Mammoth Town Council: loan, assessments and appointments

After Measure U Committee concerns and lots of public comment, the Council voted unanimously for a loan from Measure U.The Mammoth Town Council already unanimously approved of taking out a loan from Measure U, utility users’ tax, funds to pay for a summer and fall air service subsidy, but Wednesday night they will officially consider a resolution that spells out the loan.

In the face of some controversy and opposition from the citizens’ Measure U  Committee, the Town Council favors what they view as forestalling a major risk to air service to Mammoth Lakes.  According to Mammoth Mountain CEO Rusty Gregory, Alaska Airlines officials said they would cancel all service to Mammoth if there were no summer/ fall air service guarantee.  Gregory said Mammoth Mountain had to scale back its share of the subsidy due to demands from banks that hold major loans on the Mountain.

The resolution on the $325,000 loan is item 20 on Wednesday night’s agenda. The Town says the general fund will repay the loan either next fiscal year or the fiscal year after that.  In addition to Mammoth’s funds, Mammoth Mountain will pay $300,000 and Mammoth Lakes Tourism, $150,000.

Wednesday night’s meeting will start at 3:30 to interview Recreation Commission applicants – Elizabeth Truax, Bill Sauser, Donald Soucy, Teri Stehlik and Sean Turner.  The regular meeting starts at 6pm. The Council will initially go into closed session for litigation discussions and labor negotiation talks.

After that, a five-year service award will go to Police Officer Art Torres.  Then, the Council will consider resolutions that set the annual levy of assessments in the areas of Old Mammoth Road, North Village, Juniper Ridge and The Bluffs.

After consideration of the air service subsidy loan, the Council will either consider or actually appoint people to the Mammoth Lakes Trails and Public Access Board, the Recreation Commission, and Airport Commission.  They will schedule interviews for Planning Commission applicants, reduce the Mobility Commission to three members and appoint applicants.


55 Responses to Mammoth Town Council: loan, assessments and appointments

  1. Tourbillon July 16, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    Only MLPD cop I’ve met in person is Torres, and he’s a decent guy. Glad MLPD is hanging on to him.

    Commercial air is a great thing so long as the market supports it without requiring public props. There is way too much crony capitalism oozing out of D.C. along with a lot of other muck, but that is no reason for the entire economy to succumb to policies that have never worked anywhere except in the fevered imaginations of certain Masters of the Universe.

    Apart from that, the optics of this stink. The bankruptcy trustee is going to mull over the fact that MMSA’s banks are refusing to permit the Mountain to subsidize further. The trustee will then wonder why a town in Chapter 9 forges ahead anyway with a subsidy that private investors with skin in the game are backing away from.

  2. MJA July 16, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    “According to Mammoth Mountain CEO Rusty Gregory, Alaska Airlines officials said they would cancel all service to Mammoth if there were no summer/ fall air service guarantee.”

    Has the town contacted Alaska Airlines to verify any of this, has anyone?


    • Benett Kessler July 16, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

      We were told that Councilman Michael Raimondo did call Alaska Airlines and
      did verify the ultimatum.

    • Trouble July 17, 2012 at 6:28 am #

      “According to Rusty ” should be the name of a movie about corporate greed in the eastern sierra’s.

    • Follow the money! July 17, 2012 at 7:52 am #

      We were also told of a 3.5 million dollar winter air service subsidy payment by MMSA. That should be easier to verify than any phone call ultimatum. Sure would be nice to verify this payment before the next town council meeting.

  3. Trust But Verify July 17, 2012 at 4:46 am #

    “Gregory said Mammoth Mountain had to scale back its share of the subsidy due to demands from banks that hold major loans on the Mountain.”


    • Trouble July 17, 2012 at 10:37 am #

      Trust Be Verify- I would bet you all the share holders and the banks walk away rich off Mammoth Mountain someday soon. I will never feel sorry for any of them.

  4. just one July 17, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    How about if we tell Alaska Air to take thier threats and go pound sand, then take all of the SUBSIDY money and buy our own plane and pilot and start Mammoth Air. With all of the amounts I am reading, $400,000.00 here a couple hundred thousand there, a few million from the mountain. I am sure somehow this is not a workable idea, but wouldn’t it be cool

    • just one July 17, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

      I cannot believe someone would thumbs down a simple little idea. You people are ridiculous. I don’t hear anyone else coming up with any ideas other than give more money we don’t have. Plus IT WAS A JOKE!!!! Did you get that I said it probably wasn’t a workable idea. But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO lets not try anything different, it might work

      • demographic July 18, 2012 at 7:36 am #

        Just one –

        Google “tea party” and see how many looney old people (boomers) are around today. These sad souls give life a “thumbs down.”
        Thank goodness that sooner or later they die off and real change begins.

