Mammoth public says keep the police and Whitmore pool

Unsure what to say over the past many months of secret negotiations, the people of Mammoth Lakes found their voice at Wednesday night’s meeting. Citizens stood up and clearly spoke out against the cuts of Whitmore Park and Pool and cuts of Mammoth Police Officers. Some also objected to more rentals of single family homes. All this, to raise money to pay off the big lawsuit judgment.

Ten people stood up to strongly oppose reductions in the Mammoth Police force. First, Police Chief Dan Watson laid out the expected impacts from a loss of 46% of his men – a loss of MONET and the School Resource Officer, many shifts with only one officer. The Chief said, “I believe this level of staffing poses a genuine risk to our residents, visitors and officers. Safety would be jeopardized.” He also quoted District Attorney Tim Kendall as concerned about fewer police and a lack of follow-up on crimes leading to more unsolved crimes.

The impacts do not end there. Chief Watson named traffic safety and quality of life services. The Chief pointed to an analysis by the Peace Officers Standards and Training, POST, which he had asked for in January of 2011 and which arrived in recent days. That report says Mammoth should not go below the current 17 sworn officers and should plan for more. Chief Watson showed willingness to include a reserve officer program and certain volunteers.

Watson pointed to the isolation of Mammoth with no nearby law enforcement to help. He said he does not advocate a contract with the Mono Sheriff’s Office but said the Town should at least ask for a proposal.

Councilman Rick Wood said public safety is obviously a priority, but he said it is $4.5 million of the budget. Wood said some citizens believe officers are paid too much. This, he said, needs to be part of the dialogue.

Ten people stood up on this issue, and all of them supported a strong police department. Many simply said “no cuts.” One local man stood up to say he is a convict and he knows how important it is to have policemen in town. He said, “Things will get ten times worse if you make these cuts.”

Kate Page, long-time Mammoth resident said simply of the police cuts, “Don’t do it. It would be a short-sighted move not in the best interest of the Town.” Page said the police are “silent supporters for tourism.” She said to the Council, “If you do this experiment to cut officers, visitors and residents will not be safe. You would be taking a huge gamble,” she said.

Mammoth Fire Chief Brent Harper also voiced concern for safety if there are police cuts. He said that late at night a police ride along gives you an education. “There are a lot of drunks and fights. This could escalate.”

Earlier, about a dozen more stepped up to the podium to oppose the closure of Whitmore Park and Pool. Some suggested a combination of new taxes and cuts – perhaps an increased sales tax, said one woman. Another brought up the so far unspoken – why not use Tax Measure R to save Whitmore.

Councilman Rick Wood said that voters approved Tax Measures A, A, T,
R and U – a total of some $5 million per year. He said these monies were specifically or generally meant for other uses. Wood said, “I want to hear from the public if these dollars should be touched. We need a community-wide debate. Tell the Town Council.”

Earlier this week, Town Manager Dave Wilbrecht said he expected the public to ask that police officers be saved and that Measures A and T dollars be used.

On another issue, should more single family homes be rented out to generate more transient occupancy tax? No one favored that idea. Bill Taylor did ask the Council to consider that work force housing is still a critical need in Mammoth. He said if the community becomes successful again, “we will need housing.”

At the start of the discussion, Assistant Town Manager Marianna Marysheva-Martinez said the idea is to find a way to deliver services “in a different manner including volunteers and outsourcing.” She also said, “We do need to cut.” Martinez said public discussions on cuts will continue through November. By early December, she said the Town Council will decide on cuts and implement them January 1. More at the regular Town Council meeting October 17.


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62 Responses to Mammoth public says keep the police and Whitmore pool

  1. Sean F October 4, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

    Didn’t the police department just take large pay cuts earlier this year?

    Does anyone know why the fire department is not talked about when people need to be cut? Why just the cops? Serious question. Not trying to be a smart ass.

    Can any cuts be made to the PD training budget?

    Has the city been applying for Federal grant monies to fund positions? There is a ton of grant money out there every year.

