Letter to the editor: Feet to fire

 

Tom Cage to Supervisor Byng Hunt: “I’m appalled you don’t think there is enough benefit to at least fight for some level of air service.”

Open Apology:

On 7/11 there was a special meeting held in suite Z to discuss options for the funding of air subsidy to Alaska Airlines.  I stood up and openly challenged one of Mammoth’s Supervisors, Mr. Byng Hunt, after his comments on the podium to our Town Council and the people of Mammoth.

I want to say that I am sorry to each and everyone in Mammoth and Mono County, for not saying more!!

I am continually amazed by our elected officials in Bridgeport; did Mr. Hunt not learn from other supervisors that have recently been replaced?  Does Mr. Hunt not realize that the economic engine begins in Mammoth?  Does Mr. Hunt not understand that the majority of Property Tax originates in Mammoth?  Does Mr. Hunt think that losing air service would help June Lake, Crowley Lake or Lee Vining? You may be surprised Mr. Hunt there are people in Bishop that use our Airport and the air service provided.

I failed to point out these exact issues and others and I am deeply sorry for not holding Mr. Hunt’s feet to the fire.  I want to publicly say that I will point my finger at you and any elected official that I feel is not representing the majority and the good of the people.  And I am pointing my finger at you Supervisor Hunt to get whatever information you need (it is available) to understand that Air Service benefits the majority of Mono County and Mammoth.  It brings in new business, convenience to local residents, additional bed tax, FAA funds, $$ spent in our establishments and enplanement dollars.

And don’t say those that benefit should pay; MMSA pays millions per year for this and a far greater % than they benefit. I am working with Mr. Urdi to find a way business owners may contribute and receive ticket vouchers for their direct investment even though the Mammoth business community is taxed beyond belief and suffering from a poor winter.  The county has meagerly supported the air service subsidy the last 2 years with a continued increase in traffic at our airport (adjusted for the drought) and now wants to back out.  To me this is just another case of an elected official not realizing who he is elected by and who he should be representing.  In 2 years I will be here to make sure people are reminded of your lack of support to the people of Mammoth who elected you.   As for your comments to the Mammoth Town Council about getting back to basics.  Have you had your head buried in the sand the last year?  Do you not realize what the TC has gone through, what the staff has given up, the cuts that have been made and the people that have been affected?  HOLY MOTHER OF PEARL, please prove me wrong and correct the path you are traveling down.  Support the Mammoth/Yosemite Airport and contribute $100,000.00 from the County.

And as far as “getting back to Basic’s” there is nothing basic about the challenges we all face today.  We all need to work together, get creative, contribute as much as we can and openly communicate with each other.

Tom Cage

Local Resident, Business Man and elected official of the MCWD

   

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46 Comments
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Political Science
Political Science
9 years ago

It’s never a good idea for government to take taxpayer’s money and spend it on private enterprise.

Tom Cage
Tom Cage
9 years ago

great comments Tourbillon, and i agree to your overall points and those of Bob, i hope you both get to the sup’s meetings to give input. now for the disclaimer, the amount of money that the county is being asked and has contributed over the last couple of years is… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
9 years ago
Reply to  Tom Cage

Tom- Since I read you are involved in car rentals at the airport and other business related to Mammoth, I would like to know if you have other thoughts or ideas to help create more income for the airport ?

Whose feet to the fire?
Whose feet to the fire?
9 years ago
Reply to  Tom Cage

The County provides services such as medical services, food stamps, etc. for needy families. It also provides child protective services, care-giving services, in-home support services, foster parenting, emergency shelters … and many more during these difficult economic times. Services that are monumentally more important than flying rich people into Mammoth… Read more »

cat
cat
9 years ago

Tom Cage is having a Mantrum!

Tom Cage
Tom Cage
9 years ago

lou, good point on the budget. i hope this leads the discussion into the budget process for the Mammoth Sups. the County has supported air service for the last 2 years and i hope they continue to support the air service. i also hope the local business community gets involved… Read more »

Bob
Bob
9 years ago
Reply to  Tom Cage

Tom, your last paragraph is at least partially right. If commercial air service goes away it will not be helpful for Mammoth. However, I fail to see how this is either a positive or a negative for the county as a whole. A motel owner from Lee Vining has already… Read more »

Bob
Bob
9 years ago
Reply to  Bob

Typo, Should have read “obviously not bringing in”. Also, “spens” should have been “spend”. Stupid fingers.

