The theme of the June fourth Town Council meeting was an ode to Councilman Kirk Stapp. Councilmember John Eastman led the charge by thanking Stapp for 22 years of service. Following Eastman, every council person as well as most of the public that spoke, thanked Stapp for his hard work over the years. The meeting was Stapps last, and he sat at the dais looking humble and somewhat tired. Stapp lost in the election to Jo Bacon, who will be sworn in on June 18. The proposed budget and capital improvements program for 2008-09 was rolled over to the Town Council meeting on that day so that the new Council would be able to have the discussion.
The Destination Resort Steering Committee presented their ideas for Mammoths economic future and the need for a Sustainable Community Business Plan. With the Town of Mammoth Lakes at a turning point in its future right now, the importance of a sustainable economy is considered critical to the towns survival. The Committee has been working since February and came up with the idea that a business plan is what the town needs to weather any economic storm. The plan would focus on key high level initiatives, such as tourism, air service and feet first mobility and would speak through organizations like lodging, real estate and restaurants.
The Committees next step is to hold a sustainable economic roundtable to build additional community knowledge. The roundtable will be held on Saturday, June 21, from 8:30 a.m.-noon in Suite Z. Speakers include Steve Frisch, Executive Director of the Sierra Business Council and Eric Wasserman, Mammoths Chamber of Commerce President.
Committee member, Mark Carney, claimed this group is starting to roll up our sleeves to fix the problems we all know we have. The Committee hopes to complete the business plan by December of this year.
Fire Chief Brent Harper gave an update on the fuels reduction program Mammoth Lakes Fire Department has been working on in partnership with other agencies such as the Forest Service, BLM and Mono County. This year Harper expects $300,000 to go into the program. Areas that will be focused on are the Old Mammoth area, finishing up the Mammoth Creek project that was started last year, as well as some thinning at the Bell-Shaped Parcel. Harper recognized the politics surrounding the parcel, and made sure to point out that the work done there would be minimal. The fire department will also begin to prepare this year for two projects that are on the books for next year: the Ski Back Trail and the Mammoth Knolls area will both need major fuels reduction.
Council unanimously approved the neighborhood district framework for Shady Rest/Hidden Creek Crossing, and also approved district planning guidelines for public outreach and information that stated that the bulk of information for a meeting regarding district planning should be available to the public two weeks prior to the meeting. This does not include small miscellaneous pieces of information that are added that the last minute.
The application period for the four available seats on Planning Commission is still open. Council interviews will be held on June 17. Check the Towns website for more information.