Letter to the editor: “community ready”- vote female

mammothabovetownA lot of people around town have been criticizing the Mammoth Times for endorsing only male candidates for Mammoth’s town council election, when the field is comprised of fifty percent women. While I can’t rule out sexism or ignorance as playing a role, I suggest the motivation is less insidious, yet possibly harder to fix. I believe the real problem runs deep in our town and is described better by a single word — fear.

This is an odd description for such a rugged place comprised of such hardy souls, yet I believe the term fits. However, our fear is of a non-traditional type — our fear is based on economics. We constantly live in fear of “missing out” on some real or imagined economic opportunity. It is the same fear that drove our town to give Terry Ballas the keys to the airport, and is the same fear that drove us to illegally rip those keys away (lest we lose out on bringing in Rusty’s always-to-be-full 757 jetliners). This fear is why we didn’t demand that Intrawest build a parking garage at the Village (“if we push them too hard, they might just leave”) and is why some candidates want to turn our residential homes into home rental businesses (“if we don’t let guests rent out our neighbors’ homes, they will go to Vail!”)

I believe it is this same fear that is driving the Mammoth Times and others in town to support the “establishment” candidates for town council. There is a strange obsession in town with being “development ready” and the establishment candidates have the superficial look of being able to get us to the Promised Land. Of course, the whole idea of being “development ready” is also fear driven — “if we don’t allow developers to do what they want, they will go somewhere else!” Well, it is that mentality that has gotten us into the majority of our jams.

Instead, let’s be “community ready.” Remember, by definition if you are a voter, you are a local member of our community. Let’s pick candidates who will do what’s best for our town and community, and I promise you, the developers and their checkbooks will follow. We live in one of the most spectacular places on earth. Let’s be great at what we are, rather than failing at being something we are not.

For that reason, I am supporting the three women in this election who will put our community first — Karen Sibert, Cleland Hoff and Elena Blomgren. Trust me, if we do this, we will flourish beyond our wildest dreams.

Debbie Thompson
Mammoth Lakes

16 Responses to Letter to the editor: “community ready”- vote female

  1. Curious May 30, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

    I wholeheartedly concur, we need some real navigators to lead this fleet of boat floaters!

  2. Ingrid for Sheriff May 30, 2014 at 7:23 pm #

    The female that I am most looking forward to getting elected is Ingrid Braun for Sheriff!

    After all the sexist things Obenberger has said on the election path I would hope many females out there are taking notice and will vote for someone who genuinely wants to make a difference in this county and cares about both sexes equally!

    We need a fresh start in this County and for the first time in a long time we have a chance at that! Please Vote for Ingrid and for some serious change to law enforcement in our County. It is time to put an end to the Good Ole Boy BS, fear, and intimidation that Ralph Obenberger has brought and continued to the office of Sheriff in Mono County!

  3. Ken Warner May 30, 2014 at 7:23 pm #

    Debbie: I’d vote for you if you where running. Your letter sound like what I’ve been saying for the last 12 years. Except the “fear” part. It’s not fear — it’s greed plain and simple. Make your money now and worry about tomorrow some other day.

    Also, your last sentence, “Trust me, if we do this, we will flourish beyond our wildest dreams.” that’s exactly what the Snake Oil Salesmen and Carpetbaggers have been saying all along. Believe in me and get rich. Right…

    How about electing the best qualified for the job — man or woman? Problem is that they are all from the same self serving, power seeking cliche. They are all unqualified and uneducated to run a town — even a small town like Mammoth lakes. They all view themselves as “Social Engineers”. They want to change the mindset of the population to fit their ideas of what a town should be.

    This election will not change the face of the town — only the faces on the Town Council.

  4. Trouble May 30, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

    Ya and someday we will have a black president!

  5. Witness May 30, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

    I think it is time for a refreshing change! Women are as equal as men! Mono county needs to move into the 21st century! Last time I checked mono county is still in California! Seems like some in mammoth have the obenberger syndrome call them “girls”and discriminate!

    Enough joking aside, mammoth times endorse Ingrid Braun for her election so I don’t get how they are biased towards female politicians!

    By the way, I know Cleland Hoff and she is very involved within the community! She has my vote!

    As far as sheriff of mono county, Ingrid Braun brings true experience and 21st century ideas to mono county! Obenberger does nothing but ride on the coat tails of his inept predecessors and hopes his name brings it home! Obenberger is a egomaniac bent on his own agenda! He threatens retaliation to anyone who supports Ingrid! If you don’t believe me ask the citizens of Bridgeport or colville or even walker! Obenberger is a thug! He is a threat to the future of mono county!

    Vote for change, vote for a better future, vote for Ingrid Braun!

    • Bob June 2, 2014 at 8:38 am #

      “Women are as equal as men!”

      Don’t sell yourselves short 😉

      They say behind every good man, is a great women.

      vote for Ingrid Braun!

  6. a reasonable man May 30, 2014 at 9:14 pm #

    I agree with Debbie 100%. The Times willingly collected advertising from all the candidates to then later say, “Oh, by the way, thanks for all the money but we’re endorsing your opponents.”