North County Rules!
North County Rules!
9 years ago

Let us not forget that the Town of Mammoth Lakes is incorporated. Why do towns and cities incorporate? Because they are bored with nothing to do? Or is it so that they can keep the vast majority of tax revenues for themselves rather than share with the rest of the… Read more »

lou1
lou1
9 years ago

Tom Cage, If you expect the government to bail you out of your personal jam – you’ve got a long wait. Go to The Mountain and get them to cough up the money. The County has not gone through the customary budget process yet. What don’t you understand about this?… Read more »

Fed Up
Fed Up
9 years ago
Reply to  lou1

You don’t get it!
The complaint is that Hunt will not support air service.
I bet he or friends of his have used it!

Tom Cage
Tom Cage
9 years ago

Thank you all for your posts. I am happy that there is some open discussion now going on, this will help elected officials make decisions. I encourage everyone to attend meetings and speak their mind, in a small county it makes a difference. These are challenging times and things can… Read more »

Tourbillon
Tourbillon
9 years ago
Reply to  Tom Cage

Tom, I very much appreciate your post. And I will certainly continue to patronize your businesses. But Tom, you must recalibrate your position on subsidies, immediately for your own sake. Yes, there are and have been subsidies from federal, state, county and city going on for decades, as you observe.… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
9 years ago
Reply to  Tom Cage

Don’t know Tom Cage, but he sounds like he has a lot knowledge to offer us here.

Boycott Cage's business
Boycott Cage's business
9 years ago

That’s tellin’ ’em Jeff!
I’m with you.
Cage is just another local government-hater trying to dump everything on Hunt personally.

Village People
Village People
9 years ago

Boycott them all!

Jeff
Jeff
9 years ago

Mr Cage I will not be coming into your store or gas station anymore. You speak for a small group of owners not the people of Mammoth. Shamefull

hisierragal
hisierragal
9 years ago

Maybe Mammoth should secede but that’s right – they wouldn’t have anyone else to squeeze for money when they make big boo – boos.

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
9 years ago
Reply to  hisierragal

….and then file for bankruptcy when they can’t pay back the loans they got…and blame everyone but themselves for what happened.

hisierragal
hisierragal
9 years ago

“….. the economic engine begins in Mammoth…” out of the mouth of a businessman – terribly sorry Mr Cage but as a resident of north county who has watched county services diminished I believe the supervisors ARE “… representing the majority and the good of the people.” “….Air Service benefits… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago
Reply to  hisierragal

Just an aside – Courts are run and paid for by the State government.
Benett

Place your bets
Place your bets
9 years ago
Reply to  hisierragal

Perhaps the north county should consider seceding from the south and go it alone.
Maybe Nevada will annex the north county into its state.
Gambling from Topaz to Bridgeport just might save them.

just one
just one
9 years ago

All I have to say is that Lee Vining, Bridgeport, Walker, Coleville and Topaz are not filing for Bankruptcy. Oh and these small towns were here DECADES before Mammoth. Quit acting superior, because you are not. We need to figure a way to work together. I will bet folks from… Read more »

try going it alone
try going it alone
9 years ago
Reply to  just one

Just, With all due repect, In a capitalistic system, a community must first have the money before they file for bankruptcy. Mammoth Lakes and the money it generates has been taking care of the towns you mentioned (via taxpayer dollars) forever. Stop whining and demonizing the hand that’s been feeding… Read more »

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
9 years ago
Reply to  just one

Just one…and ALL the little towns you mention there…Lee Vining,Bridgeport,Walker,Coleville and Topaz are GREAT places to visit,great campgrounds,nice little affordable places to stay….and GREAT fishing and camping.As far as working together,doubt that is going to happen up there….Mammoth is always going to act superior to all the little towns in… Read more »

Capital
Capital
9 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

Deja – And those towns you mention contribute $ ____ to the day-to-day workings of the county? And they are receiving $______ from the county in services? Get real. Unless you are spending thousands and thousands on your vacation there the taking is grossly out-of-whack with the giving. The government… Read more »

Poli-Sci 101
Poli-Sci 101
9 years ago

Hmmmmm. Let’s see.
Demanding the taxpayer pick up the tab for private enterprise.
Isn’t that the dreaded socialism, Cage?

