Fall-out from Mammoth’s Candidates Forum sent the Town Council race up a notch during Wednesday’s Planning Commission meeting. Commissioner Elizabeth Tenney took Commissioner and Council candidate Sharon Clark to task, calling Clark’s statements “misleading” and “careless”.
During Tuesday’s Candidates Forum, Clark had accused officials of blocking her attendance at a staff meeting which included Water District representatives. Tenney said Commissioner clark made two strong accusations against the Town, the Commission and the staff.
After Wednesday’s meeting, Tenney said Sharon Clark accused the Planning Commission of failing to follow the General Plan, of not doing its job. Tenney said all of the commissioners are charged to follow the General Plan which she called the “Constitution of land use.” That’s our job, said Tenney. “If people think we’re not doing our job, they need to read the General Plan, staff reports, and attend meetings.”
Tenney, usually reserved in her demeanor, called Clark’s statements “careless.” She pointed to Sharon Clark’s accusation during the Forum that the Town Manager kept her out of a staff meeting and that the process was “not transparent.” She told the audience that’s why she’s running for Town Council.
Tenney asked Community Development Director Mark Wardlaw to explain the rules that govern Planning Commission activities. Wardlaw said, in effect, that rules do not allow commissioners to attend staff meetings designed to help staff work with other agencies. Tenney said Commissioners are not permitted to micromanage staff and don’t attend management meetings. She said the meeting Sharon Clark was irritated about involved the Town Manager, the Water District Manager and Mark Wardlaw – they were at work to create better communication between the Town and water district.
Tenney said Sharon Clark “misrepresented what the Planning Commission does and is supposed to do.” Commissioner Clark said nothing to Tenney’s sharp retort.