Letter to the editor: No joke

mltc8_6_13Sierra wave,

I read your September 23, 2013 posting and I thought that maybe you had added a comic section to your news. The specific post was your quotes of Mayor Rick Wood. It read like the funny papers in the LA Sunday Times.

The Mayor said that the dump site would be very public and transparent. So when would that be? The land has been in secret discussions for the past 6 years. Also there is a secret fee that has been collected and transferred   to the TOML.  When will the Council be transparent? After the deal is made? Will we be able to view the options such as other locations, joint venture with the County? How about costs? Will there be more special secret fees that the rate payers must pay? What is the specific purpose of these fees?  Let’s have transparency NOW.

The town has had “an extraordinary couple of years”, but what is the reason, why did the Mayor not explain some of the reasons?? By MMM leaving we no longer have any checks and balances in our Town Government. We now have the same old way of governing.

Tom Cage, are the Voters to believe that a citizen thought up this idea and approached TC?… Oh…OK. And if so where was it in/ on the agenda?

So keep the quotes coming and I hope the Town will be laughing next June.

John T. Vereuck, Mammoth Lakes

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a matter of taste
a matter of taste
8 years ago

The priority should be what is best for the town – not for the developer. People can get just as loaded and contribute to the town’s higher education needs just as easily as they could get loaded in the woods and make another developer and his associates richer.

Wikipedia definition
Wikipedia definition
8 years ago

Political corruption is the use of power by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by private persons or corporations not directly involved with the… Read more »

Keepin' it simple
Keepin' it simple
8 years ago

Hmmmmm.
Cronyism.
Please correct me if I am incorrect on the definition of political corruption.
Isn’t it cronyism when a public official tries to get a friend or relative a cushy position at an airport?
I am confused.

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago

The town should buy the Woods Site. It would be worse for the town to loose it to a developer. I don’t care if Lehman makes money from the deal. In the long run, it’s better for the town to buy the site than to loose it. And if it… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

No, they are apparently talking about a recyling center or MRF.
BK

a viable alternative
a viable alternative
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

A better site for the Bluesapalooza and other events would be at our Cerro Coso College. There you don’t need to close any streets and I’d rather see money directed towards higher education rather than to any developer.

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago

Not a bad idea but if the school had a decent theater, there are other events that can be added to the event list. I don’t particularly like the theater that’s there. The seats are uncomfortable and cramped. I like a little space around me. Maybe if they replace the… Read more »

Not a bad theatre space
Not a bad theatre space
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Well you have to crawl before you walk, Ken. In the meantime, the Edison Theatre is becoming more and popular each year. As far as uncomfortable seats, I’ve never found them to be cramped. Perhaps shedding a couple of pounds might do the trick. (playful sarcasm) The outside venue at… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago

There isn’t any place in town that has the ambience of Sam’s Woods. Cerro Coso could indeed be the site for many unique events tailored for Cerro Coso’s own unique characteristics and I urge those who can make it happen to make it happen. But don’t lose Sam’s Woods regardless… Read more »

skiJohn
skiJohn
8 years ago

Sorry, I disagree with the Cerro Coso idea. Woodsite is a beautiful, unique property where people can meander through the forest, enjoying music and adult beverages, unlike any venue they’ve been to. I bet attendance would drop significantly if we moved events to the college. Those are a dime a… Read more »

Connect the dots
Connect the dots
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Correct me if I’m mistaken, but didn’t a current council member(s) once have something to do with the airport mess the same way another current council member has something to do with a client of his who owns the Woods site? When is the town going to ban together and… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago

What are you talking about? At a past point, a Town Council voted in favor of an airport agreement with Terry Ballas. The Town owns the airport. Rick Wood was not on the Council at that time. John Eastman was. The chain of events afterward turned disastrous. Unfounded accusations of… Read more »

Stopping corruption in its tracks
Stopping corruption in its tracks
8 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Thanks for acknowledging Eastman’s corrupt part in the mess. If memory serves me, Eastman got his hands caught in the taxpayer’s cookie jar when he tried to use his political influence to get his future son-in-law a job at the airport. In these precarious economic times it behooves us all… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago

And to make unfounded accusations is part of the problem as well. I did not call Mr. Eastman’s vote for the development agreement “corrupt.” It might have been unwise or
something else, but I have no proof of corruption. Do you?
BK

Shine
Shine
8 years ago

Didn’t Eastman speak against acquiring airport in the first place?
Don’t recall cronyism accusation. Is it true?