Jake
Jake
9 years ago

Mr Hunt one of our 45 million dollar men. The Guy live’s on our street and NO ONE will talk to him anymore. lol if Cage shows up over here we would throw him to the wolves. Sorry Tom I am not subsidizing your business with a tax measure that… Read more »

Not fooling anyone
Not fooling anyone
9 years ago

Byng Hunt has always favored air service.
Cage’s tirade is a witch hunt that serves no one.

Sean
Sean
9 years ago

Keep the flights coming… There is nothing wrong with subsidizing the flights if it needs to be done to keep them coming. Regarding the comments about not using Gov money for this all you have to do it look at the 20,000 plus page of the Tax Code to see… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago

County dollars are not used to open Tioga … state dollars and federal dollars are used in that. The last I saw, it is still a state highway that runs through it. I am not a supporter of subsidizing air service in this setting, I don’t see that it brings… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

Mono County Public Works does help in the opening of Tioga Pass.

The air service subsidy, according to Rusty Gregory, is a guarantee. Money is returned if seats are occupied.
Benett

Friar Tuck
Friar Tuck
9 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Many more seats would be occupied if a two week advance purchase was not needed to get the low price calender fares. No need to market when you’re guaranteed a profit by subsidy. I was told by a mountain employee that they could get Alaska Air tickets with a few… Read more »

MJA
MJA
9 years ago

Here is some information you need Mr. Cage: If there was any real demand for air service in and out of Mammoth it wouldn’t need to be subsidized, it would pay for itself. The business model of supply and demand 101. The airport has bankrupt Mammoth, and its time to… Read more »

just one
just one
9 years ago
Reply to  MJA

Well MJA you just squarely hit the nail on the head. If the airport was so useful, was so necessary, provided so much business, it wouldn’t need to be subsidized. I agree 100%

Devout Liberal
Devout Liberal
9 years ago
Reply to  MJA

MJA,

If there was any real demand for ” green energy ” then why are we subsidising Solindra, Fisikar, Solar panel farms etc? ( BILLIONS WASTED WITH ZERO RETURN )

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
9 years ago
Reply to  Devout Liberal

I wish people would do just a little investigation of things that concern them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_subsidies A 2009 study by the Environmental Law Institute[5] assessed the size and structure of U.S. energy subsidies over the 2002–2008 period. The study estimated that subsidies to fossil-fuel based sources amounted to approximately $72 billion… Read more »

taxifornia
taxifornia
9 years ago
Reply to  Devout Liberal

they have to pay back their buddies for getting them into office..
Govt gone WILD

Spending money they will NEVER have

Chad Oney
Chad Oney
9 years ago

Who is this Tom guy speaking on behalf of the people? Using our tax dollars, would/does he directly profit from this air service? Maybe like owning a rental car franchise at the airport? Follow the money. Get off your mighty soap box! I support the supervisor not wanting to spend… Read more »

Tim Traynor
Tim Traynor
9 years ago

As an owner of a motel in Lee Vining for 24 years; I receive no benefit from the flights in and out of Mammoth/Yosemite Airport. I do receive a direct benefit when county dollars are spent to open Tioga Pass road; as does all of Inyo/Mono and many other counties.… Read more »

Jay Wheaton
Jay Wheaton
9 years ago

Mr Cage with all due respect I think a basic civics lesson in in order. The purpose of government is to provide for basic necessary services that ordinary people cannot provide on their own. Public safety, roads, legal system, orgazional system so these and other necessities for the public to… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago
Reply to  Jay Wheaton

Dear Jay, How do you feel about the fact that the federal government subsidizes agriculture to the tune of many millions? This is particularly on point this year when five or six midwestern states have been devastated with drought and corn and wheat crops are dead. (On NBC News tonight,… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
9 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

I think we can all agree that air service for the Eastern Sierra would be useful in many ways. The question: is the cost for providing air service at Mammoth Yosemite Airport justified and is there a measurable return to those that put up the the money to provide air… Read more »

Fed Up!
Fed Up!
9 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

I feel it’s a lot easier to be for something one uses and doesn’t pay
a subsidy for Benett. Unless I’m mistaken, Inyo taxpayers contribute no tax dollars other than those associated with ticket purchases for the MYA.

Fed Up
Fed Up
9 years ago
Reply to  Fed Up!

why are you using my byline fed!!

upthecreek
upthecreek
9 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Solyndra TOOK THE FEDS for $528 million ( tax payer dollars). this is why the govt should not be allowed to make loans OR Subsidize private industry.

GGW