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Budget done, town turns attention to commissions

June 29, 2012

The Town of Mammoth Lakes Airport Commission still has a heartbeat.

So, too, does the Mobility Commission.

In spite of a cost-saving effort to combine the two governmental bodies, neither commission, nor the Town Council, found how to do it in advance of July 31, when new commissioners are to be seated.

In the whirlwind rush by the Town Council to complete a balanced budget, that small sub-drama took place one rung lower on the town government ladder.

So, too, was a sub-drama as to who would sit on the town’s other various commissions, and what the new commissions will look like for the next four years.

In a normal year, the sturm und drang of such movements might have made bigger news, particularly now that stipends for Recreation and Planning commissioners are gone.

Nevertheless, the process went on, with changes in store for the makeup of the Recreation Commission, the Planning Commission and transportation-related commissions relating to the airport and mobility.

The big movement was in the Airport and Mobility commissions. With a mandate by the council to combine the two five-member boards, nothing happened at all.

Yesterday (Thursday), the town began advertising for positions on the commissions as they were.

The problem, said Mobility Chair Sandy Hogan, was that there are some members of the Airport Commission, for example, who have a specific interest and expertise on airport matters with not much interest in larger transportation issues such as those the Mobility Commission tackles. Those areas, for example, have to do with things such as sidewalks, road signs and transit.

As of this week, here is the breakdown:

Planning: Once the most powerful commissions in town during the boom years, the commission will lose two incumbents, chair Jay Dienken and one-term member Sharon Clark. Incumbent Elizabeth Tenney’s seat is also is open, although she has applied for another term.

Recreation: Up for grabs are seats currently held by chair Bill Sauser, Teri Stehlik, and Sean Turner, all of whom have applied for another term. Tony Colosardo, meanwhile, resigned his position as of July 31, leaving his seat wide open.

Mobility: There is one vacant seat up for grabs, along with seats currently held by Eric Wasserman, John Vereuck and Lynda Salcido.

Airport: Expiring seats are held by Deb Pierrel, who said she will not re-apply for a spot, and by John Walter and Lee Hughes.

Applicants for the Planning Commission include Robert Grover, a three-year resident who lists his experience as a facilities manager at the Mono County Superior Court, and Donald Soucy, a general contractor and real estate broker.

Applicants for the Recreation Commission include Soucy, as well as Elizabeth “Betsy” Truax.

As for the Airport Commission, only Robert Calvert, a local businessman, had applied as of Thursday.
This month, members of the council will interview candidates for those spots in closed session, including the incumbents, with appointments to the commissions slated for no later than the council’s Aug. 1 regular meeting.

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