    Is the city getting the best possible deals on costs of doing business like fuel and insurance rates?

    And IF allowing overnight rentals city wide helps fix the shortfall then it should be allowed. If this brings in more TOT then lets allow it. Maybe allow it for two years and have the ordinance expire. If it is a mess the law sunsets and they go back to how they are now? If it works ok renew the ordnance in two years.

    • Benett Kessler October 5, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

      The Fire Department is funded by the fire district and a percentage of tax dollars.
      It is not part of Town government.

      • Sean F October 5, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

        Thanks Benett. I did not know that.

    • SierraFan October 5, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

      They should allow SF homes to participate in the TOT! Maybe those in the SF area will come here rather than Tahoe.

    • sierragrl October 6, 2012 at 10:11 am #

      the numbers don’t add up! According to this website, it is reported that cutting 7 police officer positions will save $540K per year. That would average $77K per officer. That might possibly be the average of their salaries, but it appears low. And, once you add in the benefit packages paid out by the town, it should be closer to $100K or more per officer. I want an explanation ToML and MMM! Give us the real numbers or explain why they seem wrong.

      • Benett Kessler October 6, 2012 at 10:17 am #

        I believe those figures are for part of a year. The cuts would start January 1, 2013 for the fiscal year.

      • No cuts for management? October 6, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

        I noticed when co-Town Manager Martinez was razzle-dazzling everybody with her power-point presentation (offering no anwers) nothing was said about management voluntarily reducing their salaries to help the situation. After crunching numbers and putting people to sleep, she asked, “Should I continue …?”
        To which the council said, “Naw, that’s enough.”
        I want her job.
        Perhaps I could be Town Manager III.

  2. Councilman Wood is Wrong October 5, 2012 at 6:14 am #

    Councilman Wood, at that televised meeting (watch it for yourself) told the audience if constituents have a better use for monies appropriated, TOT, Measures XYZ and such, the council will consider better ways to use the money.
    Sorry, Councilman Wood. You cannot do that. Those measures were voted on.

  3. Dingo October 5, 2012 at 7:26 am #

    Why was there a convict at a Town Council Meeting?

    • Benett Kessler October 5, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

      He said he had been out of prison for 11 months or more. He is a citizen of Mammoth Lakes, working here with a family.
      He seemed to be speaking from experience as a criminal.

    • SierraFan October 5, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

      We live in a free and fair society! Give the guy credit for standing up and admitting his past.

  4. Council knows what to do October 5, 2012 at 8:29 am #

    Rick Wood said tax measures A,R and U could be “invaded.”
    “If the consensus of the community is that we should invade those (measures the voters already voted on) for other purposes, if we should invade Measure R to supplant existing programs (already voted on), the council will hear that and I don’t know what the outcome will be.
    “But the important thing is that we have that discussion. I don’t think as a community we should simply assume that the five of us up here know exactly what to do.”

    Nonsense. You know EXACTLY what to do. You (the council) honor what the voters voted for.
    If not – the entire council should resign from office immediately.

    • What is Wood up to now? October 5, 2012 at 10:03 am #

      The Measure U or “Mammoth Lakes Mobility, Recreation and Arts & Culture Utility Users Tax Ordinance” was adopted by the Mammoth Lakes Town Council on March 17, 2010, and approved by the voters of the Town of Mammoth Lakes on June 8, 2010.

      The Ordinance states: “On or after July 1, 2011 all proceeds of the tax and imposed hereunder shall be accounted for and paid into a special fund designated for use by the Town of Mammoth Lakes, and used only for the following purposes: Planning, construction, operation, maintenance, programming and administration of facilities and projects for Mobility, Recreation and Arts & Culture. Such tax proceeds shall not supplant existing funds used for the purposes set forth above.”

      The Measure R or “Mammoth Lakes Recreation, Trails and Parks Investment Initiative” Ordinance No. 08-01 was adopted by the Mammoth Lakes Town Council on February 20, 2008, and approved by the voters of Mammoth Lakes on June 3, 2008. The Ordinance imposed a Transactions and Use Tax in the amount of one-half percent for the purpose of funding Recreation, Trails and Parks.