        • Benett Kessler July 18, 2012 at 9:27 am #

          Dear Demo,

          Sounds like a major generalization. Aren’t you the one who points fingers at people who use the word “liberal” too much?
          Must admit I am a baby boomer so maybe you tweaked me personally. I don’t belong to any labeled organizations. Never
          cared for them.
          Benett Kessler

          • Demographics July 18, 2012 at 9:49 am #

            Dear Benett Kessler,

            Don’t take it personally.
            Simply tune in to any right-wing talk-radio show (Limbaugh’s the King)
            and discover:
            1. main audience are boomers.
            2. they spend the day demonizing “liberals” (aka Democrats)
            3. the use of the word is used politically today (from one side of the fence) as often as the mention of the weather.

            And I agree.
            Like Groucho Marx once said: “I wouldn’t be a part of any organization that would have me as a member.”

          • Benett Kessler July 18, 2012 at 10:32 am #

            Birth dates aside, It’s just as narrow to call someone a Tea Party type as it is a Liberal.

          • Danger ahead July 18, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

            Not so sure of the “major generalization” Benett.
            The success of Fox News, the amount of people that tune in daily to hear Rush Limbaugh say things about black people like: “Take that bone out of your nose and call me back” … Million-seller author, Ann Coulter …
            The Right is a force to be reckoned with. And they’ve been going strong for too many years to simply write off today. Danger ahead.

            “When fascism comes to America – it wil be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.” – Sinclair Lewis

          • Benett Kessler July 18, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

            Sinclair Lewis was a true philosopher and visionary.

            I only wish people would start to see each other as individuals with understanding and concern. I figure this blog is a good place to start.
            We are far more than labels and far more than TV News actors. Polarities are a problem. You want to stand opposite the Fox stable of crazies and point fingers. Others want to stand with the Right and point fingers the other way. Neither is the solution.

            No question that hateful, group attitudes are harmful and that many individuals decline to truly think for themselves. Great example of
            this is an old Andy Griffith film, Face in the Crowd. Very insightful film. Stellar performance by Griffith.

            Benett Kessler

          • Big AL July 18, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

            Awwwe Dr. Facts .. you’re at it again? tsk tsk

        • Demographics July 18, 2012 at 9:57 am #

          One could assume that judging from the time of day of the postings that the poster is at work screwing off on his computer … or the poster is a retiree (boomer) with a right-wing axe to grind.
          Note how often a “thumbs down” appears to a posting that leans left.

          • JeanGenie July 18, 2012 at 10:49 am #

            Demo, Judging from the time of your posts, you must either be retired or screwing off at work. Or wait, maybe you don’t have a job!

          • Benett Kessler July 18, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

            People, perhaps you don’t realize how judgmental and angry you are. Buy a mirror and check it out.
            Then, listen to some Beatles music.

          • Right v Left July 18, 2012 at 10:50 am #

            It’s just as narrow to call someone a Tea Party type as it is a Liberal.

            Interesting judgement, Benett. “narrow is clearly a diss)
            But it’s your show.
            It should be clear by now that this format is saturated with Right-leaning comments. So what? I see there is also advertising to pay the bills. California is notoriously left-leaning (thank God!) so if this form of venting (as on the Limbaugh show) makes a person happier and more well-adjusted. Good.
            The world needs happier people.
            But at the moment all I read are angst-ridden comments that, … ahem… here goes… that at least slightly resemble that of those that call themselves tea-party conservatives.
            I wonder if these Californians have ever entertained the notion of living in Utah?

          • Benett Kessler July 18, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

            See my response on your other comment.

          • wikipedia July 18, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

            It Can’t Happen Here is a semi-satirical American political novel by Sinclair Lewis published in 1935 by Doubleday, Doran. It describes the rise of a populist politician who calls his movement “patriotic” and creates his own militia (the Minute Men or “MM”, paralleling Hitler’s “SS” substitute Tea Party today) and takes unconstitutional power after winning election — mirroring what Hitler was doing in Germany at the time of writing. Its plot centers around newspaperman Doremus Jessup’s belated realization of what is happening, and his subsequent struggle against the fascist regime of President Berzelius “Buzz” Windrip. Once in power, however, he becomes a dictator: he outlaws dissent, puts his political enemies in concentration camps, and creates a paramilitary force called the Minute Men who terrorize citizens. One of his first acts as President is to make changes to the Constitution which give him sole power over the country, rendering Congress obsolete.

