In three weeks, as it stands now, the Mammoth Town Council will make the final decision on how to restructure their town government. At a special meeting Tuesday night, the Council heard about the issue of how to save Whitmore Pool with Measure R tax money, how to raise taxes and get out of the huge debt, how to avoid trouble by not cutting police, and how business leaders continue talks over a Business Improvement District.
Members of the Mammoth Recreation Commission, who met Tuesday, offered up two options at Tuesday night’s Council meeting on the use of Measure R money for Whitmore Pool. Plan A suggests the Town find money somewhere else. Plan B calls for use of Measure R money for two years with plans for improved recreation facilities after that.
Recreation Commissioner Bill Sauser said commissioners themselves are divided on what to do. John Wentworth of Mammoth Lakes Trails seemed to support a temporary use of Measure R money on Whitmore.
Dieter Fiebriger, long-time citizen, said of the whole money mess, “Stop finger pointing. Pay for it.” He suggested a specific tax that would tap everyone and end it in five years. “Pay it off,” he said, “so we won’t lose our public safety and other needs.” Another long-timer, Ken Coulter said if police cuts go forward, “We are going to get into trouble.”
Councilwoman Jo Bacon did not support a loan from Measure R since it would be very difficult to pay it back. She did not rule out use of Measure R money. Councilman John Eastman did not support use of money from any tax measure but said the Town could look elsewhere. Councilman Michael Raimondo supported a two-year plan and use of Measure R. Councilman Rick Wood said only, “I’m still listening.” Mayor Matthew Lehman said he would support a two-year use of Measure R or use of other money if it becomes available. Lehman said he wants to see Mammoth’s budget grow from $17 million a year to $25 million per year.
Marianna Marysheva-Martinez spoke briefly again about possible taxes that the public could vote on. She said they would have to be brought forward by January or February for a special election. She and Tourism Director John Urdi spoke of the Business Improvement District idea. Check out our website for Urdi’s complete explanation. Bottom line – this would mean a possible 1% assessment on lodging, restaurants and some retail to raise $1.4 million for air service subsidy and some marketing.
The Council’s next meeting, at this point, comes up December 5th.