Dear Town Council,

Are you serious? We went thru this once before. It was already determined that our little town does not need two Town Managers. We are very concerned and would like for you to explain to us and all of your constituents why you would approve an Asst. Town Manager at a cost of over $200k per year. Especially when you’re trying to close  a budget gap of nearly $3Million.

This is not personal, it’s business. Now we get into budget reductions proposed by staff. Why would you have a white paper prepared by staff for reduction in expenses? Do you really think that they would recommend eliminating their jobs or those of their co-workers? Reducing the expense of commission meetings and administration is ridiculously small relative to overall staff expense.

While their reports and analysis state that the town is running on bare bones, we beg to differ. There are cities/towns that are much larger that operate with smaller staff. The police department for example costs us nearly $5Million. Dana Point (population 36,000) contracts with the OC Sheriff for law enforcement in the amount of $10Million. That’s 2X our budget for over 5X the population. Cut our Police budget down to $2.5 Million and there’s your gap.

The Community Development Department can be greatly reduced or even eliminated in this down turn with no activity in development. When staff is needed, they can be contracted as many other cities do. The town does not need an on staff, fulltime CEQA expert. This is an example of a service that can be contracted as needed.

These are not frivolous thoughts or careless suggestions. We love the community and are passionate about Mammoth Lakes. We want to see it prosper into the future. This will take BOLD steps and innovative ideas. We cannot afford to keep doing things they way we have always done them.

Take the BOLD steps, make the big cuts, move forward. It is about ALL our tax dollars. We don’t want to see people lose their jobs, but people already have and there will be more. We understand that it will be our neighbors, our friends, or both. This is very unfortunate that we are here at this time, but we are here.  Council needs to do the fiscally right thing.

With deep sincerity,

Ruth and Warren. Harrell

Mammoth Lakes homeowners and voters

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