Town Council hears harsh critics and supporters

Mayor Lehman says MMSA has to sign an air service contract Friday. The Town, he indicated has to commit to its part of the subsidy.

Still wounded by the Town of Mammoth’s bankruptcy declaration  on Monday, citizens both condemned and praised the Town Council Wednesday when they met to consider using $400,000 of utility tax money to subsidize air service.

Mayor Matthew Lehman said the crowd that came to the Fourth of July Council meeting was about 50-50.  “Some were frustrated,” he said, “and some were in favor of using Measure U funds.”  Lehman said the perception that the Council had been “sneaky” in holding a holiday meeting with little notice is incorrect.  Mayor Lehman said, “We received information Tuesday that if we did not go forward with the summer/fall air service subsidy, Alaska Air would pull all its flights out.”

Lehman said it was Mammoth Mountain that “mentioned it.”  He said Councilman Michael Raimondo called Alaska Air to verify this.  “There was a high risk and they were considering pulling flights,” said Lehman.  He said this is why the Council called a special meeting quickly.  The Mayor said Alaska Air gave Mammoth Mountain Ski Area a deadline to sign their ongoing air service contract Friday.

Lehman said he believes “air service is too big and important.  We couldn’t wait.”  In view of the fact that the Town of Mammoth has just filed for bankruptcy protection, would Mammoth Mountain consider paying the Town’s share of the subsidy?  Mayor Lehman said, “We asked if they would.  They were not willing.”  The Mayor said air service is a priority in the Town’s General Plan.

Asked if bankruptcy weren’t a game changer for a lot of things, Lehman said   he doesn’t think the Town and citizens are willing to jeopardize air service.  He said Mammoth “wants to be competitive with other resorts.”

After some citizens voiced opposition to use of Measure U or utility tax revenue and some supported it, Mayor Lehman said the Council decided to respect the Measure U process and see what is possible.  He said that the Council has asked the committees involved with Measure U allocations to examine the process and see if the Town can use utility tax for air service subsidy.  Lehman said the Town will “probably submit an application for Measure U funds.”  Lehman also said that the Town is “trying to have discussions with Howard Pickett and Rusty Gregory at Mammoth Mountain.”


65 Responses to Town Council hears harsh critics and supporters

  1. Ken Warner July 5, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

    Well, Councilman Lehman is a good tap dancer anyway. Look at him spin.

    Is our city government so incompetent that they didn’t know that Alaska Airlines was considering alteration of it’s service agreements? Is our city government so incompetent that they needed Rusty to “mention” the issue?

    Good grief……

    • Dave Hammond July 6, 2012 at 1:29 am #

      I guarantee bigger things are in the works than any locals are aware of. Look, if they wanted to expand the airport, fine, but do your due diligence and have the foresight to know that any airport expansion in a sensitive environment will bring with it, federal regs that are presiding and must be complied with over and above all other regs and contracts. if the Mountain needed the airport to expand to be able to facilitate the new demographics they were trying to target, and the Town depends on the Mountain’s success to also thrive, then they should have made the airport expansion a priority and PLANNED before they bound themselves to a development agreement for a hotel at an airport that wasn’t even big enough to support a hotel yet! you can only develop so much at that airport because of environmental impacts. What studies were they relying on that said any of this was feasible over the long term? Poor planning. I know it is a very hard time, but it’s not going to get better if they don’t catch up to the mess they got themselves into all excited about big money coming to town. GREED is when you over ride conservative business decisions that are sustainable and leverage heavy risk to try to realize high profits without considering the very real consequences of taking that risk.

    • steve July 6, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

      If its costly to operate than its too expensive to exist.

  2. Kathy July 5, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

    I don’t get it. How can the town of Mammoth consider subsidizing anything when they say they are bankrupt? Something isn’t right here. Mammoth should consider dis-incorporating…

    • County was smart July 6, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

      You can see why the County bailed out of the airport thing.

      • Dave Hammond July 6, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

        These financial woes will only serve to bring in more influence of large investment groups and hospitality operators. Mammoth will be begging developers to do business with them, and that means they have less room to negotiate with those developers during the entitlements process. The Owners of Mammoth are very very good at what they do. But SCG is not in the business of resort operation, that’s MMSA’s job.