      It looks as if the Voters of Mammoth Lakes have already had those “discussions” and measures U and R are in place as the voters have requested.

      What the hell is Wood trying to off pull now?

      • Benett Kessler October 5, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

        I will note that the two measures you mentioned are special taxes which specify expenditures. However, as we mentioned
        in our story, the two Measures A and Measure T were not special taxes dedicated to specific expenditures. Instead, there
        were suggestions on how the monies should be spent. If citizens want these dollars spent elsewhere, they have a right to
        say so. Town Manager Wilbrecht said the money from these three measures go into the general fund.

        Benett Kessler

        • What does our vote mean? October 5, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

          “If citizens want these dollars spent elsewhere, they have a right to
          say so.”
          Correct. And the “elsewhere” discussed should be put to a vote. (as it already has been and rejected by the council) Not just because a couple of constituents seeking personal gain, political favors, and other means of graft, influences the 5 councilmen to do something else with the monies.

          What is implied here is our vote means nothing and gives too much power to those whose only qualifications are that they received the most votes and can give a thumbs up or thumbs down to the voters.

    • upthecreek October 5, 2012 at 2:09 pm #


      When will you wake up and realize that you “Can afford the police” ..
      and It ‘s the Pensions and benefits programs after they retire that you “Can’t afford”

      Public unions love when Tax Revenues are directed into the General fund….Or shall I say the “Candy Jar”

      Govt gone wild

      Wake Up!!

    • Transparent Government? October 5, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

      So the voters pass measures U and R. The money then goes to a place called “General Fund.”
      Then one fine day, the Town Council decides the money does NO have to go towards the original measures (the voters voted for) afterall and wants a “discussion” as to where the money should go instead. After all, its in a “General Fund.”
      So where does Measure R and U monies go?
      And why are the voters told more discussion is needed?
      Just who are the councilmen representing?

      • Benett Kessler October 5, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

        Please go back and review our past story that quotes Town Manager Wilbrecht. Measures R and U do not go in the general fund.
        They are special taxes targeted for specific uses. The two Measures A and Measure T, although discussed and suggested for
        some specific uses – tourism and housing – they are general taxes that do go into the general fund. So, the officials want
        to hear from the people on what they want to fund now.
        Benett Kessler

        • Requires another vote? October 5, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

          Please go back to 2008 and 2010 and you will find what the people want to fund is
          Recreation, Arts & Culture (Measure U) and
          Recreation, Trails and Parks (Measure R).
          And these cannot be decided by a few constituents as is implied, it sounds like it requires another vote (assuring all taxpayers their voices have been heard).
          How many times must a community vote on measures?

  5. upthecreek October 5, 2012 at 10:13 am #

    Remember…. in the end It is all about More taxes for the sheeeple and the public servants Keeping their Huge pensions.
    This is why our state, country and town is in big financial Trouble

    Govt Gone Wild

    • Jon Delgado October 5, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

      U got that right, Get Rid of all the public sector Union Thugs 🙂

  6. Mark October 5, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

    Before it’s all over MLPD will be history.

    They should stop wasting money and contract with the county Sheriff asap.

    • Mammothite October 5, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

      Hey Mark,

      Guess how $much$ the Sheriff would charge?

    • Jon Delgado October 5, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

      It will be Self Fulfilling Prophesy 🙂

    • upthecreek October 5, 2012 at 4:27 pm #


      Even after the MLPD is History.. Their Pensions will live on FOREVER…


      Fancy Hawaiian shirts and expensive cigars for Everyone

      • Leon D October 5, 2012 at 10:55 pm #

        Upthecreek, You can’t put a post on here unless you mention the word “pension”! Yes, there are some instances where union negotiations have gotten the best of some cities, but MLPD is not one of them. I for one think putting your life on the line in the military, civilian law enforcement, etc. deserve a step up from the normal metro trash collector. Wake up yourself! I’d love to know what your pension is!

