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Costa Group

Correcting misconceptions about Measure D

A blog post has a certain validity for voicing a personal opinion, but to spin opinion as fact does a disservice to the community. Regarding the post by M. David Minnick entitled Measure D requires transparency on use of community assets and taxpayer funds, here are a "few" corrections:

Correction #1: There is no salmon lobby. There are residents and groups concerned with the fate of our planet if we kill off the fish and their habitat. We do have concerns about the amount of pesticides the golf course used (over 800 applications in the last two years) and how that could be impacting water and health.

There is, however, a thriving development lobby.

Correction #2: There are funds specifically set aside for park and open space property purchase in both the County’s Measure A for Parks, which the entire county voted to approve, and in State funds, which the entire state has voted to approve. These funds cannot be used for underprivileged residents, nor for very privileged ones who are suing to keep their privileges.

The county had lined up an impressive amount of state funds for the purchase of the property until the few persons who wanted to keep golf (and the behind the scenes real estate and development interests) sued the county, so we all lost out on that.

That was expensive. So is this election, brought by a few at the cost to the many.

Correction #3: Enough open space? Enough for whom or what? This is the personal opinion of the writer. Others in the valley, who are now enjoying the parkland that was off-limits to them when the property was a golf course, have a different opinion. Of course, if fish and wildlife could write blogs, they might have a different take on this.

Correction #4: Restoration provides jobs. A healthy fishing industry provides jobs and food. The Facility will be used as a community center so no loss of access or fun times with the new owners.

Correction #5: The San Geronimo Planning Group supports a NO vote on Measure D. The golf course was a preferred alternative to development. It is no longer the preferred alternative. They prefer open space, a community center, a restored flood plain, a Safe Routes to School for their kids, no pesticides, and exploring regenerative agriculture, expanding the community gardens, linking the creek to Roy’s Redwoods and a host of other multi-beneficial uses.

Correction #6: Do Marin’s needy deserve better than they’re getting? Of course. But this argument is a red herring. Park funds can only be used for Park/Open Space uses.

The voters approved tax money to go into this fund for open space purchase, not for other uses, no matter how laudable. Marin values its wild lands, its wildlife, fresh air and clean water.

Correction #7: Passing Measure D has already cost the county public funds. It cost funds to defend their legitimate course to purchase the land for open space. It is costing money for this election. And it is costing time that could be better spent moving forward rather than stalling, obfuscating and misleading the public.

Correction #8: The previous owners of the golf course sought to sell the course and looked for a buyer for years. They did not find one. The county was smart to go in with an offer to buy this beautiful, iconic property for all of us for open space.

I can heartily sympathize with the golfing community who lost a treasured course. We have all lost beautiful, treasured places that we have loved in this county due to changes in use. I trust that the remaining five Marin Golf Courses still available will flourish, with more players, now that San Geronimo is no longer available.

I look forward to flourishing streams, kids playing and safely riding their bikes to school, fish counts rebounding, and a healthy planet.

We will see if we can get there together.