Why I’m Voting YES on Measure V

Measure V upholds an ordinance passed by the City Council, and is on the ballot due to a referendum challenge. Voting YES on Measure V prohibits only gas-powered leaf blowers, while allowing quieter and emissions-free battery/electric blowers.

Some common misunderstandings:

“Will my rates will go up? Will workers lose their jobs?”

In the 20 plus California cities with leaf blower bans, there was NO reported job loss or increases in landscape costs.

“What’s next? Lawnmowers?”

Not a single city that banned gas blowers went on to ban other lawn equipment, motorcycles, or anything else.

“How can my property be maintained without a gas blower?”

Rakes and brooms worked fine for generations. Other options include sweepers and battery blowers. Also, leaves aren’t garbage—leaving them under shrubs and trees provides habitat for amphibians and pollinators, enriches the soil, and decreases water use.

“Batteries don’t hold a charge, and wind up in the landfill.”

The new lithium ion batteries hold a charge for hours, and are fully recyclable.

“I don’t want to have to buy an electric.” The investment in a battery blower is soon recouped in savings for fuel and maintenance that is no longer needed.

“Electric are louder!”

Consumer Reports and other sources confirm: gas blowers are louder. But noise pollution involves more than decibels; frequency and other sound components are what make gas blowers uniquely disruptive.

“The health claims are fabricated.”

The American Lung Association, Mt. Sinai pediatricians, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Harvard School of Public Health, Scientific American, and many such organizations have cited the health risks associated with gas leaf blower use. That’s why the School District and Hospital stopped using them!

“Gas leaf blowers don’t pollute that much.”

Unlike cars, gas leaf blowers are unregulated. 30% of the fuel is emitted unburned from their two-stroke engines. The exhaust contains carcinogenic particulates like Benzene. Other components form ozone, a greenhouse gas 100 times more potent than CO2.

“Why should taxpayers cough up money for a leaf blower Enforcement Officer?”

The Code Enforcement Officer enforces the entire Municipal Code.

“We’ve wasted $100,000 on this issue; there are more important issues!”

That figure was never substantiated. Yes, there are many important issues, including climate change, and air and noise pollution, which Measure V addresses overnight!

“Sounds good! So does Measure V finally prohibit blowing into the street or onto neighboring property?”

YES!!

VOTE YES ON MEASURE V to prohibit gas leaf blowers and improve the quality of life for all Sonomans.

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