Letter from Harry White of Mammoth Lakes

Politics, Police and the Budget

Can anyone understand much less explain what is happening in Mammoth Lakes re the Town councils attack on the Mammoth Lakes Police Departments leadership, the budget crisis and paying a head hunter to find an “interim police chief” for six months?

The citizens of Mammoth Lakes that I have spoken to respect and support the current chief, his lieutenant and the entire leadership of the police department. Why then is the town council encouraging their retirement?

Why do council members and some council candidates continually bring up a Grand Jury investigation that found no wrongdoing; no inappropriate action; allegations unsubstantiated; (read the report at http://monocourt.org/pdfs/gj_final_report_08-09.pdf)? Supposedly these encouraged retirements is/was being done to reduce expensive positions and help the fiscal problems the city budget is facing. How is paying a headhunter saving money? Do you think that the “interim chief” is going to work for less then the current chief? Do you think the six month “interim chief” will care about Mammoth Lakes? What happens after six months, hire another head hunter to find a new chief? Does the council even know what it is looking for?

Many of the new town council candidates are singing the same tune as the incumbents. Most are spouting untruths about the size of the police department saying it is keyed to a population of 35,000. Do not believe that! Most shifts at the police department are covered by two officers and a sergeant, a total of three officers working a town of approximately 7,000 residents. That number is a minimum and barely enough to protect the local residents.

What do these officers do? They work traffic control (speeders, drunk drivers, accidents, etc), animal control (a bear on your deck or breaking into your house, garage, or car), a bar fight, domestic violence, lost child, stolen property, taking a law breaker to Bridgeport for booking (2.5 hour minimum away from Mammoth and protecting us), going to court, working at the school protecting our children from drugs, bullying and predators, and trying to keep Mammoth safe for its citizens.

Do you seriously believe this is overstaffing? What response time do you expect minutes or hours when you call to report someone breaking into your home or car or are faced with a 300 pound bear? Providing public safety is not cheap but it is worth every dollar it costs. Speak out in favor of the brave men and women who are protecting you 24/7.

The Town of Mammoth Lakes needs to elect a council that will fix what is broken and leave alone what is functioning properly. We all have the opportunity to vote for three council representatives on 8 June. Ask the candidates what their priorities are and tell the candidates what is important to you.

Support your local police department because public safety is important to all of us.

Harry R White

Mammoth Lakes

CA 93546

 
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