Should the Town of Mammoth Lakes unincorporate?
First, we want to pass on a tidbit of information that we learned a few years back while on the peer resort tour for the TOML. One evening in Whistler, having a cocktail with a former councilman and first town attorney, he revealed to us that the town would actually be better off if unincorporated! We asked why, of course. His answer was in part what we learned about how Whistler is governed. It is a special assessment district within the province. If the TOML were unincorporated it could be a special assessment area for Tourism & Recreation in the State of California. If the TOML had taken this path, the unincorporated TOML would keep much more of its own property taxes in town. This is big, because as it is now, the majority of property tax dollars go to the county and are spent outside of Mammoth Lakes. By state law, the county would be required to put more tax dollars back into the unincorporated Mammoth Lakes area. State spending on the unincorporated ML area would be another benefit; as well as no more spending on a redundant police force, excessive town staff, or town vehicles. The town could remain the same but without all the extra drama and expenses.
So we believe that the answer is a resounding YES! Town Council should form a committee to oversee a non-partisan consultant (NOT TOWN STAFF) to review the issues and options and present possible next steps and solutions. i.e. Bankruptcy and how it could affect the 42 million dollar lawsuit.
Our hope is that the underground rumblings by the citizens of Mammoth Lakes will become a loud outcry of voices, that the strong feelings and sentiments and opinions will be stated out loud, in public and not in whispers or behind closed doors. The solutions for the future of Mammoth Lakes should come from the citizens of Mammoth Lakes, not just a handful of politicians and staff members. The more informed, the better. So get out there and listen, learn and make yourselves heard!
Ruth and Warren. Harrell
Mammoth Lakes Homeowners and Voters