        SCG is there to realize profit from the real estate and operation they purchased – not to operate the ski area. They are failing to create the market they were targeting and have offended many long time visitors. Loyalty is a key indicator of profitability for any resort operation and they are losing loyalty. If they don’t drop ticket prices at the Mountain and put a sustainable vision together in the planning department at the Town, and keep cutting those gigantic (overpaid) Town paychecks (not the little workers in service, the Town Manager and top dogs) they are in deep trouble. They need to reposition their image. Their marketing isn’t working. There is a reason beyond snow that Mammoth was so much less visited last year than other resorts. They had more snow than most resorts in the US.

        • Roger Rilling July 7, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

          I want to agree with Dave Hammond in his two comments except– in my opinion, the ski area IS NOT very very good at what they do. I believe the root of our problems is extremely poor planning and management. The town followed the example from the ski area and both have lost or never possessed any moral compass. Other resorts this winter had even less snow and were also constrained to a length of season similar to June Mountain– they did quite well. Lack of snow is a weak excuse. It seems to me that both the mountain and the town want to make a big leap ahead with one “strike it rich” move. No one is willing to proceed a step at a time.

          • Dave Hammond July 7, 2012 at 5:40 pm #

            Your right Roger, They are not good at what they do. I should have left that out.

            FEASIBILITY is critical. Show me one Village development that has not struggled to sustain and had to reposition? This is not feasible growth, it was a pipe dream on steroids: so is the current redevelopment plan for Mammoth. The density of mixed use is insane. I think they are better positioned as a middle class resort still: and a SKIERS RESORT, not a real estate investment opportunity.

            But if they want to hit “World Class” quality, then they have a long way to go. Anyone who has skied in Europe would know that Mammoth is nowhere near world class. To be competitive, they would need to connect with Mammoth with June Mountain and or develop the Sherwin’s resort. The only other option would be to cater to the middle class.

            The middle class doesn’t mind the old Travel Lodge. Jet Setters want everything now, shiny and well packaged. The Town is just a baby in the big business and all I want is for these errors to help them stop drinking kool aid and plan sustainably for the economic and social benefit of the community. How about lowering the price of building permits for homeowners. That will bring in jobs and increase spending in the community. The town will make in increased volume of permit sales.

            Big high-density redevelopment projects catering to the high flyers will result in the absence of long time locals. Mammoth will have a town filled with transient workers do not tend to vote for or support policies that are best for long time residents and home owners. Big changes will be coming down the lines. its all in SCG’s hands at this point. The public has no voice anymore and their voice will be further snuffed out by the desperation of needing investment in the Mountain and Town all around. Understand something: Big multinational developers DONT NEED the town to thrive in the long run. That’s not the business they are in. They only need the real estate to turn a profit.

        • enoughalready July 7, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

          Agreed. Loyalty goes a long ways. Not only with the guest , who would return again and again. That loyalty would be passed down thru generations. Loyalty fans out in several direction. Loyalty of the employee to the company to achive the same goals and the loyalty of the company to the employees and the guest. Otherwise its just Rusty at the chopping block. Without loyality you will be fighting a losing battle alone.

    • Bill July 7, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

      The the bankruptcy is the result of a ridiculous judgement in a ridiculous lawsuit. And some would argue that our tourist economy is greatly enhanced by the local airport.

  3. Really Fed up July 5, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

    Lehman claims this 4th of july meeting was not sneaky. The frikin hell it wasn’t. The town knew of this pending issue for almost 2 months according to Urdi. Staff knew this matter was looming and needed to be dealt with. Of Course the mayor is going to say something different.
    Oh and By the way It was not a 50/50 split. There were only 3 people outside staff that agreed to pay the funds. There were more than about 20 or more in opposition.
    KEEP the spin up Mathew and see how far it get you!

    Once again the meeting was not televised , Not streamed, Not officially recorded by the town clerk.

    The website calender said the meeting was cancelled .

    This is one of the most fraudulent things this town has done to date.

    Thank you Benett for the quick notice.

    • Speaks with forked tongue July 6, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

      Lehman’s double-speaks gives all developers a bad name.

