Voting without fear

Letter to the Editor by Michelle Montgomery, May 28 2018


I would like to share my experience of Napa as a relative newcomer with fresh eyes.

To be clear, this description doesn’t pertain to everyone; this is also a welcoming and generous community of which I am proud to be involved.

Placing my children into elementary school here, it was clear that there are families in the wine industry, and those who are not. Those not in the wine business are often invisible, and don’t speak out for fear of not being included.

Many belonging in the wine industry blindly support what is happening even when it is not in their best interests for fear of ridicule.

Often, those who work for the industry are afraid to make waves and be shunned by the community.

Worst of all, those working in the vineyards do not speak for fear of losing their livelihoods.

People being afraid to speak is, sadly, the way Napa County likes it.

I am voting Yes on Measure C because citizens are being bullied so that unsustainable corporations can deforest the land and use up water for profit.

They are taking limited resources from our children, and they cannot survive without them.

I oppose No on C because -- what’s in it for me? I’m not voting for someone else's short-term private gain, simultaneously stealing our future’s water and trees that will leave nothing behind for our next generation.

Despite our county government catering to Big Developers, we still have the freedom to vote. Fear not: How you vote is no one’s business but your own and counts now more than ever.

I am voting for my children.

I am voting to protect our water and trees.

I am voting 'yes' on Measure C.

Michelle Montgomery


Don't be an impulse voter

Letter to the Editor by Dave Loberg


It can be generally assumed that some voters are “impulse voters,” especially when confronted with complex propositions that require study to make an informed choice. And “impulse voters” tend, I believe, to more often vote “No.”

Prop C has considerable potential to attract “No” voters, and the campaigns have tended to simplify a complex issue with catch phrases and buzz words that are confusing, if not misleading. Recall that one of the original bases for proposing Proposition C was the Walt Ranch plan to destroy thousands of oaks to plant a vineyard between the valley and Berryessa.

I repeat, the owners of Walt Ranch planned to remove thousands of oaks to allow a vineyard in the oak woodlands, and not much could be done under existing law and regulation to prevent this disaster.

Advocates of No on Measure C want this reckless status quo to continue.

I want protection for oak woodlands and our water. I want Measure C. I fully expect that in the future, adding this protection for the oak woodlands and water will be as appreciated as the pioneering Ag Preserve is today.

Do not be an “impulse voter;" think about the consequences of thousands of oak trees being sacrificed for speculative vineyard projects.

Dave Loberg