Town Council moves ahead with plans to cut

Privately, citizens in Mammoth Lakes are saying that Town officials “orchestrated their online survey to match their already decided on plan.”  At last week’s Town Council meeting, even though the survey revealed that only about a third of the respondents supported the cut of seven police officers, all five councilmembers seemed to support the police reduction.  At least two of them said no new taxes.  All five seemed ready to go ahead with the October re-structuring plan of town government.

After more comments from the public, the Town Council decided to have one more meeting this month before their December 5th final vote on restructuring.  The item that caused a special meeting this Tuesday was the mention of creating a Business Improvement District.

When Councilman Michael Raimondo asked Mammoth Mountain CEO Rusty Gregory if he would support a lift ticket or admissions tax, Gregory said, “There’s a better way – a Business Improvement District.”  Essentially, this district would place a tax on all businesses. Informed sources say that officials have been meeting to talk about this subject with no real firm plan in place.

The Town survey, which seemed to say two-thirds did not want police cuts, also showed various percentages supporting new or higher taxes to avoid those cuts.  Some also supported further cuts in tourism, transit and housing.  58% said look for other ways to keep police at a lower cost. Another 58% said use Measure R money to keep Whitmore Pool open. Written comments pointed to Police Chief Dan Watson’s pay, although many don’t have the right numbers.  Watson’s salary is $183,000 with a $50,000 cut to come under the restructuring plan.  Others want to eliminate the Assistant Town Manager, Marianna Marysheva-Martinez and her $200,000 plus contract.

Written comments pointed to Police Chief Dan Watson’s pay, although many don’t have the right numbers.  Watson’s salary is $183,000 with a $50,000 cut to come under the restructuring plan.  Others want to eliminate the Assistant Town Manager, Marianna Marysheva-Martinez.

The restructuring plan includes other cuts too – consolidation of parks and road maintenance, cuts in Community Development, elimination of an IT specialist and a budget manager.

Public comments  ranged from support of new taxes to pay off the MLLA debt to Snowcreek’s Chuck Lande calling for focus on planning to prepare for future growth.  Kirk Stapp and Supervisor Larry Johnston stood up to support Mammoth Lakes Housing’s work and no more cuts. Others spoke against cuts in the police department.  Rich McAteer called for public safety first and no cuts in police.  Sean Turner pointed to the very difficult business environment and the need to examine Measure R and other means to save Whitmore Pool.

Mayor Matthew Lehman said he would stick with cuts to the police department, which he said is “doing a great job.”  He also said it’s up to the police officers to renegotiate their contract for savings.  He said the Town has to be “development ready”.  Lehman said he would consider new taxes if the community brought a petition to the Council.

Councilwoman Jo Bacon stood by police cuts. She supported volunteer programs generally.  Mayor Pro-Tem Rick Wood said he would not support tax increases of any kind.  He said, “Let’s focus on what we can afford.”

Councilman John Eastman called what has been happening “a once in a lifetime, sobering experience.  He also said he does not support any more taxes unless a proposal is brought forward by the public.  He also does not support taking money from already approved tax measures or making cuts in tourism, housing and transit.

More on the situation at Tuesday night’s Town Council meeting at 6pm.

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restructure our Gov.
restructure our Gov.
10 years ago

Yes this is our biggest problem having citizens owning personal businesses running our town. It’s been like this for years The words MOVING FORWARD is a joke. Any time this word is brought up 1 more step on the later breaks falling down. Wood has 2 law firms Mammoth and… Read more »

ferdinand lopez
ferdinand lopez
10 years ago

id pay money to see a town council run by employees,instead of employers,wow

Jen
Jen
10 years ago

How is an employee who’s already working 40+ hours a week going to add an additional 30 hours a week being a council member??

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
10 years ago
Reply to  Jen

Some of them already on the Council do work full-time.
BK

Jen
Jen
10 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Raimondo, Lehman, Wood all do. Not sure about Bacon and Eastman

elsinoreracer
elsinoreracer
10 years ago

I do not agree with our town council members at all. But if you really can’t stand them get out in front of Vons and every other business in town and starting getting signatures for recall elections of each and every one of them. Most of you did this some… Read more »

Chris
Chris
10 years ago

…aaaannnndddd the name of this nightmare movie is “Stupid and Stupider”. Issuing surveys and ignoring results is a typical “management” ploy, used often in government and corporate business. Management acts as if it’s interested in what the peons have to say, but it’s really not. It thinks that if the… Read more »

MJA
MJA
10 years ago

The only cut that mammoth needs to make is the payment to Terry Ballas and his money acquisition corporation.
Cut him out of the budget and leave the police and the rest of the town alone.
It the best Way to go.

