Post election wrap up--on a few of the more interesting races

some specific post election thoughts--what are yours?

Measure U

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

Prop 30

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?


Measure T

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.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Alex Shantz November 13, 2012 at 02:54 AM
"I agree with everything you said there, it is not a matter of partisanship to me, it is a matter of sticking to your guns and getting something done." Perhaps that is a better distinction.
Lisa Batto November 25, 2012 at 03:54 AM
I realize I'm pretty late in commenting on your last post. I think it would have concerned me more to put a large cineplex that demands so much parking when key movies are playing, downtown. We don't seem to have the capacity to service that many people in downtown, with parking. Even with the old theater parking was always an issue - even when I was young. Until the new theater was built we went to Vallejo to watch movies. 1) the place was healthier 2) we always found easy parking. Living in Westwood, I could walk or ride a bike downtown, and we would do so on the weekends for a fun day. My point is, that the new theater is in walking distance for many people and parking is plentiful. Bus pick up and drop off is located nearby for mass transit. It has left a hole for Napa Downtown, but one that will probably be filled shortly. Construction is picking up, and developers are looking for the next project - financing seems to be loosening. We as citizens, need to be aware and participate if we want to be part of the solution.
Michael Haley November 25, 2012 at 06:11 AM
Lisa, I'm still here reading, the email notice is nice. I agree with your view, and there is also the matter of Century Theaters being a private company and they obviously preferred that site. It's a lot bigger than the old site. What we are doing, gradually though, is spreading out and getting a lot bigger. As you say, construction is picking up and loans are probably gettting easier to get, and it looks like the economy will pick up considerably next year. My concern is, are we ready and can we handle all the traffic we are about to generate? Are we going to like the new big Napa, and will we be able to maintain the sense of community we have had (that is fantastic) when we get a lot bigger? I don't think the theaters are a big issue in that, and I didn't mean to get off on that tagent. I am more concerned about all the hotels that are being planned, now they are talking about a thousand new rooms just downtown. I really don't think we can handle that without a lot of problems developing. As you say, we don't even have the room to service the theaters downtown. Perhaps we need to convert that spot into another parking garage. I know the sustainable development people won't like it, but....what else can we do?
Lisa Batto November 26, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Michael, yes the notification is nice - I think mine was turned off! I agree - we aren't ready for the the traffic we are about to generate. As far as sustainable development goes, (I'm part of that group!) Maybe the theater area needs to be a parking garage - it could be reserved for all electric, hybrid, low emission diesel and alternative fuel vehicles. Just a future thought! Sustainable Development is a pretty deep issue and providing ways for people to move around outside of their cars is just one small piece. I smile because when you say the new big Napa, that is pretty close to the same words my Dad used about 20 years ago. In his eyes we have been this big new Napa for a long time. Our community in his eyes disappeared when they changed downtown. Honestly, The sense of community, to me, comes from being involved with your neighbor, whether that is in business or the person next door. I'm not certain for everyone that this means downtown is important. it isn't for my parents and I can imagine there are thousands more like them. The town of Napa is meant to get bigger. This is where our community grows and opportunity abounds. Housing should be here, hotels, restaurants, etc...we can't have this overspill into our green spaces. There are a lot of things not being spoken about between our governments and businesses....what will happen is government regulation will force businesses to participate - AB32, County's CAP, City Green Building Ord...why wait?
Michael Haley November 26, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Lisa, this is on my older blog, I just noticed that. Anyway, on the point about Napa being meant to get bigger, that is what I am struggling with. I am not sure I am going to like it or that it is going to work. Napa has gone through waves of growth, but that happens because people make it happen, developers push for it and the community wants it. But to me it is like filling up a glass with water, when there is very little you can add a lot. But when it gets to the top you can't put any more in without spilling it. Napa was laid out as a farming town, the valley is small,and with the farmland there is no where to go to build out roads. We are getting closer and closer to our capacity limit. American Canyon is at that point already, and I really don't want to go there just so we can add yet more hotels and restaurants. I guess I just don't see that as progress. I dunno....will have to think about it some more. It is an important to have a discussion about what is community too, I think it more has to do with people loving their community as a whole, which people do in Napa.


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