  4. kaat July 5, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

    I think the TC is out of touch with how upset its citizens actually are at this point in time. If it is true what the mayor says that the July 4th meeting was an “emergency meeting” it would have been smart to state that to the public upfront – not share that fact as an after thought……the TC needs a PR person for its own citizens at this point – and by the way – that person should NOT be Stu who is already getting paid to be a PR person for the town – if I correctly recall why he was hired in the first place years ago……………

    • Want to Vomit July 5, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

      This was not an emergency item at all, This commitment was known almost 2 months ago. The town did not want to fund the commitment in the budget and Urdi did not want to use TR monies as his budget was also cut. The short fall was known and the budget passed anyway. This is outright fraud.It’s really criminal in my opinion.
      Mammoth mountain actually signs the agreement with Alaska not the town, If the mountain wants winter air service by Alaska it better step up and commit to the whole thing as the Alaska threat includes winter air travel pulling out if the fall air service is not ultimately committed and funded by the town.

      Measure u funds are not intended to be used by a airport subsidy of this kind. That’s the law. It does not matter if there is an emergency either.

      What was attempted was not only improper and unethical it was probably illegal also under our town codes.

      FACE THE TRUTH KATT, Just cuz you work for the Chamber does not mean you should support an potential illegal maneuver.

      Don’t get me wrong about air travel. I like it. The town needs to keep everything they do absolutely legal and legitimate. This town does not have a good track record. MLLA is not the only trial the town has lost. The town has lost Re-development trial that made it all the way to the supreme court. This loss created landmark decision that hindered redevelopment for the entire state.

      Do your homework before you spout off please.

      • Want to Vomit July 6, 2012 at 9:39 am #

        After re-reading my post, I think I got bit harsh on you in my other post.

    • upthecreek July 6, 2012 at 11:20 am #

      The TOML has been out of control for 10 years . why stop now..

      Gov Gone Wild

      Just recall them all and be done with it.


  5. leatherbag July 5, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    Possible Town Counsel Mottos:

    Our insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but we’re expecting different results this time.

    We’re robbing Peter to pay Paul… but we’re doing it legally.

    I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a steak and lobster today.

    Hey Buddy, can you spare a 43 million?

    Be thankful you’re not getting all the government that you’re paying the TOML’s for.

    Our buying on credit is much like being drunk. The buzz happens immediately and gives us a lift… The hangover that is suffered by the citizens comes later.

  6. Roger July 5, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

    I can only strongly restate— Don’t You Dare to throw good money after BAD.

  7. enoughalready July 5, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    Again and again. These are your elected officals. How much more are you willing to take. Protest and protest loud. Have an emergency election. Run these kooks and Rusty out of town. Your future is really not looking too good.

    • upthecreek July 6, 2012 at 11:28 am #


      I see that 4 of the town council members voted your comment thumbs down


  8. Want to Vomit July 5, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

    Anyone look at the mobility check-list.
    You should……

    See the glossary page 10 ——

    Mobility: Refers to projects that facilitate moving around within the Town, i.e. a trolley,
    pedestrian, bicycles or other modes of transportation.

    • John Starts July 6, 2012 at 9:59 am #

      Yep, pretty clear….

      The Steering Committee reaffirmed the intent of Measure U that includes expenditures to enhance Mobility, Recreation and Arts & Culture.   

      Noun: .
      1. The quality or state of being mobile.
      2. The movement of people,

      • Want to Vomit July 6, 2012 at 10:30 am #

        Nice try,
        Once again If you read the measure U check list you will see a glossery of terms.
        It clearly states Mobility within town.
        :See the glossary page 10 ——

        Mobility: Refers to projects that facilitate moving around within the Town, i.e. a trolley,
        pedestrian, bicycles or other modes of transportation.

        So what if there is language in the General plan speaking to Air travel. So What!
        The approved Measure U funds are not supposed to be used for this. Change the Measure u rules properly and then do so. Anything short of that would be unlawful.

