We are writing this letter for two reasons: to ask the Calistoga City Council to appoint Charlotte Williams to the council and to express our position on Measure C.
The Napa County Green Party endorsed Charlotte Williams during the November election for her support of local businesses, environmental stewardship, and a living wage for workers.
Now that Carl Sherill has stepped down, there is another vacancy on the Calistoga City Council. We ask the council to appoint Charlotte Williams to fill this vacancy.
She is far from being a single-issue candidate; one reason why we endorsed her is because her platform is dynamic and holistic. She represents a significant segment of the community with a wide range of views. We believe that in a democracy all voices should have a seat at the table.
Charlotte Williams was the third top vote-getter. She is intelligent, competent and capable. If appointed, she will work tirelessly to serve her entire community.
The Green Party has a comprehensive platform that addresses issues of land use. We support ecologically sound, sustainable development and community movements that encompass principles of long-term planning, regenerative ecological design, and the coexistence of human populations with other species and natural systems. Measure C runs counter to these land-use principles.
Measure C would amend the General Plan by applying a land-use designation of “Planned Development Overlay” in addition to the existing “Rural Residential — Hillside” base land-use designation to a portion of land. This amendment is designed to specifically put the Enchanted Resorts plan in compliance with the General Plan at the expense of the environment and community.
The Enchanted Resorts plan would be a massive resort development located on an environmentally sensitive hillside. Measure C would lead to excessive runoff, mudslides, water contamination, increased traffic, and could involve demolishing 8,000 mature trees. Measure C would harm the environment, thereby putting all Calistogans at risk. And Measure C would undermine Calistoga’s small-town charm.
Proponents of Measure C argue the city needs the revenue Enchanted Resorts will generate. However, Calistoga already has a million-dollar reserve and will be receiving millions more from two already-approved development projects.
Proponents claim Measure C will provide residents throughout the county with jobs. However, these will be low-paying service sector jobs. The residents of our county, especially our youth, deserve more fulfilling jobs that offer living wages. How long will we allow the job market to be dominated by the tourist industry?
In conclusion, we ask the Calistoga City Council to appoint Charlotte Williams and we urge Calistoga citizens to vote “no” on Measure C. Measure C benefits the interests of a single developer at the cost of the environment, which is something we all share. We believe land-use policies should protect environmentally sensitive lands from inappropriate development. Measure C would do the opposite.
Enough is enough!
Haley Rekdahl / Napa County Green Party