Inyo-Mono election run-down

mammoth_voters-2.jpgWhen Inyo and Mono voters head to the polls Tuesday, they will elect County Supervisors and in Mono – also, a Sheriff and an Assessor. For the Town of Mammoth Lakes – three new Town Council representatives.

The Mono Sheriff’s race sees appointed Sheriff Ralph Obenberger up against former LAPD Lieutenant Ingrid Braun, who is currently a Reserve Officer for Mammoth Police. She has stated publicly that her opponent has failed to connect with the community and has failed to uphold Constitutional rights of suspects. She would establish a Citizens Advisory Committee. Obenberger has said his department is close to the communities and the people. He has not publicly commented on the testimony and judge’s remarks on his behavior in the Deputy Jon Madrid termination case. An arbitrator and judge found that the Sheriff’s administration, including Obenberger, harassed Madrid and fired him for no good reason.

Mono Assessor Bob Musil faces a challenge from Barry Beck, who has worked in the Assessor’s Office for 11 years. Beck has stated publicly that he wants to create a smaller, more efficient department and “quit spending thousands on outside experts.” Assessor Musil was appointed last September. He says he has brought stability to an office that has had six department heads in nine years. Musil has worked as Assistant Assessor since 2006.

In Mono Supervisor District 5, three candidates are trying for Supervisor Byng Hunt’s seat. Hunt will wrap up his years of service on the Board. Up for this seat are Greg Eckert of Mammoth, who said he would give Mono County a larger role in marketing and tourism. District 5 Candidate Kirk Stapp said he would try to change the “attitude gap between North and South County. He said, “We can’t collaborate with this blockage.” District 5 Candidate Stacy Corless said she would change risk management. She said she’s concerned about all of the lawsuits against the County. She said, “We need a culture of safety and well-being.” She also said, “We need to step back and use good judgment about what’s right and wrong.”

Mono Supervisor District 1 Candidate Bill Sauser said he would “look outside the box” and partner and communicate with other agencies. District 1 Supervisor Larry Johnston said he wants to change the County into a “more collaborative, innovative government.” He said maybe the Town and County could create a joint Human Resources Department.

And, in the Town of Mammoth, eight candidates are vying for three seats on the Council – those currently held by Mayor Rick Wood, Councilman John Eastman and Councilman Matthew Lehman. The candidates are Elena Blomgren, Colin Fernie, Cleland Hoff, Kenneth Murray, Deb Pierrel, Shields Richardson, Karen Sibert, and John Wentworth.

In Inyo County, there is just one race – for Supervisor of District 1. Long-time Supervisor Linda Arcularius will end her career, and three new candidates will try for her spot. Dave Tanksley owns a construction company in Bishop and has worked on public committees. At a Candidates’ Forum he said he would focus on cost-cutting to deal with budget problems. He would also focus on optimizing the Eastern Sierra Regional Airport.

Candidate Dan Totheroh owns a company that operates community water districts. He has served on the Starlight CSD for 17 years and has volunteered in other arenas. He also had a 30-year engineering career with the Forest Service. His stated priorities were for creating more sustainable communities, utilizing the potential of the Digital 395 high-speed network to promote business and for protecting services for the elderly and youth.

Candidate Bill Stoll said he has volunteered for 8 years on the Planning Commission and voted no on the first solar development plan. He joked that he is “getting old and construction is killin’ me.” He said his top priority is tourism where he feels not enough is being done. He also pointed to work on the budget and the need for a positive working environment for County employees.

We will have election results for you on our website election night and the next day on radio and TV.


19 Responses to Inyo-Mono election run-down

  1. Over the Berger June 2, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

    Actually Ralph Obenberger did publicly comment on the Deputy Jon Madrid termination in The Lee Vining forum. He plainly stated that “he would have not changed anything about how the situation was handled and would do it again, including putting him in a chair for two months.” an action I fully believe was contrived to thuggishly bully all the current employees as well as Deputy Madrid into submission.

    He obviously could care less how much money he is costing the county to defend his irreproachable actions. Judge Garbalino stated the they were illegal activities. Please remember this when voting tomorrow. A honest, respectable, sheriff sure would be refreshing change and beneficial to all of Mono County. Not one that according to Judge Garbolino conducted “illegal activities” and obviously is proud of it by his own statements!

    Vote for the only true professional law enforcement officer running! Vote Ingrid Braun for Sheriff!

    • Desert Tortoise June 3, 2014 at 12:24 pm #

      Don’t assign too much to the opinion of one trial judge. An appeals judge, or panel of judges might have a different opinon. Often they do and the rulings of trial judges are vacated or modified on appeal. It happens often enough to make appealing a trial judges ruling a nearly routine tactic to win a case. I am not saying the judge was wrong in this case, probably wasn’t, just don’t get your hopes up yet. Remember what happend with the Citizens United case.

  2. Flip you Berger June 2, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

    Please make it plain tomorrow that the era of “good ole boy” BS has come to an end and that it is time a proper law enforcement administration takes over the MCSO. Vote Braun for Sheriff and for change in a county that so desperately is in need of it, so it can grow and thrive instead of hide from the current Sheriff and his minions!

  3. Hold the Berger, no pickles! June 2, 2014 at 5:53 pm #

    These last six months have been very revealing. The current sheriff administration’s layers of poor decisions, egotistical attitude, law breaking, and violating individual citizens rights are being peeled back!

    Obenberger, ingnores the very laws he is sworn to uphold! He has ignored judgements made by superior court judges, He stands behind his decisions publicly! Guess what our tax dollars pay for it! He sees mono county as a blank check to do what he wants! He publicly disagrees with court decisions thinking he knows the law better than the honorable judge Eller, Magit and Garbolino! I didn’t know Obenberger was a judge!

