Town Council will meet with manager on police


Six months ago, Mammoth Lakes Police Officers took a 16% cut in wages. Management has now asked to take more cuts with the possibility that this move might save some of the police officer positions.

Police Chief Dan Watson laid out his plan of police service under the orders from the Town Council to cut $1.1 million out of his budget. As he said, most of the budget, 75%, goes to personnel so this is where the cuts happened. Initially, the Town Council called for seven police officers to be cut. That’s what Chief Watson will do as of July 1st unless, as he said publicly, the Police Officers Association comes up with more concessions.

The Town Council has called a special meeting for Thursday at 11am in a closed session. The agenda says the Council will meet with Town Manager Dave Wilbrecht regarding the Mammoth Lakes Peace Officers Association.

The significant cuts made in the police department compared to other departments left officers angry and hurt. Morale has plummeted and several officers have retired or gone to other departments. Those left will negotiate with Wilbrecht.

Chief Watson made it clear that police coverage will not be around the clock under the new cuts and that certain lesser crimes will not be dealt with.

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12 Responses to Town Council will meet with manager on police

  1. Wayne Deja January 10, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    Hey Don’t Worry-be happy….If you have a teen-age daughter,would you rather have her walking through downtown Bridgeport with her girlfriends……or would you rather have her walking through the village on a week-end night after the bars close ?

    • What's to do in Bridgeport? January 10, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

      It would seem to me, that a teenager (boy or girl) walking through downtown Bridgeport at any time a day (what would it take … 5 minutes for the entire enlightening experience?) realizing there is nothing to do there (no snowboarding, no rock climbing, no theatre, no culture, no art, no poetry reading contests for kids, no music festivals, no Cerro College, no jobs, no soon-to-be-constructed bowling alley …) would eventually realize there in nothing to do in Bridgeport and gradually lose their minds and get into trouble.
      But different strokes for different folks.

  2. SkiJohn January 10, 2013 at 10:48 am #

    Just curious, how do explain other towns similar to Mammoth (tourist based, same population, minor crimes etc) who function on a police budget far less than ours? I truly don’t mean to sound anti-cop, but I have a hard time understanding why our little town needs to have a much larger police budget than others. Do you know the only time a police officer has used his gun was in Von’s years ago, and they shot an innocent person? It was a long time ago and I don’t remember the details, but the point is our town doesn’t have a lot of crime. Also, 203 is a state highway and should be patrolled by CHP, freeing up our police officers to handle other things. Lastly, our tax dollars go to the county, which means we’re entitled to county sheriffs in Mammoth. Bottom line is, we have to find money to pay this judgement. Roughly 75% of our income comes from tourism, so cutting that seems asinine to me.

    • Don't worry - be happy January 10, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

      I agree SkiJohn,
      Rhino’s in Bridgeport is far more dangerous on any given Saturday night than a couple of richie-rich yuppie snowboarders that get into a shoving match at the Village at closing time. This sort of partying behavior is commonplace in any ski town. I don’t think Mammoth should lose any sleep worrying about any mass-rioting, looting or shooting sprees anytime soon. The occasional domestic violence and loud parties can be handled quite easily it seems to me. Same with the DUIs after the bars close.

  3. Let them eat cake January 10, 2013 at 10:06 am #

    Elected officials have all the power with the only credentials required is they got the most votes.
    The top At-Will administrators, if they play their political cards right, can demand and maintain fantastic salaries and start lopping off heads “to pay for the judgement.”
    We the People disappears completely.
    The system in place is tragically unfair and entirely broken.

  4. Tourbillon January 10, 2013 at 8:06 am #

    Paying for the judgment would be much easier to resolve if we were willing to reconsider our views of the proper role of government. We would not have to cut a single cop or a single cop’s pay.

    Public safety (most recent budget cost, $4.7M) is government’s primary duty. Snow removal/public works ($3.2M) might be second. You have to run the government so admin costs ($3.3M not counting the judgment payment) must also be borne, although that amount seems rather high.

    But tourism and marketing ($2.1M), “community development” ($1M), and a host of other budget line items are not typically considered to be duties of a limited government. Those are costs that should be borne, and probably are more efficiently borne, by the private sector. Ask yourself, is it more likely that the Mountain and other tourist businesses, driven by profit, would better spend a marketing dollar, or a government bureaucrat? Another example: the current budget lists “only” $100K for the airport but why should government subsidize private air travel at all? If ticket prices cannot be set high enough to make a profit, that is supposed to be a signal of market failure, not an excuse to misallocate taxpayer money for a cause that cannot sustain itself without an artificial crutch.

    The decision to cut cops – to shirk municipal job #1 – is really just a symptom of America’s larger addiction to government as a cure-all for every little thing, from banning foods it does not like (to please some people) to forcing you to buy things you might not want (to please other people) to a million little officious intrusions to supervise everyday life by a hundred thousand bureaucracies, all operating in the sincere belief that they act in the public good. Maybe so. But what TOML portends on a much larger scale is that when government cumulatively starts to try to do everything it ceases to be able to do anything worthwhile, including its core mission of public safety.

  5. Lead by example January 10, 2013 at 6:40 am #

    Perhaps somebody can lead by example.
    Why not the Chief and Town Manager voluntarily take a 16% cut?

    • Mr. NRA January 10, 2013 at 10:35 am #

      The Chief has taken a paycut.. Point your comment to the Town Managers.

      • MMM and the money machine January 10, 2013 at 11:09 am #

        Was the chief’s paycut a 16% reduction?
        And speaking of town managers … our 5 elected officials should understand all they have to do is hire a much cheaper “accountant” to buy and use a PowerPoint program that does nothing but confuse the elected officials and make it look as though MMM deserves the obscene salary, free home, and transportation to Mammoth (she doesn’t even live here – what real interest does she have in the future of the town other than a money-machine for her?

  6. Rob January 9, 2013 at 10:45 pm #

    IF MLPD must take cuts, so must EVERY TOML employee, especially management.

  7. Reality Check January 9, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

    The MLPOA has a multi year contract that the Town recently signed. Do not reopen anything with these people. They will screw you.

  8. sayno January 9, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

    Don’t give them anything unless MMM takes the same cuts. Stand strong MLPD


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