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The judgment is the Town of Mammoth’s fault, period

October 19, 2012

 

As a concerned individual, who has actually read the court opinion, I found it very difficult to read the Oct 5 issue of the Mammoth Times. 

Rather than accept the facts revealed in the court opinion, showing corruption and mismanagement of the Town of Mammoth Lakes, the issue was replete with finger pointing and artificial conclusion.

One councilmember, seriously suffering from self denial, even attempted to blame the judgment on North Mono County.

As a shown participant in the judgment events, this councilmember appears to know nothing about bridge building and accepting fault. 

Then, there is the seriously flawed editorial, “Our View,” which paints the plaintiff as a con artist with a plan to extract a $29.5 million judgment as the motive for the development agreement made with the town.

The plaintiff is described as suffering from “greed” because he wants the town to pay up.

What’s going on people? Face the facts in the court opinion. The judgment was approved because the evidence in support of it, including the amount, was obtained directly from town files and testimony of town officials showing corruption, mismanagement, and failure to live up to a contract.

Any question about why the town behaved as described in the court opinion was answered with interviews revealed in the Sheet’s April 20 article, “Airing It Out.”

This article revealed how several council members were played by Rusty Gregory to create the environment that brought about the judgment.

For those who cannot put the lines of corruption and failure of responsibility together, a follow up article in the Mammoth Times does that for you titled “Judgment by Gregory” in the Times archives, dated July 20, specifically titled, “The Town Should Ask Rusty Gregory To Pay The Judgment.”

So, get on with paying for what you caused this town to suffer and figure out how to do so by not taxing the innocent and causing those responsible to pay.

One happy note in the above issue, brought about in part by the judgment, is that the Town Council is finally addressing the bloated sacred cow police department [page one in the same Oct. 5 Mammoth Times issue, “Council debates police pay, benefits”]. 

I would like to know how many towns the size of Mammoth actually have a police department. 

You will find that resort governments much larger than Mammoth contract with the County Sheriff for police service and avoid the current Mammoth budget problem of $150,000 (and rising) starting pay and benefit package for a police officer.

Each of those contract cities exercise good business practice by merely purchasing the service of the number of officers they feel meet their needs.

And, these contract officers drive around in black and white vehicles with the city/town name on the side. Big advantage—no Mammoth administrative cost and those officers are actually out there on duty the entire time—not at the “office” or “coffee shop” or creating lawsuits against the town for this or that.

Don’t be fooled by the usual hyperbole coming from the police chief of increased crime, etc.

Who you obtain under contract will do the same job. After all, Mammoth does not have its own Fire Department. So, why the expense and liability of a police department?

It would be negligent to ignore this option.

Jean Harris

Mammoth Lakes second homeowner

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