Throughout the past year of closed sessions, confidential agreements and then a turn to bankruptcy in Mammoth Lakes, citizens have said very little in public meetings about their feelings over the negative turn of events. Today, we have two comments. One, posted on our website, and the other sent to the Town of Mammoth Lakes. Both comments support no settlement and proceeding through bankruptcy.
First, the web comment, which was signed by Mammoth Business Council members and addressed to the Town Council and Town Managers. It says, “After Council’s quiet request for input from the public about the settlement made in closed session that no details were available to question, we wrote and delivered this letter that was censored by management and never delivered to council and staff.”
The letter is posted on our website’s Town Council story dated September 17. The comment says the letter writers are home owners and business owners representing the “silent majority” seldom listened to. The names given appear to be pseudonyms. The writers of the letter say they believe bankruptcy is designed for a fresh start for an honest debtor and that settlement now brands Mammoth as dishonest.
They ask for the court system to take care of the matters. The comment says, “You have spent millions of dollars chasing this truth. If you change horse mid-stream you have lied to us. If the system fails, we take our punishment and pay our debt.” They also accuse officials of “ridiculous actions” that have plummeted property and business values of the community.
In another letter to Councilman Michael Raimondo, Peter Dach asks for a statement to be read to the Council. He says he is a multiple property owner in Mammoth Lakes. Mr. Dach points the finger at the Town Council for taking Mammoth down a path of “great difficulty these past many years.” He says that “Unless this settlement that the Council says it has reached is profoundly and powerfully a huge benefit to the town, while still being acceptable to the lien holder, we should not be entering into any agreement at all at this early time.”
Mr. Dach says millions already spent would go for nothing. He writes that unless the settlement is in the low single digit millions with a clear cut payback plan, “this will be a bad, bad deal.” He writes that while Mammoth lost in court, the greatest crime against the town’s people would be failure to “disclose the entire nature and cost of this settlement and where and how they plan on getting the money to pay for it.” He said people have a right to know now what kind of deal is planned.
Officials have indicated that details must remain confidential for now. Managers and councilmembers have given the impression that nothing will go public until the opposing parties reach complete and final agreement.