  9. Under the cloak of darkness... July 5, 2012 at 11:32 pm #

    I can’t believe that the town council did not address this subsidy issue until the day after Mammoth Lakes declares bankruptcy. Even if the interested parties learned about the revised action by Alaska Airlines late Tuesday afternoon, this shouldn’t be a surprise for the town officials. Airport subsidy in the fall is not a new topic. Something sneaky and underhanded was about to occur. A less than above aboard decision would be made under the cloak of darkness even though it was 2 in the afternoon on 4th of July. We are left to feel that something wrong was happening for other reasons. Why was the town clerk not present taking minutes? Why was there no draft resolution document attached to the agenda item? Why is there no video of the meeting? Why is the July 4th meeting now missing from the website? Why is the agenda bill now listed for a town meeting on 7/11/2012 on the website? Why didn’t the town council address this airport subsidy weeks and months ago?

    As Matthew Lehmann is quoted, “…air service is a priority in the Town’s General Plan”. If it is such a high priority and it is in the general plan, why was the pending decision a surprise and so urgent? Wasn’t this a re-occurring expense for the past 1-3 years? Why didn’t town council or staff notice this gap in funding before petitioning for bankruptcy?

    John Urdi stated at the meeting that during the budget cycle this year that he only had 150,000 in his budget for the airport subsidy. And, that there would be shortage that the town would need to cover. He indicated this short fall was known for almost two months. So, this need to find money is not new information.

    This feels a lot like the move to drain the Arts Council account and give it to the Gateway project several months ago. Not 10,000 or 50,000 but approximately 250,000 dollars against the wishes of the Arts Commission and many folks in town. This was an outrageous move by the town council then and it seems that they are up to their same old tricks now.

    There is much more to this story. This was an attempt to “take the Measure U money” without due process. Basically, drain the 2011 funds. And then, go after the 2012 monies as well. By the by, a loan does not make the actions of Town Council any more legitimate.

    Finally, Matthew indicated that the crowd that did show (about 30 people) were split 50/50. That is so far from the truth it is not funny. Most if not all the people were against taking Measure U funds. The majority of the audience who spoke (80-90 %) indicated town council needed to the follow the process. I would say half of the folks who spoke said flat out Measure U was not meant for the airport subsidy.

    I am for maintaining air service. I like Alaska Air. The town staff and town council need to figure out a legitimate set of funds to pay for the shortfall. Taking Measure U money is not the answer.

  10. Paco July 6, 2012 at 7:35 am #

    A perfect example of American Capitalism at work. “Subsidize my business!”
    Socialism for the rich, you’re-on-your-own capitalism for everyone else.

    • Tea Party July 6, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

      Don’t rile the Tea Party, Paco.

      • Tea Party July 7, 2012 at 5:58 am #

        Uh – oh!
        4 “thumbs down” from Tea Party people on this format. Not surprised.
        Are these angst-ridden souls everywhere today?
        Fortunately, looking at the average age of them (60’s and older) I think these people who foam at the mouth all day are going away leaving our youth (who view them as … ahem … nut bags, and are not interested in that sort of polarization today.

        Working to understand and resolve philosophical differences is the answer. Not folding one’s arms, sticking fingers in ears, and shouting maniacally – “RIGHT IS RIGHT”

        • Stephen-ie July 8, 2012 at 9:47 am #

          Our problem is they had a magic visa credit card and will never be able to pay it back.. Mammoth Lake, Stockon, Los Angeles, California all had to say yes to more spending. Then California and gov brown saying yes to a monorail plan, pressured by Obama. Then Obama Care. I can not trust the people running government. Were raising taxes, then on top of this fewers jobs. Its a blank check, If November gov Brown taxes fail, how do they pay for a monorail sys. Mammoth Lake’s is being hopefull Gov. Browns tax bill get’s passed. Higher taxes, fewers job. I do agree with all of you. Sorry if I jump the gun. I am a conservative, saying the left’s loves spending, like they do in Mammoth lakes.. Lets think what we can spend, when there isn’t any rev. in the checking account. This bankruptcy was caused by a failed u.s. congress still wanting to spend N–spend. and still no energy plan, since the gulf had violent bad weather, oil encident, and lawsuit. And since one country is in war, and since EPA slaping oil refineries basically cut back on producing a oil product. If anyone is to blame for this it is president barrack Obama and the powerful smoggy EPA fining oil companies, and with high energy prices. A lack of those traveling to Mammoth Lakes, June Lake, Lake Shasta, and Lake Tohoe.. They had a budget back when president George W. Bush was president, and under president Barrack Obama. No.. the operating cost at Mammoth Lake’s has increased. KERN COUNTY may be on a edge to bank ruptcy, not so. bakersfield saw it coming and did there cutbacks. The city may consider being just part-time instead. Then avoiding that dark sky, to pay to idiots at San Juan.air quality people.. valley to bakersfield, fresno valley to smog.

