Letter to the Editor: Unincorporation whispers

mammothDear Editor,

Should the Town of Mammoth Lakes unincorporate?

First, we want to pass on a tidbit of information that we learned a few years back while on the peer resort tour for the TOML. One evening in Whistler, having a cocktail with a former councilman and first town attorney, he revealed to us that the town would actually be better off if unincorporated! We asked why, of course. His answer was in part what we learned about how Whistler is governed. It is a special assessment district within the province. If the TOML were unincorporated it could be a special assessment area for Tourism & Recreation in the State of California. If the TOML had taken this path, the unincorporated TOML would keep much more of its own property taxes in town. This is big, because as it is now, the majority of property tax dollars go to the county and are spent outside of Mammoth Lakes. By state law, the county would be required to put more tax dollars back into the unincorporated Mammoth Lakes area. State spending on the unincorporated ML area would be another benefit; as well as no more spending on a redundant police force, excessive town staff, or town vehicles. The town could remain the same but without all the extra drama and expenses.

So we believe that the answer is a resounding YES! Town Council should form a committee to oversee a non-partisan consultant (NOT TOWN STAFF) to review the issues and options and present possible next steps and solutions. i.e. Bankruptcy and how it could affect the 42 million dollar lawsuit.

Our hope is that the underground rumblings by the citizens of Mammoth Lakes will become a loud outcry of voices, that the strong feelings and sentiments and opinions will be stated out loud, in public and not in whispers or behind closed doors. The solutions for the future of Mammoth Lakes should come from the citizens of Mammoth Lakes, not just a handful of politicians and staff members. The more informed, the better. So get out there and listen, learn and make yourselves heard!

Ruth and Warren. Harrell

Mammoth Lakes Homeowners and Voters


13 Responses to Letter to the Editor: Unincorporation whispers

  1. Not enough info May 7, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    Ruth and Warren Harrell in their letter like to post some interesting info after their names: “Mammoth Lakes Homeowners and Voters.”
    They do not mention their permanent residence is NOT Mammoth Lakes but in Seal Beach or Costa Mesa (someplace in the L.A. area).

    I hope they aren’t claiming they are voting in Mammoth Lakes believing their second home is their permanent residence as this is clearly illegal and punishable by law.

    • Tourbillon May 7, 2012 at 11:26 am #

      So your point is that only permanent TOML residents – like the ones that got us into this mess – deserve to have their opinions considered? That really hasn’t gotten us very far now, has it? So instead of gratuitous personal attacks against folks expressing what might be good ideas, it might profit us more if we actually consider the ideas on their merits and leave out the worthless innuendo. That’s the kind of bad karma bile that was responsible for the airport fiasco in the first place.

      • Not enough info May 7, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

        “…gratuitous personal attacks?”
        “…worthless innuendo?”
        “bad karma bile”?

        Sorry Tourbillon, me thinks thou doth protest too much.

        Simply stating the law re: those who may be breaking the law by voting in Mammoth Lakes when they don’t even live here while insisting on measures like cutting the “redundant “Mammoth Lakes Police force in half at their whim, has clearly been taken out of context by you.
        I say, clean up your own backyard first.

        Are you really the Harrells incognito, Tourbillon?

        • Tourbillon May 7, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

          I do not know the Harrells. I’m not sure if their proposal makes sense. Unlike you, I’m willing to think about what they say without personal attacks. I suggest you set aside the hate that is driving you and employ any intellect you might have to helping to find a solution to the problem at hand.

    • upthecreek May 7, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

      and your point is?

      I think the idea from Ruth and Warren. Harrel is great
      No matter where they call home.

  2. wayback May 7, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

    Not Enough Info, I thought I was the only one who caught this.

  3. Just the facts May 7, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    Why in the _____ would Mono County, which Dave Wilbrecht left in terrific shape under his watch, want to buy back the mess some greedy developers created?
    Hold the responsible parties’ feet to the fire. Don’t shrug the problem off on the County.
    Grill the two councilman who had part in the orchestration of the entire mess and the CEO of Mammoth Mountain (if he’s going to make an appearance). Let them bring their attorney’s if they want.

  4. Ken Warner May 7, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    Well, I live in Mammoth Lakes and I suggested dis-incorporation a year ago. This town was created to serve the big developers. If one steps back and looks at what the town governance really does, it just enables development that really doesn’t do the people of Mammoth Lakes all that much good.

    It does enrich the big developers though. And those two observations should be enough to convince you that Mammoth Lakes was incorporated just to give the big developers an easy place to get their projects approved and make a bunch of money that they take out of Mono County.

    I wonder if the Village would have been approved or even considered if Intrawest would have had to go to Mono County.

    Dis-incorporation would be a very good discussion to have to catalog all its advantages and disadvantages. Don’t dismiss the idea just because of who suggests it. Think about the concept.

  5. What the ...? May 7, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

    You are right on, Ken Warner. From day one, its always been the developers and their yes-men, the town council (I wonder what piece of the pie they got?), that put the town in the F-upped position it is in today.
    And two of the original culprits on the airport travesty are STILL on the council calling the shots for … whomever they are sucked up to. It’s certainly not the citizens of Mammoth Lakes. How stupid can the constituents be?
    Can’t do too much about the L.A.-style strip malls that are sadly now a part of the culture of the town, but I sense a lot of desperately-needed activism coming into play.
    But I wouldn’t bet on the County bailing out anybody.

  6. Observer May 7, 2012 at 8:33 pm #

    The debt would still be owed by the area encompassed by the former boundary of TOML were it to dis- incorporate. No solution there.

    • Ken Warner May 8, 2012 at 11:03 am #

      “…owed by the area…”????

      So “areas” have become a new rural entity? Interesting.

      I have an “area” in my driveway that I would like to squeeze a little more money from. How do I do that exactly? Can I have my Area Council declare a special assessment district for my “area”???

      Thanks for the chuckle….


Leave a Reply