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago

The town should buy the Woods Site. It would be worse for the town to loose it to a developer. I don’t care if Lehman makes money from the deal. In the long run, it’s better for the town to buy the site than to loose it. The new Dump… Read more »

skiJohn
skiJohn
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

I completely agree with you, Ken. Everyone on here is pissed over the thought of the town buying Woodsite, but what’s the alternative? A large hotel or casino?? Yes, casino. I’ve been hearing a rumor about that for a few weeks now. Could you imagine?? We also have measure U… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  skiJohn

I can imagine a casino there. I don’t like the image. Ever been to Reno and look at all the sad, desperate people there who hang around downtown? Do we want those kinds of people in Mammoth Lakes? Walked into the casino in Bishop once. Ran back out the door… Read more »

Shine
Shine
8 years ago
Reply to  skiJohn

sJ, I’m pissed that TOML put itself in position of not being able to buy anything, including police protection and education.

Tony Soprano
Tony Soprano
8 years ago

Secret fee, is that what the kids are calling kickbacks these days? TOML involved in the dump fits the profile of organized crime running waste management.

MK
MK
8 years ago

What’s up with the conflict of interest on the Woods site. I hope this does not taint Lehman as it is not his fault he is a realtor.

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  MK

Go to our website and search Matthew Lehman. The situation is explained.
BK

Get ready, Lehman
Get ready, Lehman
8 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) which vigorously investigates and prohibits public officials from participating in governmental decisions affecting their “financial interests” and requires certain public officials to disclose certain assets and income is going to be hearing about this. Now Lehman has replaced on of his business sign on… Read more »

skiJohn
skiJohn
8 years ago

He’s changing his company name from Trademark to Matthew Lehman Real Estate. I hope he quits council and collects every dime in commission from that sale. He deserves it, as he’s had the listing for a long time and spent a lot of money marketing it. Why would he share… Read more »

Profiteering uber alles
Profiteering uber alles
8 years ago
Reply to  skiJohn

Sorry SkiJohn, but I must disagree with you.

It seems to me that if an elected official uses any sort of influence to sway fellow council members to have the town purchase his client’s property this is corruption at its highest form.

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago

It’s easy to speculate.
BK

Clandestine political behavior
Clandestine political behavior
8 years ago
Reply to  skiJohn

Who know what goes on behind closed doors or outside the council chambers?
Especially when it comes to money these days.

Shine
Shine
8 years ago
Reply to  skiJohn

It’s easy to speculate in property. Not always easy to stay out the red with $30mil judgements. NO PURCHASE, NO CONFLICT

Halting Political Corruption
Halting Political Corruption
8 years ago

The FPPC (Fair Political Practices Commission) has a website that John Q. Citizen/Taxpayer can suggest a possible infraction to be investigated.

Here is the URL:

http://www.fppc.ca.gov/index.php?id=189

Halting Political Corruption
Halting Political Corruption
8 years ago

This from the FPPC (Fair Political Practices Commission) “I believe it would be worth your effort to file a sworn complaint on this issue. Our sworn complaint form and instructions are on our website http://www.fppc.ca.gov. In the upper right hand corner, click on Enforcement and options open including one on… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago

You’ve made your point. Facts remain to be seen.
Benett Kessler

Cased not that easily closed
Cased not that easily closed
8 years ago
Reply to  MK

The ultimate question that is on everybody’s mind is whether or not Lehman used any power and/or influence in any of the numerous closed-door secret council meetings to promote the sale of his client’s property and if so, does this constitute a conflict of interest? Hard to believe Lehman will… Read more »

Shine
Shine
8 years ago

If Lehman didn’t recuse himself from closed meetings as soon as the purchase entered into discussion, he may have tainted his relationship with Council as well as client. There would stiil be doubts about what information was disclosed over coffee.

MK
MK
8 years ago

I doubt Lehman used any influence. I don’t think he would do such a think. The problem is that there is an inherent conflict. It really does not matter how honorable the person is from what the BBK lawyer states. I think the town just needs to stay away from… Read more »

Stopping corruption in its tracks
Stopping corruption in its tracks
8 years ago

Thanks to the 11 thumbs-up v only 2 thumbs down to the very real problem of trying to halt corruption in our town.