        • Tourbillon July 18, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

          “I wouldn’t be a part of any organization that would have me as a member.” I think you can relax there Demographic. Judging by the disagreeable disposition reflected in your posts, I would guess that you aren’t in imminent danger of being inundated by invitations to join any organizations. So relax, have another beer (assuming you are old enough to drink), and while I quarrel with Benett’s musical taste only with great trepidation, I’d modify her advice and listen to almost anything other than the Beatles. Too boomer and old for a hep cat like you.

          • re:Tourbillon July 18, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

            Now that’s just about the best impersonation of right-wing guru Rush Limbaugh I’ve heard today.
            (loud laughter)

          • Big AL July 18, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

            LOL tourbillon .. anything other than the beatles .. yep

          • Benett Kessler July 18, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

            I also dig Nat Cole. “Nature Boy” – incredibly beautiful song.

        • Problem Solved July 18, 2012 at 5:13 pm #


          ZERO likes & 10 DISLIKES !!!!

          Mental help is probably free.

          You are obsessed with tea baggers, Limbaugh etc.

          Do everybody a favor and get some help !!!!

          • truth that hurts July 18, 2012 at 7:43 pm #

            Sorry Problem –
            Tea baggers and Limbaughites are obsessed with themselves.
            When one twisted political persuasion believes it has staked claim to them being the only “True American” B.S. – There’s your mental illness.
            For your viewing pleasure:


        • upthecreek July 18, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

          @ demographic


          That’s all I can say…you are hoping that people “die off ” and real change begins.

          You are what is wrong with this country not the so called “tea Party”

          • what are we leaving them? July 19, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

            Every society begets a smarter (and more liberal) generation than the one before it. It’s time for the aging, and angst-ridden teaparty types to go away and let the next generation try and correct their mistakes.

            Lead, follow, or get the ____ out of the way.

            Lee Iacocca

  5. fed up July 17, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    There is no trustee in a municipal bankruptcy.

    • Tourbillon July 18, 2012 at 8:00 am #

      According to the federal court website under “Chapter 9”:

      “Section 904 limits the power of the bankruptcy court to “interfere with – (1) any of the political or governmental powers of the debtor; (2) any of the property or revenues of the debtor; or (3) the debtor’s use or enjoyment of any income-producing property” unless the debtor consents or the plan so provides. The provision makes it clear that the debtor’s day-to-day activities are not subject to court approval and that the debtor may borrow money without court authority.”

      It goes on to say that the court can indeed appoint a trustee provided it is for limited purposes specified in 11 U.S.C. § 926(a)).

      “The court also cannot interfere with the operations of the debtor or with the debtor’s use of its property and revenues…Moreover, a chapter 9 debtor may employ professionals without court approval, and the only court review of fees is in the context of plan confirmation, when the court determines the reasonableness of the fees.”

      This is from a putative government website, mind, the veracity and authenticity of which I didn’t check.

  6. MJA July 18, 2012 at 7:44 am #

    Rather than throwing more money into the airport business that has caused the bankruptcy or crash of the town, isn’t it time to cut the anchor that is drowning you and simply shut the airport down? Ya it’s nice to fly into Mammoth but, not at the cost or loss of the entire town.


    • taxifornia July 18, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

      Are you asking the Town to use ” Common Sense”

      LOL it will never happen.

      TOML is OOC

    • Ed Cesnalis July 18, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

      After selling hangars to the public costing tens of millions of dollars you want to close the airport down? The losses to date on hangars built in the last 15 years are massive and borne by the people that purchased them. If you close the airport you will make their losses total or are you going to buy the hangars back?

      Subsidizing airlines and operating a small airport are 2 different things.

      • Ken Warner July 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

        Right. MMH is a nice civilian aviation airport. As it stands, it will never be a money making regional hub. The subsidies are simply buying empty seats. A town our size can’t afford to do that. Simple calculus. Stop buying empty seats and we have more money to make the town better which will attract people.

        Just because you can fly into a place doesn’t mean you want to.

        • JeanGenie July 19, 2012 at 9:42 am #

          Not calculus, arithmetic.

    • Trouble July 18, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

      MJA- maybe we can borrow one of your mules to vacation in Mammoth. Closing down the airport is not going to help anything at this point. Cutting back may be called for.

