When the Mammoth Town Council meets Wednesday night they will tell the public about budget problems, and MLLA issues. They will hear an update on the status of internet services in Mammoth, and they will consider a formal ordinance to set up a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries.
Last week, officials revealed the dire straits of the Town’s budget into the future and the need for more severe cuts. They also confirmed that the Town is on a course that could lead to bankruptcy but that they still hold out hopes that MLLA will negotiate a settlement for payment of the $42 million owed the company by the Town.
Wednesday night, right after the start of the meeting at 6pm, Assistant Town Manager Marianna Marysheva-Martinez will give a report on the budget and the Town’s finances, MLLA issues and Assembly Bill 506 mediation with various Town creditors. Martinez will offer a proposed schedule of public meetings to discuss the Town’s services, spending priorities, necessary budget cuts and a settlement with MLLA.
Then, after public comments and Council reports, representatives of Suddenlink and Verizon are expected to talk about the status of internet services in the Town of Mammoth Lakes. At the last Town Council meeting, Councilman Matthew Lehman reported that internet service in Mammoth is “not great and getting worse.” He called for a solution before the Digital 395 project brings expanded bandwidth in a year or so.
Councilman Lehman told Sierra Wave Media that after his comments at the last Council meeting, he received lots of calls. He said the problem is bigger than he thought. Lehman said he personally has problems with internet service at his business and his home. Lehman said condo and property managers are trying to get bandwidth for their units. Visitors like to come to Mammoth for a working vacation but can’t get internet service.
After that issue, the Council will look at an urgency ordinance to establish a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries. Police Chief Dan Watson explained in the agenda bill on this issue that in 2010 Mammoth voters approved two medical marijuana dispensaries in Town. One of them decided not to renew his application this year. Now, the Chief says that “a number of court cases and other factors have thrown California’s medical marijuana laws into a state of flux.” Chief Watson says that between the possibility of a voter approved initiative to legalize marijuana, legislation that could change law, additional case law and direction from the California Supreme Court, it is likely that clarification on medical marijuana will happen in one to two years.
Meanwhile, the Chief says at least two court cases pending could put Mammoth’s medical marijuana ordinance out of business. Watson says it would “be prudent for the Town to postpone the issuance of an additional medical marijuana permit until further direction is received.” The current dispensary, Mammoth Wellness, will continue to operate.