    He claims his department currently is involved in the community! I bet the community would disagree! On calls for service Victims become suspects! Most citizens of mono county state they don’t even know the deputies!

    Even during the last couple of weeks his and undersheriff weber’s wife are on the pity party campaign! Telling everyone they are going to have to move and they will be financially destitute! Guess they should have thought of that before acting the way they do! Speaking of appointed UnderSheriff Robert Weber, where is he? You would think he would be supporting Obenberger since Obenberger wanted him as undersheriff, right! Hmmm big mystery! He hasn’t been to one forum, not one meet and greet! I wonder if he was told to stay out of the way! Maybe his rumored antics caught up to him!

    Look at the big picture citizens of mono county, ask yourself this are you happy with the way things are and have been over the last two years (or even longer for most) were you better off? Do you trust this current administration?

    Vote right, vote smart, tommorow vote for Ingrid Braun! At least We can trust her!

  4. Words of Wisdom June 2, 2014 at 6:07 pm #

    To all the people that have been harassed for the Braun signs in your yards please remember these actions and vote tomorrow. In fact have all your friends, family, and loved ones vote. Vote for a sheriff that gives you the freedom to choose for yourself who you want to vote for without retribution!

    It doesn’t matter what the name is on the signs or if you have one or not. All that truly matters is that you vote tomorrow!

    Vote for a better Mono County!

    • Just nobody June 3, 2014 at 9:09 am #

      For those of you who have been harassed for the Braun signs: keep in mind WHO was harassing you, and perhaps who ELSE on the ballot today that they support. That’s very telling, as well.

  5. Rick O'Brien June 2, 2014 at 11:27 pm #

    So…how long does Ingrid have to wait to move into her new office ?

  6. Great Question June 3, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    Great question Big Rick. Weber is a at will employee on contract. Obenberger was appointed by the BOS.

    My question is, if the citizens vote in Braun, can the BOS withdraw Obenberger’s appointment and put Braun to work right away so no more damage is done and she can start fixing things?

    • Don't let the door hit you OBE June 3, 2014 at 11:12 am #

      I would hope that the BOS would do that. After all I would think that an elected sheriff would trump the BOS appointee, Plus the sooner he is gone the better for everyone in Mono County and I would hope they are actually concerned about that, but then again they are the ones that appointed him in the first place knowing full well what kind of person he is and how unprofessional he had conducted himself up until that point.

      Let’s hope though…. the sooner he is gone the better.

    • Desert Tortoise June 3, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

      Nope. Read the California Constitution. A BOS can appoint a replacement to a retired or resigned sheriff, but once appointed they are like any other sheriff who can only be removed by losing an election or by being convicted of something that forces the sheriff to vacate the office.

      • Great Question June 3, 2014 at 8:45 pm #

        The other option would be for the BOS to suck it up and assign both Weber and Obenberger to their homes for 8 hours a day until January with full pay. Bring Braun in as the acting sheriff until she is sworn in after the first of the year.

        Then again, maybe they should be assigned to sit in chairs placed in the lobby, as greaters. There is Mono County precident for both actions.

        Paranick assigned a deputy to his house for a year and a half until the deputy could retire.

        In regards to the Obenberger signs, there are a lot of people with Obenberger signs that are voting for Braun.

        • Agree 100% June 3, 2014 at 11:42 pm #

          I agree I think they should get a taste of their own medicine! Sit in a chair and have their lives endangered by not being able to wear a gun or a badge, not giving them the code to the door so they have to ask for permission to get the door opened, having to ask permission to use the restroom, having people spy on them 24/7. That sounds like a great idea to me!

  7. sugar magnolia June 3, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

    I am hopeful that he will be voted out….but there are certainly more Obenberger signs in n. county than Braun signs!

    I wonder, what does Obie do if Braun wins, does he go back to being a Deputy Sheriff?

    • Witness June 3, 2014 at 5:40 pm #

      To answer your question, if Obenberger is not elected he is done as an employee of mono county! However, he is eligible to collect retirement! Maybe he can be a court screener like Russ Reese! But that’s only if he can pass a background check!

      The big question is if Ingrid Braun wins, does she take Over right away or does she have to wait until jan 1st 2015!

      Researching this issue, I can not find Obenberger’s contract with the former Board of Supervisors! It is supposed to be public information! Undersheriff weber’s contract is available! The issue seems to be since he was appointed and an at-will employee, does an election of an opponent cancel that out! Or does he remain in office until the end of the year to fulfill this mystery contract!

      Perhaps this question should be asked of the California Sheriffs Association!

    • Rick O'Brien June 3, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

      I SERIOUSLY doubt that Ingrid would hire him…remember when Obie fired her one week short of her probationary period and told her “Looking at the BIG picture, this is what’s best for MY department” . Well GUESS WHAT, OBIE ??? What comes around, goes around. Looking at the big picture, Ingrid Braun is what’s best for the Mono Sheriff’s Department. bye, bye.

      • Karma Rules Everytime June 3, 2014 at 11:27 pm #

        Karma…. What comes around goes around! You mess with the bull, you get the horn!

        Get a clue….

  8. Smoked the Berger! June 3, 2014 at 11:13 pm #

    Congrats Ingrid you smoked him! I new you would prevail! Right is right! In with the good! Out with the bad!

  9. Trouble June 4, 2014 at 6:17 am #

    This dude lost this election. Rightfully so.

  10. Congrats Mono County June 4, 2014 at 7:15 am #

    You took your County back from the good ole boys club! Time for a fresh start. One of honest law enforcement and community oriented policing. Not fear and intimidation.

    You cooked your own goose boys hope you are proud of yourselves now. Oh what a tangled web you weaved when you did nothing but deceive!

    Too bad for you both there are so many people that are smart enough to see the truth!


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