          • Benett Kessler July 8, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

            You might want to consider this article:



          • Ken Warner July 8, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

            Now, now Benett, you know how facts upset Tea Baggers. They need simple reasons and singular targets upon which to vent their self constructed rage.

            Don’t confuse him with the (still in effect) Bush tax cuts or the obstructionist Congress where one party has expressly said that they will take the economy hostage to defeat Obama. Those harsh facts are very unsettling.

            Just nod and say, yes, yes…..

  11. sierragrl July 6, 2012 at 8:20 am #

    We elect average joe’s (that’s what most of us are anyway) and then expect them to be these incredible experts and navigate difficult waters with ease….how silly…Lehman is a pretty boy patsy of the realtors and businessmen…give the man a break…he is doing exactly what the people who elected him want him to do..try to bring more business into mammoth. The air subsidy is important people. If there is a way to pay the Town’s share, they should do it. It’s one of the few things we have going on that can increase our tourism base and revenue in the Town, not just at the Mountain. The Mountain certainly needs to be paying their share too. We need to give this a few more years. If we still need to pay high subsidies in 3 years, then we may want to reconsider…it should be a short term boost towards self-sustainability.

    The reality is you create a town for its residents….a place that the residents love to live and recreate in…and guess what, that is what brings the tourists…they don’t want to go to a tourist place..they want to go to a cool place that’s fun to recreate in…I don’t think mammoth will ever figure that out.

    • Ken Warner July 6, 2012 at 9:37 am #

      I like your last paragraph. But the air subsidy is not important by any objective measure.

      Look at the town budgets and you will see that the greatest TOT and sales tax revenue were collected before 2007. They’ve been in decline ever since even with spectacular snow years. Air service started in 2009.

      If air service and the airport subsidy is so important, why have TOT and sales tax revenues declined since it started?

      And I repeat — a $1 surcharge on lift tickets would pay for the entire subsidy. Let business pay to increase business, not the people who work hard each day for those businesses.

      • Trouble July 6, 2012 at 11:48 pm #

        Ken- I agree with you to a extent, but i’m not sure anything should be done to help Mammoth Mountain right now. They sure don’t have any loyalty toward the locals.

    • kaat July 6, 2012 at 11:08 pm #

      I love this – it’s so true – well said!

      “The reality is you create a town for its residents….a place that the residents love to live and recreate in…and guess what, that is what brings the tourists…they don’t want to go to a tourist place..they want to go to a cool place that’s fun to recreate in…I don’t think mammoth will ever figure that out.”

    • Big AL July 8, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

      Why should the town or county or the tax payers pay to subsidize the air carriers who will not fly into the area if they can not profit from it? Why pay them to guarantee their profit, so they can fly people up here, in these smaller planes, that do not bring very many passengers on any given flight.
      Not saying the flights are not booked .. they are, but the capacity is not very large. and how many flights a day come in? It’s not like it is Vegas or Tahoe/Reno, where jets bring far more people in, with far more flights per day. If the weather’s too bad, they don’t arrive.

      • Let the mountain pay for air July 9, 2012 at 5:20 am #

        It appears that Mammoth Mountain believes it can compete with Vail, Aspen, Park City … and that everything is being done to get people to fly into town. The fact is those that come here have been driving from L.A. for years and will continue to do so. Most of us don’t want to pay for the expenditures of the Mountain.
        The town better focus on other ways to attract people here to spend their money.

  12. Jake July 6, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    The new major is a big fat lair…. BIG LIES PAL

  13. Here we go again July 6, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    While we all know about the hard times during the Great Depression but people forget that millionaires were also being made by the sackful in those days on the backs of the destitute.
    It’s all about purchasing power.
    The rich truly get even richer during tough economic times. They have all the available money.