=

cl
cl
10 years ago

does anyone on here or Bennett know who you would write a letter of complaint to when you feel like you’re being unjustly treated by the town council? Do you write the county supervisor or who? I feel like this survey fiasco is so wrong and I don’t want to… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
10 years ago
Reply to  cl

If you are a citizen of Mammoth Lakes, call your council members. Their names and phone numbers are on the Town website here – http://www.ci.mammoth-lakes.ca.us/index.aspx?NID=82.
BK

Sean F
Sean F
10 years ago
Reply to  cl

You run for office and take their jobs if you feel they are doing a poor job. But as I understand it the TC members often run unopposed so one might assume either no one wants the job, or no one is upset enough to do something about it like… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
10 years ago
Reply to  Sean F

Before this last Town Council election, there were always lots of candidates – as many or more than a half dozen. Apparently this last time, the situation in Town government
looked too unattractive for most people. Yes, they are paid roughly $300 per month plus medical coverage.
Benett Kessler

Mike J
Mike J
10 years ago
Reply to  cl

What about the grand jury?

LOL
LOL
10 years ago
Reply to  Mike J

The Grand Jury is a joke and a waste of time. Don’t bother.

Mike J
Mike J
10 years ago

I agree with CL. They conduct a survey and have several meetings to invite the public for input, and they continue with their lies and do whatever they want to do regardless. Lies, lies, lies, STILL! Why do they continue to attack the police officers? I’m sure when the police… Read more »

Jen
Jen
10 years ago
Reply to  Mike J

We didn’t have a 29 million dollar judgment before the managers started, either. How else are we going to pay for it? No matter what they cut or how they come up with the money, people are going to be pissed.

President Bush
President Bush
10 years ago
Reply to  Mike J

No kidding! I think the Forest Service takes their cue from these morons as well. Always asking for “public comment,” and attendance to their “meetings” – like it means anything. The entire US population can comment on something….but that wont make a difference.
The decision’s been made.

What a joke!

firsttime
firsttime
10 years ago

I thought the fired the budget manager 6 months ago

Councilman's Qualifications
Councilman's Qualifications
10 years ago

I know this sounds incredibly naive, but it has always dumfounded me that the only qualifications our “esteemed” elected officials are required to have is that received the most votes.

What a sadly screwed up process.

Jen
Jen
10 years ago

It’s no more screwed up than the presidential election process

LOL
LOL
10 years ago

All elections are popularity contests. It is not like the process of hiring someone for a job where only qualified people can apply. Kinda like the only choices you have for president is an inexperienced community organizer and a vulture captalist. Standing by for thumbs down from both left and… Read more »

Charles O. Jones
Charles O. Jones
10 years ago

“He also said it’s up to the police officers to renegotiate their contract for savings.”

Dear Town council:
Please stop negotiating with your employees through the press. At best, this is poor form, and at worst, it’s illegal.

CL
CL
10 years ago

So you did a survey for what reason then town council? Two thirds of the town doesn’t want the cuts per your survey and you’re just going to disregard? I said it before and I’ll say it now, you guys are rotten to the core. Evil

Stopping the American Way
Stopping the American Way
10 years ago
Reply to  CL

Until it is 100% against the law for our elected officials to gain one thin dime on projects, ie., land development, fish hatcheries, airports, airport employment opportunites for relatives, etc., the system you have in place will always be a corrupt one. It’s to the sad point where everything must… Read more »

Devout Liberal
Devout Liberal
10 years ago

Stopping the American Way,

You are so right. Just look at Solyndra. Corruption at it’s finest.

Donations, paybacks, kick-backs, pay-offs ( Sad but true )

President Bush
President Bush
10 years ago

And we’re letting these idiots call the shots? STILL? HAHAHA! Wake up Mammoth Lakes! I say we run them out of town – ALL OF THEM. Well, at least out of office…

john eastman, jo bacon, rusty gregory, matthew lehman, rick wood, michael raimondo…etc etc etc