When Inyo and Mono voters head to the polls Tuesday, they will elect County Supervisors and in Mono – also, a Sheriff and an Assessor. For the Town of Mammoth Lakes – three new Town Council representatives.
The Mono Sheriff’s race sees appointed Sheriff Ralph Obenberger up against former LAPD Lieutenant Ingrid Braun, who is currently a Reserve Officer for Mammoth Police. She has stated publicly that her opponent has failed to connect with the community and has failed to uphold Constitutional rights of suspects. She would establish a Citizens Advisory Committee. Obenberger has said his department is close to the communities and the people. He has not publicly commented on the testimony and judge’s remarks on his behavior in the Deputy Jon Madrid termination case. An arbitrator and judge found that the Sheriff’s administration, including Obenberger, harassed Madrid and fired him for no good reason.
Mono Assessor Bob Musil faces a challenge from Barry Beck, who has worked in the Assessor’s Office for 11 years. Beck has stated publicly that he wants to create a smaller, more efficient department and “quit spending thousands on outside experts.” Assessor Musil was appointed last September. He says he has brought stability to an office that has had six department heads in nine years. Musil has worked as Assistant Assessor since 2006.
In Mono Supervisor District 5, three candidates are trying for Supervisor Byng Hunt’s seat. Hunt will wrap up his years of service on the Board. Up for this seat are Greg Eckert of Mammoth, who said he would give Mono County a larger role in marketing and tourism. District 5 Candidate Kirk Stapp said he would try to change the “attitude gap between North and South County. He said, “We can’t collaborate with this blockage.” District 5 Candidate Stacy Corless said she would change risk management. She said she’s concerned about all of the lawsuits against the County. She said, “We need a culture of safety and well-being.” She also said, “We need to step back and use good judgment about what’s right and wrong.”
Mono Supervisor District 1 Candidate Bill Sauser said he would “look outside the box” and partner and communicate with other agencies. District 1 Supervisor Larry Johnston said he wants to change the County into a “more collaborative, innovative government.” He said maybe the Town and County could create a joint Human Resources Department.
And, in the Town of Mammoth, eight candidates are vying for three seats on the Council – those currently held by Mayor Rick Wood, Councilman John Eastman and Councilman Matthew Lehman. The candidates are Elena Blomgren, Colin Fernie, Cleland Hoff, Kenneth Murray, Deb Pierrel, Shields Richardson, Karen Sibert, and John Wentworth.
In Inyo County, there is just one race – for Supervisor of District 1. Long-time Supervisor Linda Arcularius will end her career, and three new candidates will try for her spot. Dave Tanksley owns a construction company in Bishop and has worked on public committees. At a Candidates’ Forum he said he would focus on cost-cutting to deal with budget problems. He would also focus on optimizing the Eastern Sierra Regional Airport.
Candidate Dan Totheroh owns a company that operates community water districts. He has served on the Starlight CSD for 17 years and has volunteered in other arenas. He also had a 30-year engineering career with the Forest Service. His stated priorities were for creating more sustainable communities, utilizing the potential of the Digital 395 high-speed network to promote business and for protecting services for the elderly and youth.
Candidate Bill Stoll said he has volunteered for 8 years on the Planning Commission and voted no on the first solar development plan. He joked that he is “getting old and construction is killin’ me.” He said his top priority is tourism where he feels not enough is being done. He also pointed to work on the budget and the need for a positive working environment for County employees.
We will have election results for you on our website election night and the next day on radio and TV.