        • upthecreek October 8, 2012 at 10:06 am #

          Sorry Leon No pension Here..

          I am the one that writes the Tax check every quarter to help pay for the Huge Public Pensions Scam..

          Don’t worry the Sheeple are starting to Figure it out. Just a mater of a few years and most cities, counties and states will be in Bankruptcy because of these pensions and Benefits to our Public SERVANTS


        • upthecreek October 8, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

          @ Leon D,

          “I for one think putting your life on the line in the military, civilian law enforcement, etc. deserve a step up from the normal metro trash collector. ”

          So tell me how does a Pension of the average Military Person compare to that of a Retired Police, Fire, City Employee or even a “Metro Trash Collector”..??

          Rest my Case

          Govt. Gone Wild

  7. Realist October 5, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    Our Council has proven with their actions over and over again that OUR vote DOES NOT matter.

    Just read these pages, go to Council meetings, watch silently as they make closed door decisions that change our lives for the next 23 years.

    What makes you think that this Council with the writers of the original agreement have made smarter decisions now?

    If the past is any indication of the FUTURE, some new Catch-22 oversight on this “you are so lucky to get this offer deal” will pop up and the decoy, FEAR will be inserted again to rob our community of it’s hard earned services.

    This “23 year agreement” is flawed. While you are putting out the fire which is masked with FEAR over loss of Police and essential services, another Council/Staff approved hand is picking your back pocket.

    The actions of Council and Staff are not that of people trying create harmony and peace in our community but that of people trying to pay a huge bill to stave off the Sheriff from locking the door. They will steal from any account they can to meet the call of the payment.

    We need to wake up the extreme avarice that exists in our community.

    My prediction is that Council and Staff will cut deep and raid any account they can, and it won’t be over. This rob Peter to pay Paul form of debt reduction can never get us back to a good credit rating.

    To add insult to injury, our expensive Chief and two town managers will probably award themselves raises for doing such a good job.

    • High-paid number cruncher October 6, 2012 at 6:51 am #

      Why do they think the citizens of Mammoth agree with a highly paid person who is good at giving power-point presentations that only crunch numbers and offer nothing else? The last presentation was so deliberately boring the council said she didn’t have to complete her presentation.

  8. J-Dub October 5, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

    Measure R stands for Recreation, what is Whitmore pool? I chimed in a few years ago when Sandy Hogan was fighting the ‘wording’ or Measure R. Supposedly used only for ‘new’ projects. Well that’s not what people voted for. We voted for RECREATION, including the upkeep of the existing facilities, in some communities called “parks and recreation”. I would like Measure R funds used for Whitmore, Shady Rest, Mammoth Creek, etc. Remember the safety compliance issue at Mammoth Creek Park; the TOML couldn’t use the measure R money to upgrade? Huh? Some would rather have $250,000 worth of ‘signage and wayfinding’ that tell us we’re 2.5 miles from somewhere? “Sign, sign, everywhere a sign Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind”

    As far as the Fire Dept. I had been a volunteer as are many of the members, some for decades. That was for the Community. Maybe the bear guy could be a volunteer. I think some are afraid of the repercussions felt a few years’ ago when the community unequivocally supported him. Financial times have changed. Cut a cop but pay a guy to drive around whispering or yelling at bears? He has done a great job of educating the community and we as a community can continue to educate the visiting guests. This can be everyone’s part of volunteerism. I holler at bears all the time for free, although if they’re not causing a problem, I whisper to them. My dog even takes part in “bear rehabilitation”.

    Single Family Zoning for TOT. I’ve had kooks stay next door in my neighborhood for years. Then when we notified the TOML they contacted the owner and said “your neighbor has had concerns…” Oh thanks for throwing me under the bus. And now that it’s a hot topic and fines are being issued, TOML should look through the old records. I don’t want that bus hitting me again.

    We knew there’d be cuts in services with this judgment, I’m ready for them. I just want to voice an opinion.