  14. leatherbag July 6, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

    Well, well, well. It appears that, “Speaks with forked tongue,” “Tea Party,” and, “County was smart,” all have the same Gravatar address. How coincidental!

    I don’t mind the anonymity, but PaaaaLEASE(!), don’t try to create a facade of being different people.

    Zero credibility.

    • Big AL July 8, 2012 at 9:44 pm #


    • Hypocrisy Unlimited July 9, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

      And is “leatherbag” your non-anonymous name, leatherbag?

      Can you say … hypocrite?

      (chuckles – then boisterous laughter)

    • Question? July 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm #


      And does the name “leatherbag” qualify as an non-anonymous name that is not a
      “facade” and entirely “credible” in your opinion?
      Thanks in advance.

  15. It's About Time July 8, 2012 at 7:39 am #

    After the Independence Day performance of the Town Council’s version of the gong show, led by yet another amateur politician of dubious talent in the role of rotating Mayor, isn’t it about time for the Mono County Grand Jury to look into this mess?

    The Grand Jury needs to drag in the Town Council members, along with their two grossly over-paid gofers, Wilbrecht and Martinez, one at a time and under penalty of perjury, to try to find out what’s really going on.

    And while they’re at it, Gregory and Pickett need to be added to this cast of amateurs whose only collective achievement has been to literally bankrupt this community.

    According to the Superior Court’s website, a new Grand Jury is to be installed this month. Let’s hope that an investigation into the Town Council is its first order of business and that its membership isn’t loaded with shills.

    • Really Fed up July 8, 2012 at 9:24 am #

      Ya know what maybe that is what it will take.
      unfortunately the Grand jury is made up of folks from the area. Maybe this panel with be mostly from North County.

  16. Sean F July 8, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    If the flights are a net gain for the town and local businesses then they need to continue. Without more hard data we can’t say what is the case really is.

    From my trips to the airport it appears we have too many near empty flights. Smarter scheduling to reduce oversupply seems like a good idea. It may reduce the subsidy costs.

    We also need the hard data on the cost vs gain of the subsidy. For example does a $50 subsidy per filled seat earn the city $60 in tax revenue and $$$ for local businesses which in turn make more money? And those businesses need more local support services and employees? Is a positive income feedback loop occurring?

    If the answer is YES then use the U money to help the city.

    For all those talking sooo much smack about the town council why don’t you run for a seat? Seriously. If you really think you are smarter and can do a better job than the current group then step up to the plate.

    Leaders need the ability to be flexible and use all the tools available to them to get the job done. Their job is to safeguard and try to grow the quality of life in Mammoth. At times they will need to be creative, act fast, and do potentially unpopular things in the pursuit of these goals. Cut them some slack.

    And if you think you can do a better job then run for a seat.

    I say use the measure U funds if the data clearly shows there is a net gain to the town and local business.

    If the data shows there is not a net gain then don’t continue the subsidy.


    • Ken Warner July 9, 2012 at 4:39 am #

      You’ve illuminated the crux of the issue.


      • Econ 101 July 9, 2012 at 9:57 am #

        There MUST be data Ken. They just aren’t sharing it with the public as they should.
        I sense if people knew how many non-full flights were landing in Mammoth that would be the end of that game. I’m starting to wonder why it is that the airline has that much power over the town to make such demands? And who is really to gain from the insistence of flight service to Mammoth. People will always drive up from L.A. to recreate. Just what is going on here?

        • Ken Warner July 9, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

          All anyone can possibly know is how many people get off each plane and how many people get on each plane.

          Where they go after they land here or how much they spend is not surveyed in any sense or form. And estimates of how much each person spends or assertions that anyone who lands at MMH would not be in Mammoth if it wasn’t for air service are complete conjecture.

        • Roger Rilling July 9, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

          Econ 101— I would agree there probably is data available. However, in addition to half filled flights, I would be interested to know what percentage of those passengers were flying for personal convenience and what percentage were new customers (or return customers from Europe for instance). I DO NOT wish to subsidize town council members and other local residents who want to fly because it is convenient.

          • Big AL July 9, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

            Roger .. why subsidize someone else profit (Airlines)? If we’re going to have an airport, and air service in Mammoth, then it should be just that air service, not MMSA’s or TOML’s personal air taxi.

