Mammoth’s Bear Issue Escalates

As we reported on Bureaucrat Beat, 3 non-sworn workers at the Mammoth Police Department complained about hiring Steve Searles for bear manager. They pointed to their need for car pooling and traffic control.

Mammoth Town Councilman John Eastman said he would listen to the majority of his constituents who want Searles to handle the considerable bear population.

Today, Eastman reveals that now members of the Mammoth Police Officers Association have written a letter to complain about Searles. We expect to receive permission to air the Police Officers memo on later broadcasts. Meanwhile, Councilman Eastman Issued a preliminary response last night. He writes:

November 18,2008

Before I respond directly to the Mammoth Lakes Police Officers Association (MLPOA) memorandum of November 14, 2008, which basically bad mouths both the Town Council members and Steve Searles, I would like to ask the question: When was the last time

the MLPOA expressed, in a memorandum, an opinion on a Town Council discretionary employee contract negotiation? And what may have led the MLPOA, both Sworn and

Non-Sworn officer’s, to feel so strongly about an issue, that they do something (like sending a memorandum to the Town Council members), that they have rarely, if ever done before? Put another way, WHO inspired or directed this group of Town employees to write such a memorandum?

My curiosity stems from the FACT that both myself and fellow council member Neil McCarroll, after being given full support from our fellow Council members, on a five

to zero vote, to sit down with our Town Manager and our current Chief of Police, and to see if there was an opportunity to create an employment contract proposal to bring back to the full council, with the eventual possibility of presenting it to Steve Searles for his consideration. Neil and I have had a single, 40 minute meeting with Town staff. We are in the initial phase of trying to develop a contract proposal. Yet, keeping in mind there were only myself(and it wasn’t me), Neil McCarroll, the Town manager and the Chief of Police involved in the contract discussion, somebody got to both the Mammoth Lakes Police Officers, Sworn and Non-Sworn, and had Both groups of Officers’ create the wording for a memorandum, type it, sign it and send it to the Town Council, within a mere two days of the initial contract discussion meeting. One wonders who that individual may have been?

As an elected Town Council representative, my second area of concern is that a non-elected member of Town staff felt compelled or threatened to go to a certain group of Town employees, the Mammoth Lakes Police Officers Association, when there had only been just a single, prelimary meeting. There is no contract ready for Town Council discussion, and so far there has been NO PUBLIC participation, nor Council decision regarding Mr. Searles.

Certainly, one can understand why I am so——– upset that my own staff appears to be prematurely, undermining what should otherwise be a normal process of employee contract discussion.

John Eastman
Again, we expect to receive permission to release the police officers letter on upcoming broadcasts.

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