Tuesday evening the group called the Future of Mammoth Lakes met to discuss Mammoth town issues such as the soon to be completed Destination Marketing Organization, the Utility Users Tax, nightly rentals of single family homes along with others.
The Future of Mammoth was put together by John Vereuck and David Baumwohl to create a forum for people that Baumwohl calls the extremely silent majority. The plan is to keep The Future of Mammoth non-partisan, but to also offer advice to the Town Council on major issues.
This informal group met at John Vereuks home. The meeting Tuesday night was attended by local business owners, council candidates such as Rick Wood and Tony Barrett, council members John Eastman and Skip Harvey. Tourism and Rec Commissioner and Mono Supervisor Candidate Bill Sauser was in attendance as was judge candidate Mark Magit. Chief Marketing Officer for Mammoth Mountain, Howard Pickett, arrived to weigh in on the Destination Marketing Organization discussion.
The Town is currently in the process of turning the Tourism portion of the Tourism and Recreation Department over to a non-profit Destination Marketing Organization that Chamber of Commerce President Eric Wasserman says will be called Mammoth Lakes Tourism. As this process continues there are additional details to work out. The group discussed funding for the DMO, with some in favor of spending all of the Measure A funds that now go to Tourism and Recreation on the DMO.
The group doesnt want to micro manage the Town Council, they say, but to offer advice and support. For example, after a discussion of the proposed extension of the Utility Users Tax, Vereuck explained that the group wont tell the town council what the money should be spent on, but the Future of Mammoth does agree that the tax should be a special tax that requires a two-thirds vote.
There was a lot of free flow of information at this meeting. Nightly rentals of single family homes were on the agenda as an issue that the group felt the Town had not thoroughly looked into. Current Councilmember John Eastman explained that the council had planned to look into the issue but had to put the item on the back burner as the town faced staff cuts.
Council candidate Rick Wood explained that the issue had been a priority when he was on the council ten years ago, but the council had run into extraordinary pressure from the lodging community, as well as a belief that it would be tough to enforce the bed tax collection on nightly home rentals.
At their next meeting, the plan is to discuss how to move ideas forward and get the ideas to the decision makers in town.