Meet the Candidate: Eric Olson for Mono County Supervisor 2nd District

March 2- We are reposting these stories to help people stay informed for Tuesday’s Election, in alphabetical order. Make sure to vote!

Eric Olson is Write-in Candidate for Mono District 2 Supervisor

Better Late than Never!

Eric Olson, a longtime Mammoth Lakes insurance broker and a resident of
Crowley Lake, announced that he was going to run for Mono County District 2
Supervisor as a “Write-in candidate.” The deadline to have his name printed on
the March 3 rd Primary ballot had passed before he filed his papers to run. The
Sierra Wave interviewed the candidate over the phone yesterday.

Olson will be running against Rhonda Duggan and Josh Rhodes, whose names,
having met the filing deadline, will be printed on the ballot. Duggan is a Marketing
Consultant and Rhodes is a former Mono County Roads Department employee.

Sierra Wave News reporter Deb Murphy is working on a profile on both candidates for this week.

District 2 includes the part of Mono County that is south and east of the Town of
Mammoth Lakes, and includes Crowley Lake, Toms Place, and all other
communities south down to the Inyo County border. It also includes the Tri-Valley
communities of Chalfant, Hammil, and Benton.

Voters wishing to see Olson elected will have to write his name on the ballot in
the space provided.

As to why Olson suddenly decided to run, he says, “Because not enough has
changed since I moved here in 1976” and he isn’t seeing what he thinks needs to
be done coming from the other candidates.

The goals Olson would like to see for the county include:
 Development of more housing and commercial real estate
 24/7 Paramedic and Sheriff coverage in the south county
 Improvements and expanding infrastructure such as Fire Stations, bike
trails and widening of roads;
 More cooperation with the Town of Mammoth on the joints needs of both
the county and the town, such as affordable housing.
 Find ways to benefit economically from the new Green economy
 And explore a county recreation tax.
Olson’s ideas closely mirror some of his opponents.

There is clearly a need for higher density zoning, he says, but there is a need for a
mix of just about everything, including more homes. He felt there are area within
the Town of Mammoth Lakes and around Mono County which can be identified as
appropriate for building a mix of affordable and low-income housing for the
workforce on the Mountain.

That means, says Olson, that the county and the Town of Mammoth should be
coordinating their efforts. He feels there should be a greater emphasis on smaller
projects using local contractors and not efforts focused on large projects. Noting
that the county need 550 housing units, and the latest plans only call for 175
units, he’s concerned that the “shortfall of 375 units should be unacceptable”.
“If a contractor can come in and help us develop 15 units,” says Olson, “let’s help
him do it. And if needed, help make the financing easier as well.”

Olson admitted that he doesn’t know a whole lot about what private, accessible
land is available within the county, but he feels that there is a good likelihood that
some land exchanges might be possible between the Forest Service and LADWP
properties. He has been impressed with what he has seen with the close
cooperation all the various agencies working towards addressing the problem of
the lack of workforce housing.

“A small, moderate Recreation Tax might be possible to fund greater recreational
activities for both visitors and residents to our area,” said Olson, “It seems a good
ideal to make our area more attractive to tourists and residents alike for
recreational opportunities.”

As to the issue of low morale among Mono County employees, Olson said that,
like almost everyone else, he has heard and read about it. Based on his
experience in filing paperwork to run for office, he said he can understand why it
might be so. He described the county office environment as “drab” and needs to
be brightened.” He also noted that Mono County employees often make less than
their counterparts in other counties, which probably lowers morale. Having said
that however, he wanted be make sure that voters know that he “was treated
very well” by those that helped him with his paperwork and that “the service was
exceptional.”

Asked what the county might be able to do about the very poor mobile cellular
service in the Tri-Valley area, and other parts of the county, he noted that the
current 2 nd District Supervisor, Fred Strump, has tried several times to push the
Public Utilities Commission to help fix it, but so far there hasn’t been much
success.

Olson had just come from a special board meeting where the Mono County Board
of Supervisors appeared to be trying to do something about the issue. One
solution offered for Long Valley had to do with increasing the height of a cell
tower by 30-plus feet to see if it would improve reception.

Olson says that he wants to make a difference and that he is very willing to put all
his efforts into serving the constituents of District 2.

Remember, the March 3 rd Primary is on a week away! Be sure to vote!

 

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