Blowing in the Wind


Something new is afoot here in Mammoth.

The time for whining is over.

The time for blaming is over.

The time for complaining is over, too.

Something has gone wrong and times are tough—as bad as many long-time locals can remember, or worse.

But enough with the whining.

All of us.

It’s time for action.

And we don’t mean playing the blame game. That’s been done and still, there’s no easy way to figure out who is to blame for the $43 million MLLA judgment against the town. 

It is not surprising, when you think about it. There is no elected mayor with strong-mayor powers to hold accountable. 

A Town Council that doesn’t even have the direct responsibilities to its constituents that a county supervisor has. 

Each county supervisor is responsible for a few thousand constituents that are confined to one small district. If anything goes wrong in that district, the constituents know which one to hold accountable, and which one to dump during elections. 

But Mammoth’s Town Council is not like that. 

Its constituents are the entire town. Too often, that means the hard places to represent, like Sierra Valley Sites, are left out of meaningful representation. Correspondingly, no single councilmember is held accountable.

The town went through four town managers during the airport debacle—hardly a recipe for accountability.

Then look at the airport debacle through the lens of this kind of governing system. It is hardly surprising something went amiss.

So enough with the whining.

As Tim Fesko said about the judgment at the Mono County supervisors’ forum Monday, “You voted for them; they lost sight of the ball. It’s time to move on.”

If any of you did not vote at all during those years, double enough with the whining.

So, now it is back to the beginning. 

Something new is afoot here in Mammoth.

Residents are trying to decide how to help out with the situation; some are talking about taxing themselves. This is responsibility for our people at the highest and deepest level. No more waiting to be rescued. No settling for a diminished town, either.

Mono County and the Town of Mammoth Lakes are talking about doubling down on effective marketing, public safety, safety nets and avoiding wasteful spending.

Supervisor candidate Tim Alpers reminded us that when the Walker River flood hit in 1997, Mammoth’s people came flying to Walker’s rescue, knowing Walker would do the same for Mammoth if a similar crisis should occur.

That’s what’s afoot.