            Whether it be flights bringing skiers or transporting locals to and from destinations is irrelevant. It is air service, and if the air carriers can not do it to provide service and not make a profit, or really, the big fat profit they want, then that is their problem not the tax payers!

          • Econ 101 July 10, 2012 at 5:04 am #

            The point is, The Mountain wants The People to pay for the empty seats on incoming flights in winter (where the bulk of passengers is). And going against how the The People voted, those in power are now going after Measure U to keep The Mountain up and running and solvent. Move the airport part of The Mountain’s business to Bishop.
            I’m sure the Bishop people will love the economic boon the Mountain will give them (sarcasm).

          • Benett Kessler July 10, 2012 at 11:41 am #

            MMSA pays for the air service subsidy in the winter – $3.5 million. We will have a story quoting Rusty Gregory
            on this issue. Stay tuned.
            Benett Kessler

        • Big AL July 9, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

          Good questions Econ.

    • Jake July 10, 2012 at 11:56 am #

      I already cut them 45 mill in slack pal… 15 years of them NOT listening to any input is enough for me. Carry on in your blind belief in these clowns!

  17. Observer July 8, 2012 at 11:48 am #

    Contracts entered into by the TOML before July 3rd may never get paid. Perhaps Alaska Airlines, MMSA and TOML all understood that this needed to wait until July 4th to be addressed, so that Alaska Air can know the contract is worth the price of the paper it’s printed on (assuming there is a forthcoming contract), and MMSA can know that TOML can’t get out of a commitment through bankruptcy. Just a thought…

    • Really Fed up July 8, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

      This is Chapter 9 bankruptcy I don’t know that the date matters.

      • Observer July 9, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

        Not the date per se, but whether the contract was entered into by the TOML before or after filing. Pre-filing obligations may not be paid in full, but post filing contracts cannot be reduced.

  18. Scholl Bowl July 8, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    Even though I agree with you that this matter should be looked into by the Grand jury, I think the first order of business the Grand Jury should look into is the corruption of the administration of the Mono County Sheriff’s department and the CAO Jim Arkens!

  19. enoughalready July 8, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

    Question for— Dave Hammond.

    I understand that Big Multinational Development could care less about a town thriving. Its seems that they really should? Where does the real estate game pay off? I would invest in the town that is thriving and expanding. One that has a solid, obtainable vision and goals, a motivated population that will help it grow and a capable local goverment. (Interwest tried to motivate the locals with their inturpretive center and fleecing speeches. The town got in the way and the national economy tanked).
    There are some great real estate deals at the Salton Sea along with some people who still hold on to the dream. Real Estate is not just about the dirt but the disired location and the future of that location. Is what is happening now just the short sighted-ness of greed and the quick turn around of the dollar for the developers?

  20. Still wary July 8, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

    I have, what I consider, a valid question…..I am wary of asking because Benett used my email address name to answer me, or rather admonish me for spelling her name wrong, and that WAS NOT GOOD!….I still have to live and work here…

    • Benett Kessler July 8, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

      I don’t know what you’re talking about, and what is your question?
      Benett ( I have no recall of admonishing anyone for spelling my name wrong.
      Many people do, and it’s not a big deal.)

  21. The People July 9, 2012 at 5:02 am #

    The People are angry.
    Angry at everything and everybody … including the media.
    The angriest of The People are the Tea Partiers who refer to the media as: “The Drive-by Media” (as in a drive-by gang shooting). These people are the absolute best at childish trash-talking.
    This term is taken from the angry mouth of their conservative guru Rush Limbaugh.
    They offer nothing in the form of working together to solve problems or find solutions… but focus instead on dividing the country with their “winners” and “losers” philosophy of life.

  22. Trouble July 9, 2012 at 5:42 am #

    I only spell Benetts name wrong when I don’t like her answers.

    • Big AL July 9, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

      LOL Trouble I never spell it wrong for that lol .. but like I say .. when someone wants to write me up for something or accuse me of something .. the only thing I tell them is … just make sure you spell the name right.

  23. Trouble July 10, 2012 at 5:16 am #

    That’s my check mark up there Al 🙂


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