Dear Senator: I am one of your constituents who voted for you to be our California State Senator. I am also the sponsor of Napa County Measure D, the so-called Personal Use Helicopter Initiative.
As the author of the Arguments Against Measure D, you have assumed the leading role in its opposition. Moreover, you have done so in your privileged capacity as our senator. As your statement's cosigners, you have assembled: Brian Bottari, (signed "PG&E"), Matthew Higginbotham, (signed "REACH Air Medical Services") and Peter White, signed, ("Vice Mayor of St. Helena").
Your statements as they will appear on the ballot carry the full weight and credibility of a California Senator, and misleadingly those of the St. Helena City Council and those of PG&E and REACH, none of which have endorsed them.
While arguments against an initiative may contain statements which opponents believe to be against their philosophy, or against the general interest of the citizens, or containing inaccurate provisions, they may not contain statements which are misleading.
The following arguments you have inserted in the ballot are misleading:
1) "Helicopter operators providing essential services may be restricted from landing on private property. When emergencies occur operators need flexibility to conduct their mission effectively".
2) "Utility contractors like those working for PG&E, won't be able to use helicopters to replace power poles or service lines just as they successfully did after the October fires".
I need to point out to you that the existing provisions in Napa County Code 18.120.010 exempt and protect the above services which are in no way affected by Measure D restrictions which specifically and solely prohibit personal use heliports and limit landing at vineyards during helicopter aerial operations for direct agricultural production.
Napa County Code specifically permits by right without specifying or prohibiting any type of equipment by which they may be installed such as backhoes, cranes, helicopters or any other as currently used:
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1) "Distribution lines installed to convey gas and/or electricity locally to individual services or to another such line", and: "Cable television lines and telephone lines other than long distance cables", and: "Helicopter emergency use facility landing sites".
2) "Emergency medical services landing sites", upon granting of a use permit.
The county counsel’s Impartial Analysis also confirms that: "County Code currently allows emergency medical services landing sites upon grant of a use permit. Measure D does not change or affect this provision".
Measure D does not in any way modify, restrict, expand or eliminate these sections of the Code which enable providers to deliver the services they currently do and will do so in the future regardless of Measure D. Measure D addresses only personal use helicopter landing sites defined in the Code as: "For the owner, their family and occasional guests."
In effect, arguing that PG&E, medical and emergency service helicopter landings are for personal use or that they conduct aerial operations for agricultural production so as to be affected by Measure D is misleading.
You and your cosigners have been invited to participate in forums organized by the Democrats of Napa Valley on April 16, the Hagen Road community scheduled for April 24 and The League of Women scheduled for April 25 and May 2. Thus far you and all your cosigners have refused to participate.
At this point in time when the trust in governments and institutions is in crisis both nationally and just as much locally, and in the interest of the integrity of the voting process, I urge you and your cosigners to reconsider and participate in defense of your statements in the above remaining and future planned venues.