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Tenney takes sign idea to Supes

February 12, 2011

Does Mammoth need another entrance sign?

Or just a better one?

According to some residents, the answer is both.

Elizabeth Tenney, the woman behind the post office flower garden and landscape miracle, is turning that same attention to design toward another project: giving Mammoth more of a definite entrance.

The fact that the new sign would act to also soften the appearance of the under-construction, block-like courthouse, regarded by many as out of place in a small alpine town, doesn’t seem like a bad idea.

The fact that she’s hoping to put a small “pocket park” near the sign, along the bike path, the same.
The fact that she intends to do almost all of it with volunteer work and donations, the same.

But when she took the idea to the Mono County Board of Supervisors Tuesday, at least two board members asked her to re-think a few things about her idea.

“How many entrance signs do we need,” asked District 1 Supervisor Larry Johnston. He noted that Tenney’s sign would make three. He also suggested that Tenney work on getting her sign and the one directly across the street compatible in design and materials, so they add up to a definite entrance.

Supervisor Hap Hazard was a little irked at being “left out of the loop” about the sign until this week, given that it would require some county property.

“We need to take a look at what we want to do with that area long term,” he said. He also voiced worries that the sign might actually screen the courthouse too much, making it hard for people to know where it was.

Hazard said Wednesday that he was a little chagrined at how strongly he reacted to the sign, noting it was not about Tenney at all, but more about the fact that the county seems to get left out of similar discussions more often than he’d like.

“We need to talk not just to Elizabeth but also to the Town (of Mammoth) about the area,” he said.
For her part, Tenney is ready to take the county’s suggestions under consideration.

“In my enthusiasm yesterday, I got a little ahead of my objective with nuts and bolts details and a grander plan for a park on the site rather than staying at the conceptual planning level.”

“The next morning Supervisor Hazard called me,” she said. “He wants to work together on best uses for that portion of the county’s parcel as part of an ‘overall planning effort, not a piecemeal approach.’
“Our first meeting will be on Feb. 14.”

The sign would be located just to the east of the courthouse, along Highway 203 on the south side and almost directly across from another welcome sign on the north side of the road.

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