    And also I don’t place blame in this, or previous Town Councils. The blame is with MLLA. All the trash talking about getting Town Council members recalled should be directed towards Terry Ballas, Jay Becker, and whoever else is MLLA. They are the ones who directed this lawsuit at ALL OF THE CITIZENS OF MAMMOTH LAKES. They aren’t taking anything from the TOML as a council, they’re taking it from MY CHILDREN AND THE COMMUNITY.

    • Never trust an attorney October 6, 2012 at 7:09 am #

      We will probably never know what went on behind the incredible amount of closed meetings. The possible side-deals, favors, promises, cronyism, etc. Until it is 100% illegal to gain one thin dime as an elected official with all that power, the system you have in place will be a corrupt one.
      It’s like a child custody case I know of. Both attorney’s stretched out the entire process, billed each party they represented an obscene amount for their “services” and bankrupted both parties trying to pay for the legal fees.

    • MoMoney October 6, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

      Thank you! I voted for measure R for recreation – in general. Don’t tell me it was only for NEW recreation, like paying John Wentworth and his entourage to “plan” a bunch of trails. last I checked, we’ve had trails way before he came along. Use measure R money to fund the pool and other recreation programs, then use the general fund money that frees up to pay for some of the judgment.

    • Hold their feet to the fire October 7, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

      Until our elected officials get their feet held to the fire (demanding resignations, open-meetings, financial disclosures, penalties for graft, and corruption) they will continue to do whatever they damn well want to do.
      I thought EVERYBODY knew that.

  9. Sean F October 5, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    Regarding the redirecting of various past special Measure funds XYZ I feel that it was a different time when those Measures were passed (I dont think I was living here at that time. I have no idea WHEN they were voted on.

    The situation has now changed and the town must improvise and adapt to todays situation and what is expected tomorrow.

    Town Council – you are elected leaders. LEAD! If you need that money and it is within the law for you to redirect some of it to fund the Police Dept and other city departments then do it!

  10. Do the honorable thing October 6, 2012 at 7:03 am #

    Those who were around when the mess started are still around. Today they are cleverly trying to create the illusion that the people have a say in what happens in their community.
    These “leaders” should do the honorable and ethical thing and resign.

  11. Eastern Sierra Local October 6, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    The Town Council got involved with MLLA with no vote from the public; now the Town Council is secretly meeting to cut services. The only people suffering are the Taxpayers. The people of Mammoth should be whole-heartily p$ssed off.

  12. Louise October 6, 2012 at 9:12 am #

    Sean F:

    You need to do more research on all the measures and what’s transpired here because of mismanagement. I read that you are an ex-police. Are you a bit biased? Do you receive one of those sweet pensions?
    I have been here over 35 years and have felt the pinch of all the taxes and measures.
    I don’t mind my dollars going to beautiful parks and bike paths. My family really enjoys them. I don’t even mind paying Town employees and police a reasonable wage. In my mind, Steve Searles’ wage is nothing compared to the late night hours he works to keep the bears and us safe.
    What I do mind is that a majority of our tax dollars have been wasted. Did you know that when the Town became incorporated in the early 80’s we had a Tourism chief who bought a ski boat, skis, snow skis etc with tourism dollars? He was not prosecuted he was allowed to move to another Town in California and probably continued fleecing them. We have also had Town managers who scammed the Town and moved on to other cities and Towns.
    Did you know that the measure “U” tax was suppose to be a temporary fix? It never did sunset.
    I think a majority of the Towns people are fed up, so please don’t preach to us!

    • Mammothite October 6, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

      Actually he was prosecuted. Get YOUR facts straight!

      • Louise October 7, 2012 at 6:50 am #

        Sorry, my mistake! Hey Mammothite set us straight. Did he go to prison? Did he go on to another city? The point I was trying to make was that there has been alot of mismanagement.

        • Mammothite October 7, 2012 at 10:32 am #

          He did not go to prison. Here is how it works. If the suspect has the ability to make payments for restitution, the DA will ask the victim, “would you rather be paid back or would you like to see him go to prison for 5 years”. Most victims would rather get paid back. If he dosn’t pay the restitution, it is a violation of his probation and he goes to prison. That is great incentive to start paying.

