Skip Harvey has passed on

Mammoth Lakes Mayor Skip HarveySkip Harvey loved people.  That’s why he ran for the Mammoth Town Council and served there for more than eight years.  He never claimed political sophistication, but before he left the Town Council Harvey laid out the cold hard truth about the failed Town.  He also had the grace and sensitivity at his final meeting to call the Eastern Sierra “enchanting and mystical.”  Skip Harvey died after a long struggle with cancer Monday morning at the age of 60.  Those he loved were with him. And as if to honor his passing, a stunning Sierra Wave sunset painted the sky with unusual beauty Monday evening.

Skip and I  used to reminisce about being born in Columbus, Ohio.  We  were both native mid-westerners who found warm and sunny California and finally the mountains of the High Sierra.  Harvey found a way to touch a lot of people with his down to earth Base Camp Cafe in Mammoth Lakes.  Then he reached further to political office.

His humble, caring attitude demonstrated his connection to the people even when Council decisions

The Sierra’s tribute to Skip.

seemed off base or controversial. On a personal level, Skip quickly became a friend to those who also cared about the wider  community.

At an early May Town Council meeting when officials talked about cutting $3 million more from the Town budget, no one spoke the words bankruptcy nor even the $43 million debt.  Except for Skip Harvey.  He gave voice to the peoples’ real fears.

Harvey said he knew the lawsuit debt was the real concern on peoples’ minds.  He apologized to the public for not wrapping up the lawsuit issue before he left office.  He pressed the need for the Town to take responsibility for actions that put Mammoth in a big mess.  He advised the Town to cut out the arrogance.  “This has to be changed,” he said.

And Skip Harvey could talk about all of this without ego and without negativity.  His candid smile said it all.  Skip Harvey was a man with a warm heart and one who bowed to those in need.  When he stated his truth it was without hatred or anger.

Funeral services for Skip Harvey are pending.


8 Responses to Skip Harvey has passed on

  1. Sierra Lady July 16, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

    Chief Watson announced this horribly sad news at our monthly CERT meeting tonight and many of us were shocked and saddened.

    Skip was one of the good guys and the only selfless honest person on the Town Council in many years.

    We hope his legacy at Base Camp lives on. Our sincere condolences to Skip’s family, friends, employees and people who he touched.

    The village in the trees will miss you, Skip. 🙁

  2. AL Grande July 17, 2012 at 12:35 am #

    God rest your soul Skip!

  3. kaat July 17, 2012 at 1:58 am #

    Skip showed everyone what the best version of Mammoth (and ourselves) could and should look like ….

    His departure reminds us to carry his vision forward – always.

    Our prayers and condolences to Skip’s loved ones.

    I will miss him deeply.

  4. Very Sad July 17, 2012 at 7:32 am #

    I am very saddened to wake up to to this news. My heart and condolences go out to his family and friends. Skip you will be missed.

    May you walk feet first onto your next journey, Godspeed, Adieu, au revoir, bon voyage, farewell.

  5. mammothgal July 17, 2012 at 7:50 am #

    Skip was a good man who will be greatly missed. Smart, thoughtful, funny, kind and generous. There was not a mean bone in his body.

  6. Ruth Harrell July 17, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    Well said, Benett. Thank you Skip. Rest in peace gentle soul.

  7. Sierra Lady July 18, 2012 at 8:39 am #

    Something lovely I’d like to share that was on the MMSA Community Forum about Skip:

    “just heard the news over here while reading mammoth times

    I had the pleasure of meeting skip last season when I was there. We shared a 3ft powder day from first chair till lunch.

    I was first in line at the chair as I was chomping at the bit to get into some fresh when he came up along side and asked politely if he could share the chair with me.

    I turned around and said “yeah mate no worries” his reply was “your an aussie right? would you like to ski together?”

    He then treated me to some great local knowledge as we hammered down Lincoln about 50 times

    It was a great 4hrs and really showed what a true local is really like, happy to show of & share his love and passion for his home mountain with a total stranger with no regard or problem against that person being a tourist.

    One of things he mentioned was that he had a local cafe, (he did not mention that he was the mayor BTW)

    Later that day my wife, little one & I headed down to base camp for dinner. WE LOVED IT! we actually ended up eating there for 6 nights in a row as we just loved the atmosphere and just hanging out in the cafe! the guys working there were so friendly and welcoming of us, in actual fact one evening we sat there for hours just drinking beers and talking to everyone that was hanging out.

    It was only later on that I found out he was the mayor of the town! I felt even more privileged to have been able to meet the guy and also be given a guided tour while chasing each other through an epic powder day!

    It’s people like skip that the world should really model themselves on…

    My deepest condolences to skip’s family and also the locals of Mammoth who will miss skip.

    Luke Pearsall
    Sydney, Australia.”

    B. Richter

  8. Wendilyn Grasseschi July 18, 2012 at 9:39 am #

    Beautifully written Benett. Thank you.


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