Should we vote to make Measure C law?

"A passion for protecting our land, water, and heritage is at the very heart of my work as District 3 Supervisor. I have been a fighter for sustainability and for our watersheds for decades,
both in and out of office, and I always will be.”

Where does Diane stand on this ballot initiative ?
(Printable DPF)

For decades, both in and out of office, the heart of my work has been protecting and using all our resources wisely.  Measure C on the June 5th ballot is proposing some very specific and complex changes to the county laws regulating stream setbacks and oak woodlands for future vineyard development, changes that are intended to protect oaks and our watershed from drastic over-development.  (read Measure C description here)

I strongly support the concepts of protecting our water quality, sources, and supply through watercourse setbacks and tree removal limitations.  We have had those types of regulations in our County Code since the early 1990s.

I have worked to reinforce and enhance the existing ordinances that establish the current limits - but the specific mechanisms in Measure C negatively impact its effectiveness if it becomes law.  In addition, its own authors admit the science/studies are still in process regarding some of its assumptions.  (See Napa Valley Register 2017 article on joint watershed study)

With these concerns in mind,  I -- along with fellow longtime Supervisor Brad Wagenknecht, the Friends of the Napa River, the St Helena Star editorial board, and others -- am deliberately not making a recommendation on Measure C to voters. I want to hear -- and have been hearing! -- unvarnished opinions from my constituents on all sides of the important policy decision.

Voters on both sides of Measure C have pressured me to take a stand of Yes or No.  But the intent of Measure C -- coupled with its technical issues -- makes it not a simple Yes or No issue for me. 

I hope my commitment, knowledge, and effectiveness in fighting for agriculture and the environment -- and so much more -- at the Board level has earned your confidence and your vote to let me keep working for District 3. I am proud of my record championing sustainability preparedness, and fiscal responsibility.  And I am always happy to connect with any of my constituents to listen or answer questions if you want to know more.

My knowledge of the full range of issues facing us runs deep. I see the threats to our shared vision -- and there are many more threats beyond those that Measure C seeks to address -- and I will keep fighting hard to defeat each one.

  --Gaming casinos in our Ag Preserve? No way.
  --State-mandated housing outside in agricultural and open space areas our city-defined urban limits? I’ll fight to protect our multi-decades city-centered growth policies.
  --Natural disasters? Our county emergency preparedness and response is second to none and our support for years of recovery is now a state-wide model.
  --California counties budgeting poorly? Not Napa County!


If Measure C passes, rest assured I will do all in my power and position on the Board of Supervisors to see that it’s enforced as quickly as possible. The County will, by law, defend it against any challenges.

If Measure C does not pass, rest equally assured that I will be a powerful leader on behalf of preserving and protecting our watershed and oak woodlands as well as our ag farmlands.
I want Napa County citizens to know with confidence, that whether Measure C passes or not, these issues are urgent and will drive policy discussion beyond the June 5th vote.

This debate has brought priceless attention to some of the biggest questions facing us -- even if we are at something of a policy impasse regarding what steps should be taken to actually protect our natural resources, and to truly assure residents that we are doing all we can sustainably (i.e., mindful of our both economic health and environment).

The nature of political campaigns can be both divisive and inspiring, seldom more so, it seems, than with Measure C. The political campaigns for both NO and YES on Measure C have brought a great deal of confusion for Napa County voters with claims and counter-claims. 

But these weeks of listening and discussing Measure C have also inspired me with what the arguments have in common. What unites nearly every single citizen in our community is a deep respect for the land and heartfelt enthusiasm among voters on both sides that our watersheds are precious, and that we must be vigilant to prevent over-development.

As Supervisor, I have worked with experts, listened to concerned citizens, and led our County’s ongoing efforts for ever-better code enforcement, use-permit compliance, and smart planning to protect farmland, protect our precious watershed, and to use all our resources wisely. 

What I have observed is that regardless of labels -- party or profession, rich or poor, newcomer or old-timer -- there is, in our community, a powerfully broad consensus that Napa County must continue to be a leader both in sustainable farming practices and with policies that nurture a balanced and vibrant economy with smart, limited growth.


I also observe the situation is reminiscent of the mid 1990s, when we were at a similar impasse in Napa over appropriate flood control measures. The creative, successful flood control solutions show that we as a community are capable of reaching consensus on a great way forward, to get beyond this impasse.

I already have been working proactively in that direction -- including spearheading the effort that resulted in the City of Napa and Napa County entering into a joint water quality study in June 2017 -- a powerful first step in building consensus.

If re-elected, I will do all I can to build and lead
this coalition of stewardship and sustainability.