It’s hard to say what’s more annoying — the sound of gas-powered leaf blowers or the fact that the Sonoma City Council debated for years on what to do with these contraptions without getting to a satisfactory conclusion. Finally, in March, one arrived. The City Council voted 3-2 to ban gas-powered leaf blowers, while allowing electric and battery-powered blowers to stay in operation. But that wasn’t the last word. Opponents of the ban gathered enough signatures to force a referendum, and now voters will get the last word — on Nov. 8. We hope that word is “yes” on Measure V to uphold the city’s ban.
The city has tried all kinds of solutions, from banning blowers on Sundays and certain holidays to lowering the maximum decibel limits allowed. But without enforcement, such rules matter little. Banning leaf blowers due to the noise makes sense. Banning them for their contributions to carbon build-up also makes sense. Voting yes on Measure V makes the most sense.