Two more candidates have thrown their hats in the ring for the upcoming Mammoth Lakes Town Council election. Local businessmen, Colin Fernie and Shields Richardson, made a unified statement by not only pulling papers together, but by carpooling to the Town Office to do so. “We’re going green,” joked Richardson, who “finally” decided to run after he found out that Colin Fernie would be running for office as well. When asked why they decided to pull papers at the same time, Fernie quipped that, “you’ve got to support the troops you’re in battle with.”
“After a lot of soul searching I realized that it was time to step up,” said Colin Fernie, who, at thirty years old, looks more like a Boy Scout than a politician. However, Fernie is no stranger to public service, as an active member of the community and a member of the Town’s Planning Commission. Fernie, who also co-owns Black Tie Skis in Mammoth Lakes, believes that, “this is an important election and a pivotal time for Mammoth.” Taking up those same sentiments is Richardson. Shields Richardson moved to Mammoth in 1999 and, along with his wife Kathy, is the owner of Side Door Café and Mammoth Village Properties. Both candidates agree that, “the Town of Mammoth Lake’s business model is broken.” They state that their goal is to make Mammoth a more sustainable community and not so dependent on snowfall. They also expressed their support for the Mammoth Lakes Recreation organization, emphasizing the need for a focus on recreation. As a matter of fact, when asked if they disagreed on anything politically, Shields responded by saying, “that they have yet to find anything.” To which Fernie replied, “But I’m sure we will.”
These candidates signify the joining of forces between two different political groups in Mammoth Lakes. Richardson is a founding member of the Mammoth Leadership Forum while Fernie is heavily involved with Mammoth Forward. The Leadership Forum supports and assists campaigning candidates and strives to, “identify and exchange ideas, concerns and needs in our community while supporting our elected and appointed officials with developed issues and solutions.”
Mammoth Forward on the other hand doesn’t come out in support of candidates. Instead, it is their hope that the candidates will support their platform, which focuses on government restructuring, economic diversification, and cultural amenities. John Wentworth, who pulled papers last week, is another active member of Mammoth Forward. When speaking to a spokesman for the group it was emphasized that “they are trying to frame the discussion and look at other possible ways of doing things in Mammoth Lakes.” Mammoth Forward was started in September by Kevin Green, David Page, Joyce Turner, and David Levy as a response to “all the negativity and hopelessness,” concerning Mammoth Lakes. The group meets bi-weekly and last week’s meeting had three Town Council candidates (Wentworth, Pierrel, and Blomgren) in attendance. For more information on Mammoth Forward go to www.mammothforward.org.