          I do not know exactly what happed in this case but I am sure the DA’s office would have it in their records.

          I bet he got another job with another city and ripped them off to pay Mammoth back.

          Mammoth, as a new town did not do a propper background investigation on this guy and paid a heavy price. You are right about the mis-management.

    • Sean F October 6, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

      Dear Louise – No I don’t get a pension. I was a full time cop for about 10 years. I cashed out all my contributions to PERS retirement and put it into the stock market. I created a business out of a bedroom in 2001. I have 40 employees in LA County and have caused many more people to be employed as a result of my business activity (around 200 people I think). I also created a small business in Irvine that employs four people and have part ownership of a third. I pay massive taxes (about 47% of my net income. HOw does Romney do 13%??? ).

      Am I biased? Yes totally. I worked in very bad areas (as in next door to Compton) and very good areas. Guess what. It is better to live in a good area or town. From my police experience I can tell you that good areas attract more money and growth which causes more economic activity. This means people get paid more because the businesses have to start competing for the talented people to come work for these companies. It is all simple supply and demand (of people). You need continued growth for a continued improvement in the quality of life for your family. I want to live is a town that is well policed and is growing.

      I really don’t care all that much about what happened here in the 1980’s. I came here in 1978 and learned to ski when I was 7 or 8 years old. I think the town is a better place now and offers more services and things to do (for me anyways) than it did decades ago. I worked here as a snow maker in the early 90’s as well.

      Good for you Louise for being able to raise a family in Mammoth for 35 years. It is hard to make a living up here. Wouldn’t it be great of more businesses made their home in Mammoth?

      I would like to start a non-tourism business up here that helps the community. First I need a good internet connection (OK so Digital 395 should fix that). Next I need warehouse space. We don’t have that so maybe I will need to build that here. Then I need some good employees who are motivated and will work hard.

      So if I am thinking of doing these things here is Mammoth I will advocate for the things I know need to stay in place (ie a PD). Why would I put a business in a town with sub par policing? I wouldn’t.

      I understand your frustration Louise, but we have to move forward and not get caught up dwelling about bad things that happened in the past. That does’t help create jobs and a good quality of life for your family in the future. So stay tuned for more preaching.

      • Louise October 8, 2012 at 8:30 am #

        Dear Sean F.,

        You sound like a sincere, great guy living the American Dream. Have you looked at the industrial park for your warehouse?
        I want to reiterate that I really don’t have a problem with the MLPD. We are not Compton but we do swell to thousands on most weekends and need a good police department. My problem is with the management of the entire Town and the wages and pensions that are being paid to all the top level Town employees. Do we really need two Town managers at the cost of close to 500K?
        I understand that you don’t want to dwell on the past but this Town has a history of repeating itself over and over again not necessarily for the good. If we don’t voice our concerns it goes on and on.
        I don’t have a problem with people starting small pollution free businesses but this Town is mostly Tourism based. The economy has slowed down the building in this Town and hopefully it will pick up; but do we really need more empty condo hotels? Especially the ones that don’t employ our local carpenters and contractors.
        In closing, I like your remark about Romney. I have issued with both him and Obama, Republicans and Democrats. Politics, banks and government local and national have made a mess of the US and I hope and pray we can turn this great country around.

    • Jon Boyer October 7, 2012 at 11:00 am #

      Well Louise, I’ve only been here 26 years but if you’re talking about Ron Stevens, and I believe you are, I seem to remember it completely different. Stevens was prosecuted and, I believe, went to prison. More specific to your point, however, is that he was employeed by the chamber of commerce, not the Town or any other government agency and was not paid with ANY tax money. Rather it was private member money from the chamber.

      • Louise October 8, 2012 at 7:45 am #


        I remember it a bit differently. Maybe Mammothite or Benett can verify. When the Town was incorporated the Town took over the Tourism lodging referral from the lodging community. At that time we sent our lodging referral fees, the Town magazine ad fees and bed tax and fees to the Town. I remember volunteering in the Town Tourism office with Shannon, Elin and Barbara who all worked for Ron and then Ralph McMullen. A few years ago the Town dissolved the Town Tourism lodging referral as we knew it and is now run by John Urdi.

