Sheriff Rick Scholl appeared before the board to defend his departments decision to issue a reverse 911 warning to Mono County residents in the days before last weekends storm system. The decision has come under attack from many business owners who accuse the department of an overreaction that cost them precious income.
Scholl said the Sheriffs Department is sensitive to the economic interests of the county, but public safety is his number one priority. Scholl was very pleased with the way the calls worked, and claimed he received plenty of positive feedback that accompanied the scathing criticism that emerged from some members of the business community.
The decision to issue the warnings was not made in haste. Prior to the calls, a pre-planning meeting between county emergency service agencies was held, and the conclusion was that the calls would be a prudent step.
All Supervisors echoed various statements of support for Scholls department, recalling a number of past storm-related emergencies where lives were lost, or threatened by a lack of preparedness. Even Chairwoman Vikki Magee-Bauer, who owns a hotel in June Lake, supported the effort. She called the warnings a really great thing.
Scholl added that the NWS wind predictions were unprecedented for Mono County, and had they materialized, a different situation may have played out. If this occurs again, we will put the same message out. Hopefully I can say we saved a life.