May 21, 2014
Dear Town Council,
I have grave concerns about the way in which Mammoth Lakes Recreation (MLR) is being moved along. I do not believe there has been sufficient community engagement with this important decision. Thus, the voters are greatly uninformed on the fate of their public monies. I do not believe using these monies to fund MLR is consistent with the voters’ intentions.
The Agenda Bill does not include the MLR Bylaws in whole. Rather, it only states “pertinent excerpts for the bylaws can be found in Attachment E” (Town Council agenda for May 21, 2014, Agenda Item 9, p.6). The excerpts listed as “pertinent” refer to the number, makeup, terms, and qualifications of the MLR Board members (p.20). I believe sections 4.6, 5.14, and 7.10 to be not only pertinent, but very disturbing as they address the ways in which the MLR Board members can profit off of transactions made with the public’s monies. Why were the complete Bylaws omitted from this public document? Is the community supposed to believe Council is being forthright and transparent when this important information is withheld? It is unsatisfactory to say the complete fourteen page document is too long to include given the significance of the information.
Section 4.6 (Restriction on Interested Persons as Directors) states that up to 49% of the Board Members may be “compensated by the Corporation for services rendered” (MLR Bylaws, p.2). This means some board members can profit financially from their influence as MLR Board Members. An attorney sitting on the board could be compensated, or paid, for offering legal advice. Or a board member’s company could be contracted for consulting services.
Section 5.14 (Self Dealing Transactions) states the board members may approve a transaction in which one or more of the board members “has a material financial interest…” (MLR Bylaws, p. 8). This means the MLR board has the right to approve transactions in which some of them stand to profit. There is no oversight required by the Town Council or the public. The MLR Board has the right to spend public funds as they see fit, including allowing themselves to profit off of them.
Section 7.10 (Amendment of Bylaws) states, “These Bylaws may be amended or repealed and new Bylaws adopted by the vote of a majority of the members of the Board. Such amended or newly adopted Bylaws shall take effect immediately” (MLR Bylaws, p. 13). This gives the MLR Board the right to change the rules by which they are governed at any time without oversight by Town Council or the public.
The fact that the agenda bill excludes these sections while stating that “pertinent excerpts” of the bylaws are attached makes it look like Council is attempting to be deceptive and minimize the potential ramifications of approving MLR. I am asking you to refrain from taking this action tonight. The public deserves to be involved and fully informed on the future use of Measure R monies.
Mammoth Lakes Resident
Town Council Candidate