voters
recognized that regardless of what is going on in Sacramento, we can and need
to create our own destiny and take care of ourselves. The local governments,
unlike the state, have done an excellent job in holding down spending and being
responsible to taxpayers. We deserve a beautiful county, and we have to separate
ourselves from the irresponsible budget problems of the state because we do not
have them here.
The next thing is to fund our parks and open space. We have
to find a way to pay for them as that will help not only the beauty of the
county but ensure the open space we need to maintain the ag preserve. As a
newly elected Parks and Open Space District Director myself, I plan to work
toward that end.
The future of Napa and Scott Sedgley
Napa is growing by leaps and bounds, over 1200 new citizens
in the last year, downtown is hopping at night now, even during the week, and
lots of new and exciting things to do and see, not the least of which are the
new theaters. That's all good.
The one problem with growth that we can't seem to solve is
the traffic, and we are on a course toward becoming overwhelmed with it. I
don't think most people realize it, although some do. Most of the business
promoting sorts in town are not really concerned about it. They just figure it
is something you have to live with if you want growth.
One person who does get it is Scott Sedgley, who said that
in about ten years traffic will be so bad that we won't be able to get
upvalley. He is the only one in his position publicly who has said things like
that, and I was gratified to hear it. I was very favorably impressed with him overall
and look forward to what new ideas and input he will bring to the city council.