        • Benett Kessler October 8, 2012 at 10:16 am #

          All I remember is that Mammmoth interests – business, I believe – formed the Resort Association. Ron Stevens was hired and problems ensued.
          He moved on to another community where he had more problems, and I believe he was ordered to make restitution. Stevens also claimed to be
          an honored Vietnam veteran which turned out to be a lie.

        • Wild Wild West October 8, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

          Although the past may have been a bit of a learning curve, at least now we have a good leader in Tourism with Urdi, who has been the best advocate for the area and tourism you could ask for. Lets hope the council keeps true to their word and doesn’t start to cut one of the most important things that brings people here and gets the good word out on Mammoth Lakes. With a small crew they have done a great job and are always looking to do whatever they can to promote this destination as a not only a ski resort, but fishing mecca, summer getaway, Fall spectacular and much more.


      • Fact Checker October 8, 2012 at 9:25 am #

        Hi Jon, are you the retired MLPD who’s wife worked for the town and retired with a pension also?
        Please don’t single handily rewrite history here.
        Let’s get some facts straight even if it is off topic.
        Remember, Lemmon, Stapp, Eastman, Marangella, Benett, and even Tom Cage were here? You can easily check your facts.
        Ron Stevens was the head of the MLRA, Mammoth Lakes Resort Association. Not the chamber.
        Spending more than $600,000 a year of town taxes on advertising and promotion at the time.
        He embezzled with no oversight.
        He bought expensive red power boats and lavished them on his best friends, throwing them over the top parties, Including, pillar of the business community, Sam Walker, who was the one who hired police chief, Bruce Macafee, and hand picked Ron Stevens out of dozens of applicants as I recall.
        All these facts are public record. So, in the interest of integrity. Let’s get it straight. (Louise’s premise of Mammoth having a long history of mismanagement is correct.)

        • upthecreek October 8, 2012 at 11:22 am #

          Seems as if only the Public Pension holders can survive the current economic conditions in Mammoth…
          As long as the auto payments keep coming in from the state of Taxifornia all of the X Public Servants and fat and happy.

          Expensive cigars and Hawaiian shirts for everyone

          Does Anyone know if the MMSA still has the Old Town Tent??

          Govt Gone Wild

        • Jon Boyer October 9, 2012 at 8:58 am #

          Yup, Fact, that’s me. So what’s your point and what in the world does that have to do with whether Ron Stevens stole public money or not?

  13. ferdinand lopez October 6, 2012 at 10:38 am #

    i dont think your average voter or citizen understands the incredible waste that goes on with tax payers dollars, the next time you see a bunch of laughing council members coming out of chart house,you can bet your butt,you paid for it.

    • upthecreek October 8, 2012 at 11:31 am #

      “the next time you see a bunch of laughing council members coming out of chart house,you can bet your butt,you paid for it.”

      This should be the New Town Slogan


  14. Bill October 7, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

    I’ve always liked having our local M.L.P.D. aside from a few “bad apples” in the basket, most of the MLPD are made up of good, hardworking, officers and our Police Chief is a decent guy, too.

    That said, the writing is on the wall folks. We cannot afford the MLPD any more, at the expense of the vulture council raiding tax measures and closing all the Whitmore facilities.

    The local paper mentioned this week that a few officers have already looked into transfer to Bishop PD, one officer has looked into transfer to MC Sheriff Dept, and 2 have filed retirement papers.

    Now, are we going to hire NEW officers in our current situation? No, we should not.

    The answer is Chief Watson retires (he already has a retirement to fall on, and this will save $$ for the Town) and the police dissolves into the Sheriff Dept. The town contracts w/ the County to hire more Deputies to pick up the slack, saving a big portion of the 5.6mil police budget to pay towards the MMLA settlement and no longer carry the burden of future MLPD salaries & pensions (90% + 4% after 7 years??)