    • Big AL July 18, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

      MJA .. shut the subsidized air service down .. you can still have the airport for people to use .. should they choose. Also made available for life flights, don’t forget those.

  7. keoni July 18, 2012 at 10:59 am #

    Good money after bad. Keep digging Mammoth.

  8. an Observation July 18, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    I am afraid you have been pandering a bit too much to the Right, Benett.
    And please don’t tell me Teaparty types are the happiest and most well-adjusted Americans.
    And judging from the thumbs down on anything left-leaning – I suppose there must be a way to capitalize on it. So, pander on.

    • Benett Kessler July 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

      Dear Observation,

      First, I do not pander. That would be such a boring pastime. I don’t make generalizations like “Teaparty types are the happiest….”
      I don’t look at the thumbs down, thumbs up. So – suggestion: Start to search for facts rather than live a life of assumptions.
      Benett Kessler

    • Big AL July 18, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

      LOL Dr. Facts, I have gotten past boredom as Benett say’s, I laugh at you now, pretty entertaining .. don’t even have to get past the first sentence before I hit the thumb of death button LOL.

  9. Rule #1 July 18, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

    I’m having a difficult time picturing you totally ignoring the “thumbs up/thumbs down” feature Benett.
    Not that long ago, I recall you removing that feature that “you don’t look at”
    I thought it was a terrific idea.
    But it wasn’t long after that you put it back in.
    Journalism rule #1 – Thou shalt not Bull – ____ thyself.
    Any bets that the Like or Dislike feature stays?

    • Benett Kessler July 18, 2012 at 4:33 pm #


      Journalism rule #1 – Get the facts and tell the truth. You have not passed rule #1. I will not dally with you on this
      much longer. This too is boring. First, you clearly do not know me at all. Next, other people do deal with features
      of the website. We did have some technical problems with like/ dislike and tried to resolve that. Very briefly, our
      webmaster had to remove the feature while he did some trouble shooting.

      Now, go find someone else to pick on if you really must.
      Benett Kessler

      • Journalism 101 July 19, 2012 at 10:16 am #

        Journalism rule #2 – If somebody posts something you don’t agree with, simply delete the posting and tell them to go somewhere else.
        After all – it is your blog.

        • Benett Kessler July 19, 2012 at 10:34 am #

          I will do that when a person insists on ignoring obvious or not so obvious truths. I will also delete the third or so comment
          that is bent on merely insulting me or someone else. Life is real, life is earnest, said the poet. Angry insistence does
          not equal truth. Would you like to tell me your truth? I am always interested.

  10. a simple question July 19, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    Have you ever entertained the thought of wanting to be a judge, Benett?
    Be truthful now.

    • Benett Kessler July 19, 2012 at 11:42 am #

      No. My father was a presiding judge in Ohio. I often spent time with him in court and figured early on that lawyer work was not for me.

      • Judge not lest ye ... July 19, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

        Why does this not surprise me?
        A journalist whose profession has been likened to a “drive-by shooting” who is now in the position of thumbs down/thumbs up sort of blogosphere and will refuse to post disagreeing facts deeming them to be untruths.

        Congratulations, Benett. You clearly hold all the cards.

        • Benett Kessler July 19, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

          The only cards I hold are ones that I feel are important and need to be revealed.
          The only person who has referred to my reporting as drive-by-shooting is someone who has
          declined to reveal his or her name and who has also declined to lay out any real facts.
          I do not refuse to post disagreeing facts. I rarely trash any comment.
          Benett Kessler

        • Benett Kessler July 19, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

          Dear Judge, Name the disagreeing facts that you think I have trashed.
          Benett Kessler

    • Dave July 19, 2012 at 11:57 am #

      This person likes playing attorney, judge and jury. Answer now, now I say… I have personally invited this person to sit down and discuss our differences with facts and figures however, he prefers to hide behind dozens of monikers… a classic coward-like troll hiding under the bridge throwing insults and hatred filled one-liners at folks. Invite him to call you Benett to discuss and I’m sure he won’t.

  11. And just what is the truth? July 19, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    And would those “obvious or not so obvious truths” be according to the book of Political Science, the book of Economics or from the book of Benett Kessler?

    • Benett Kessler July 19, 2012 at 11:40 am #

      The truth is something we each need to look for, find and express. I take full responsibility for the hard search and communication of the best truths I can find. Have I done something to personally hurt you?


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