  7. Eastside Bum May 31, 2014 at 12:38 am #

    We live in fear because we never know when the well will run dry.
    We live in fear because our bad choices have hurt us in real way.

    How to get out of the fear zone? Make smart, educated decisions on June 3rd,
    whether male or female.

  8. Jenny Logan May 31, 2014 at 7:18 am #

    If you really want to get upset about the Mammoth establishment and this election, think about this:

    Before the last debate, the male candidates (or at least John Wentworth and Colin Fernie) were tipped off about the unique format at the end of the forum that was supposedly a “secret.”

    And days before the last debate even occurred, the Mammoth Times had not only already decided they were going to endorse the three “establishment” men, but they had already told those candidates and their supporters of this decision.

    I’m not sure which inside job is more upsetting — the collusion behind the debate format or the utter lack of ethics behind the Mammoth Times’ endorsement.

  9. MJA May 31, 2014 at 7:32 am #

    A vote for me.

    I could never vote for anyone but myself to make decisions for me. Nor would I ever think I was better at governing or making important decisions for anyone else, for you. I think it is time to change our system of representative Democracy in this day and age of instant communication and return it to a true Republic where everyone votes for everything without representation. I vote for no one to represent me. I vote for self control, for self rule, for freedom, for just me.


    • Desert Tortoise June 2, 2014 at 7:29 am #

      MJA, please read James Madisons and Thomas Jeffersons strong critiques of direct democracy. They believed direct democracy of the type you advocate to be the worst possible form of government, and in the Federalist Papers Madison expouds at length on the many occasions nations in the past attempted direct democracy and why those attempts failed. He was harshly critical of what you advocate. The “true Republic” you claim to desire, the form of government established by our Constitution, was very carefully designed to avoid the pitfalls of direct democracy by putting some distance between the electorate and policy makers, especially the Senate which is intended to be a slow and deliberative body not necessarily subject to the passions of the moment and therefore able to take a longer view of things. This is why they have six year terms and originally were appointed by their states rather than being elected directly, and why the President is not chosen directly by the electorate but by an Electoral College.

      I also cringe at your selfishness. A government cannot function and a nation cannot survive unless citizens are willing to put aside some of their selfish desires for the good the nation as a whole. I do not see any signs of a sense of obligation to our nation in what you wrote, but without the power of our government, the rights written into our Constitution are meaningless. We talk about the rights of man, but it takes citizens organizing a government to protect those rights, and it takes a willingness of those citizens to look a little bit past their own immediate needs or wants and consider what is best for the nation as a whole so their kids and grand kids have a nation that will be able to protect their rights. Without this great nation, your rights are just words on paper.

  10. ferdinand lopez May 31, 2014 at 9:56 am #

    just because someones involved in the community doesn’t make them a good rep for the town,gotta be able to navigate thru the red tape and local elected knuckleheads

  11. sugarmagnolia May 31, 2014 at 11:32 am #

    As a woman, I surprisingly almost fell into the same ‘trap’ as the Times….I only had a strong opinion for one candidate (wentworth) and found my self picking Fernie and Richardson as my other two votes…but, I realized ‘what am I doing voting for all men, is there some reason these two are ‘better’ than any of the women?’

    I think that we still hold the image of the strong white male authority figure, no matter how progressive we become, it’s hard to overcome those images from our formative years. Something about those types being in charge makes us feel comfortable. Which is obviously no longer the ‘best’ thing. (think Kathy Cage as the lone dissenting vote on the Terry Ballas deal).

    So I started looking at each candidate with different criteria in mind. Whose vision of Mammoth best meets mine? What in the world to I have in common with Richardson, a dude who hasn’t been in mammoth long, is wealthy, and pretty much cares about keeping the Village as a viable business location.

    Fernie, his youth is both attractive and a detriment. In reality, the women running who are long time Mammoth people and care about the longterm success of Mammoth (which doesn’t mean higher real estate prices people) makes a lot more sense to vote for.

    I’ve been saying it for years, Mammoth, quit trying to build a better mousetrap….instead build a community in which people want to live and enjoy living in…that my friends is what ultimately brings tourists…they want to come hang in the cool place that happy people live in. A bigger, better mousetrap doesn’t work!

    • Ken Warner May 31, 2014 at 6:44 pm #

      SM: Casting your vote based on gender is just as sexist as voting for all men.

      But about making the town a better place to live — once I interviewed for a seat on the Rec Committee with the Town Council. During the interview I said, “I want to make Mammoth a better place to live”. Wood, Eastman and Leman looked like they just ate a bug. Bacon remained as inert as the Sphinx.

      I don’t think the ruling class has, “…better place to live…” as a high priority. It’s all about property values and who gets to sell that property.

      • sugarmagnolia June 1, 2014 at 5:48 pm #

        exactly Ken, that’s why instead of instinctively voting for men, I evaluated all of the candidates and what they stand for and voted based on that! got it?

  12. Desert Tortoise June 3, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

    Well, the rubber meets the road today. I expect by 8.30 tonight there will be a lot of grousing here. Just saying ……..


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