    We save Whitmore Pool and the other things.

    Again, I like having MLPD around but increased Sheriff and CHP will take up slack. This has happened to cities all over the State of CA, Stockton not withstanding, the sky has not fallen.

    Oh, and the Sheriff should issue more CCW permits.

    • Ken Warner October 7, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

      Yeah, that’s great. Let’s all arm ourselves like the Old West because we can’t afford a police force because we have to have a Tourism Dept. and useless airport.

      • Bill October 8, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

        Ken, Tourism Dept actually generates revenue, is funded by T.O.T tax – not the general budget, and does a great job of marketing the Town to the rest of the world. We can no longer afford the Police Dept, in leu of other community services (for us locals to appreciate) and we need to accept that this is the reality.

        The police budget is 5.6 million dollars. I feel VERY safe in this town and doubt much will change. The Sheriff will pick up slack.

        Like it or not, we are a tourism based economy. Every nook and cranny of our town is dependent on tourism. It’s what we do and do well. We have unique strengths and beautiful scenery and that is our selling point.

        If non-tourist businesses want to come here and diversify our economy – GREAT! But this is not going to happen this year, or next year, or any year because Mammoth is too damn expensive to do business other that tourism! Mammoth is just too expensive and too isolated. Even Mammoth Brewing Co has to move to Bishop, which is good for them.

        While I understand the emotional decision to fight for the MLPD it is not fiscally responsible. MLPD is going away, whether we like it or not. We have a County Sheriff, CHP, Game Wardens, Forest Service Rangers, and BLM rangers – I feel VERY safe in this town.

        • Benett Kessler October 8, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

          I will only point out that you feel very safe with the current situation. We have yet to find out how much it would cost to contract with the Sheriff’s
          Office or if it is even possible. Stay tuned on that one. Meanwhile, read the Mammoth Police Officer’s press release now posted.
          Benett Kessler

        • Ken Warner October 8, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

          “We have a County Sheriff, CHP, Game Wardens, Forest Service Rangers, and BLM rangers … I feel VERY safe in this town.”

          That’s pretty dumb and if that’s the level of your analysis, why should anybody believe the rest of your predictable marketing trop.

          • Bill October 9, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

            Dumb, huh? Ken, are you aware of the actual crime statistics in this town? I am, and I’ve been living here a while.

            Mammoth is a very safe place, and will continue to be a very safe place, with or w/o our police dept which we can no longer afford, and never had before incorporation. Your opinion is based in emotion, and not facts.

            This is not a knock on our great police force made up of mostly dedicated officers w/ a great Chief. It’s just that times have changed and I believe the Town should contract w/ the Sheriff Dept like many towns have done all over California.

            If you fear for your safety – YOU should take the precautions necessary to ensure your own safety. The police enforce the laws – they rarely prevent laws from being broken. This is coming from someone who has several family members in law enforcement, so I do value and appreciate the very difficult job they do. But it comes down to Mammoth economics and reality, and that is why I feel the way I do. Go ahead and disagree, just don’t call my opinion dumb.

      • Get Real October 8, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

        Excellent point Ken!!!

  15. MJA October 8, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    The bad guy is Ballas,
    Don’t pay him, he does not deserve it
    And if you must then give him what you can really afford,
    A dollar a year .


    • Get Real October 8, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

      Ballas is not the bad guy. When the town broke his contract and screwed him, all he wanted was the money he had invested in the airport which he was happy to do, thinking he had a valid and legally binding agreement with the town, and it would pay off in the long run.

      Every step of the way, Ballas tried to settle the case out of court to get the money owed him. The majority of the present council fought Ballas every step of the way and drove a 2 million debt owed, into an over 40 million dollar judgement that ruined the town that they were elected to lead. The amazing thing is that these same people are still running the town!

      Now these same “leaders” are breaking their signed contract with the police officers. Deja Vu all over again.

  16. jose chavez October 9, 2012 at 6:23 am #

    MMM can volun-terr her services. there is 200k plus a year saved….


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